With the London Book Fair just underway a number of deals have been announced:
HarperCollins has signed a two book deal with Prince Charles. The first title, which HC acquired world rights to, is about stewardship and is called Harmony. Harper's Jonathan Burnham, along with HC's Lisa Sharkey, negotiated the deal with agent Robert Barnett. The Prince of Wales will be edited by Matt Harper in the U.S. and Myles Archibald in the U.K. and the book is slated for a 2010 publication. A picture book adaptation is also planned and Katherine Tegen, of HC Children's Books, will be overseeing that publication, planned for 2011. Speaking to the book, HC said it will be about the Prince of Wales's view that "in our relentless pursuit of economic growth and technological progress we have become dangerously disconnected from Nature." The British royal said, in a statement from HC, that he feels "true ‘sustainability’ depends fundamentally upon us shifting our perception and widening our focus, so that we understand, again, that we have a sacred duty of stewardship of the natural order of things."
In an auction that concluded last week, Free Press senior editor Emily Loose acquired North American rights to Little Bets, a business book by Peter Sims; Christy Fletcher at Fletcher & Co. made the six-figure sale. Using examples as far-flung as Chris Rock, Beethoven, P&G and Pixar, Sims will show how small, strategically placed bets that are worked through a rigorous process of refinement and feedback can produce big outcomes. Drawing on elements of experimental innovation and design thinking, the book aims to encourage people to take calculated risks even in risk-averse environments. Sims, an executive adviser, is the coauthor (with Bill George) of True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, published by Jossey-Bass in 2007. Free Press hasn't determined a pub date yet; foreign rights are on offer from Fletcher & Co. at LBF this week.
In another auction from last week that resulted in a six-figure sale, Mollie Glick at Foundry Literary + Media sold Ellen Bryson's debut novel, Hungry, to Helen Atsma at Holt. The book, set in 1860s New York City, is slated for a summer 2010 release and is about the "human prodigies" at P.T. Barnum's American Museum. (The "prodigies," such as the bearded lady and human skeleton, are known less poltically correctly as freaks.) Foundry will be selling foreign rights in London; Glick said she's been getting in a lot of requests about the title from foreign scouts.
And, in a hat trick just before the Fair, the Jean Naggar Literary Agency closed on three titles. The first, Aidan Donnelley Rowley's debut novel Blackberry Girl, went to Avon in a five figure deal. Jean Naggar brokered the sale for Donnelley Rowley, an associate at a Manhattan law firm. The novel follows a young, newly-engaged New York City attorney who starts to question her seemingly-perfect and impending nuptials. Jennifer Weltz sold Susan Kelley's novel, By Accident, to Claiborne Hancock at Pegasus; the book follows a grieving mother whose teenage daughter recently just died, and whose life is precariously reinvigorated when a handsome younger man moves in next door. And, in a five figure deal, Jennifer Weltz also sold Sandra Worth's The Pale Rose of England to Jackie Cantor at Berkley Books. The novel, historical fiction, follows Lady Catherine, wife of the Duke of York, who is given over to the king after her husband, Pretender to the throne of England, is put away. Weltz is in London handling foreign rights for the agency.