It's bad enough the prosecutors did a complete injustice to Caylee Anthony, but to further an already awful situation, there is now talk of Casey Anthony acquiring a book deal. As a ghostwriter for celebrities and public figures, I would not touch this book deal with a 3,000 mile long golden pen. But, when I saw an article on ABC's website about a potential book deal, I was compelled to read it. (Never mind that the article was listed under "Entertainment" and not "News"!)
Konner said that it's "not impossible" to expect Anthony to get an advance between $750,000 and $1 million for her memoirs. On top of that, Anthony would receive a cut from the sales of the book. If a TV or film studio acquires the rights to it, she would profit even more.
I'm not the least bit surprised by this, just appalled. But, what's just as disturbing to me is how the concept of publishing and the way Casey Anthony would make money by writing a book is presented in this quote. The fact of the matter is, which is not made clear here, that Anthony (and her ghostwriter, who would likely receive a good percentage of the advance and royalties - and probably movie deal) need to earn out the advance before they get a "cut from the sales of the book."
I find it irresponsible to report that she could receive a hypothetical $750,000 to $1,000,000 advance and make it sound like the minute the first book sells, she's adding to her bank account. That's not how it works, and the proper term for "receiving a cut from the sales of the book" is called a "Royalty." Royalties are paid after the advance is met. So, any "on top of" means that Anthony's book will have to have sold a pretty darn good number of books before she sees more money. Ghostwriters can sometimes receive public credit for the works they pen (i.e. when there's a "with" credit), but often times ghostwriters barter for a larger percentage of advance and royalties with no public credit. Often the celebrity does not want any public credit given to the ghostwriter, so it's a moot point and the ghostwriter is under contract to not publicly disclose their clients.
In the case of Casey Anthony, I can't imagine any writer taking on this book and still being able to sleep at night and look at themselves in the mirror. And, if that many people want to read such a book, that's their prerogative. But, as a ghostwriter, I like getting my eight hours of uninterrupted sleep and working with clients who bring inspirational messages to readers...you could not pay me a million dollars to write Casey Anthony's book.
I'm proud to be a Californian where then have already enacted the Caylee Anthony Law!
Heather Hummel is a Celebrity Ghostwriter and the Author of GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe, Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best At Any Age, Whispers from the Heart and Write from the Heart. She has never smoked a cigarette or drank a cup of coffee.
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