J.K. Rowling has a new book... and it's not for kids. The author has signed a world English deal with Little, Brown, selling print, e-book, and audio rights to her first novel for adults. David Shelley, publisher of the Little, Brown Book Group in the U.K., will be editing the work, which is currently untitled; he brokered the deal with Neil Blair of the Blair Partnership. Rumors have surfaced that Little, Brown was given an exclusive on the work.
Michael Pietsch, publisher of Little, Brown in the U.S., will be handling the American publication of the novel.
LB said that, along with the book's title, it will announce a publication date and plot details later in the year. In a statement Rowling said: "Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series.... The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life."
This news comes after much speculation about Rowling's next moves in the publishing world. Last year, she announced Pottermore, a new Web site that would offer a deeper window into the Harry Potter universe. Pottermore launched in beta in October 2011 as a solo project, hinting that Rowling might be looking to leverage her brand outside of the print system that made her famous. (The site has still not gone live in any official capacity.) This deal, however, indicates that the author is, for the moment at least, not done with traditional publishing.