Machinist Closes Double
Agent Alexandra Machinist, of Janklow & Nesbit Associates, closed two separate deals last week, selling a recent MFA grad's first novel and multiple books by a U.K. bestseller. In the first deal, which is for two books, Machinist sold world English rights to Courtney Miller Santo's debut, Roots of the Olive Tree, to Carrie Feron at William Morrow. Feron pre-empted the novel, along with a second work, for six figures. Santo has an MFA from the University of Memphis, and Roots, which Machinist likened to Sue Monk Kidd's bestseller The Secret Life of Bees, follows an inter-generational group of women who live on an olive grove and whose bonds, and secrets, are exposed when a geneticist arrives to study the key to their longevity.
In the second deal, Machinist, working with fellow agent Luke Janklow, sold U.S. rights to four novels by Tilly Bagshawe—Scandalous, Flawless, Do Not Disturb and Fame—to Daphne Durham and Maria Gomez at Amazon's new romance imprint, Montlake. Machinist said Bagshawe will be a "tentpole author" for Montlake, which will release the books in digital and print on a quick timeline, publishing one title every three months, likely starting in November, when the imprint is scheduled to launch. Bagshawe is a British journalist who writes for, among other publications, the Sunday Times and Daily Mail; all the books in the deal have already been published in the U.K.
Russakoff Explores New Jersey Ed for HMH
Washington Post reporter Dale Russakoff sold her nonfiction book The Prize: Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Christie, Cory Booker and the Battle for Newark's Schoolchildren to Deanne Urmy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Joelle Delbourgo, who runs her own eponymous agency, brokered the North American rights deal, at auction, for Russakoff, and HMH is planning a fall 2013 publication. Russakoff has been working for the Post for nearly 30 years and explores the race to fix Newark's failing schools in the book. As Delbourgo explained, Russakoff had "exceptional access" to the titular players, including the notoriously press-shy Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who announced he was donating $100 million to the city's school system on The Oprah Winfrey Show this past fall.
Hyperion is All About the Fiber for Zuckerbrot
Hyperion's Elisabeth Dyssegaard and Gretchen Young bought North American rights to dietician Tanya Zuckerbrot's new book, The F-Factor Diet Rev Up. Agent Richard Abate brokered the deal for Zuckerbrot, whose 2006 The F-Factor Diet (Putnam) was a bestseller. Zuckerbrot, who counsels celebrities about eating, once again touts the benefits of a fiber-rich meal plan here, and also sets out to disprove the notion that foods heavy in fiber are boring or unappetizing. The new diet book, which is scheduled for May 2012, comes at a moment when Zuckerbrot, the official dietician to the Miss Universe pageant, is expanding her brand empire—her new line of F-Factor foods are available in various high-end grocery stores, F-Factor centers will be cropping up in retail centers, and the next year will see her in F-Factor infomercials.