Emmanuel Dunand / AFP - Getty Images
Gabby Douglas, here on the podium on Aug. 2, is fielding offers to write a book.
She's the darling of Olympic gymnastics with her bright smile and gold medal. Now, Gabby Douglas has become a sought-after target for book publishers.
The 16-year-old, the first African-American woman to ever win the gold in the Olympic all-around competition, is currently fielding numerous book offers, according to her agent, Sheryl Shade.
“I have about five solid offers and at least 12 inquiries in total,’’ Shade told TODAY.com on Thursday. “I just haven’t had a chance to speak with them all. I think within the next week she will agree to do one.’’
Gabby's People magazine cover.
Shade has represented several gymnasts who have starred in the Olympics over the years, including special TODAY.com correspondent Shawn Johnson, who won gold in 2008 in Beijing. Shade has also worked with Shannon Miller, Paul Hamm and Dominique Moceanu, securing high-profile deals for a host of gymnasts.
Douglas has already secured an appearance on a special-edition Kellogg's Corn Flakes box and is featured on the cover of the latest issue of People magazine. She signed a deal with Procter & Gamble before the Olympics, and an Aug. 3 report by Forbes estimated Douglas will earn, at a minimum, between $2-3 million annually in endorsements over the next two years.
Douglas' potential book may focus on her faith. Three of the publishers who have approached Shade are from Christian imprints.
“They are asking for an inspirational autobiography,’’ Shade said. “You’re 16 years old — you can’t have a big autobiography. Gabby is driven by quotes and inspirational passages that people send to her.’’
“I would love to put out a book," Douglas told TODAY.com. "My mom and I want to let people know about us and how we overcame hard times.”
She said she’d even like to cover her balance-beam fall at the 2011 Visa Championships, which she described as “horrific."
"I fell a thousand times. I want people to see that you can overcome,” she said. "I would tell my life story and make it not just about gymnastics.”
Nicknamed the “Flying Squirrel,’’ Douglas has broad appeal for the youth market with her story of hard work, sacrifice and achievement at such a young age.
Douglas says the biggest challenge will be those first few words. “Where do I start? Does my mom start, do I start?" she said. "She will be part of the process.”
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