Monday, April 25, 2005
Good Morning America and Simon & Schuster screw over amputee teenager
GMA and Simon & Schuster Present The Story of My Life - A Powerful Platform with Paltry Compensation : " Last fall, Good Morning America and Simon & Schuster recruited America’s aspiring solipsists for a contest called “The Story of My Life.” Some 6,000 people submitted everything from UFO-abduction accounts to recipes. A panel of “celebrity authors”—including Mary Karr and James McBride—selected three finalists, who worked with ghostwriters on their entries. Then last Friday, Charles Gibson announced the grand-prize winner: Farah Ahmedi, a teenager from Afghanistan who—having lost a leg and most of her family there—fled with her mother and is now an Illinois high-school student. Viewers voted for her online, and she’ll get a fairly massive 175,000-copy first printing.
.... Because, unlike the winner of, say, America’s Next Top Model, Ahmedi doesn’t get a contract. The rules state that she holds no rights to the book and will not receive any royalties. She gets a flat $10,000 for what Fischer-Harbage predicts will be a book-club favorite and all-around blockbuster. That’s a fifth of what Fear Factor winners get for eating larvae."
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