Back from Bei-Ching: Olympic Athletes Cash In

Prospects for ghost writers have suddenly improved as publishers scramble to sign up Olympic champions to write books about, presumably, focusing on your dreams and never giving up, no matter what. Michael Phelps' eight gold medals were topped off by a $1.6 million deal from Simon & Schuster for Built to Succeed, in which he'll "reveal the secrets of his success." Let's hope he can write as fast as he swims: according to the Post, the book is due on shelves in December. Meanwhile 18-year-old Russian gymnastics champion Anastasia "Nastia" Liukin (left) is in talks to write two books including, natch, an "inspirational memoir," for which she can draw on the journals she's sensibly been keeping in preparation for this very day.

Liukin has the same agent, Evan Morgenstein at Premier Management Group, as 41-year-old swimmer Dana Torres, who bagged the biggest deal before the games had even begun: a $3 million two-book deal with Random House for an autobiography and a "fitness guide"—which Joe Public will no doubt buy in the hope that the mere act of reading will give them biceps like Torres.

Phelps Pooling the Gold [NYP]
Vaulting Into Book Deal [NYP]
Dara Torres Grabs Gold (With Book Deal) [CNBC]