Another young comedian, who found fame on television, is shopping a book. PW has learned that Richard Abate, at 3 Arts Entertainment, is out with a proposal for a short story collection by The Office actor/writer BJ Novak. The book, which, as of Tuesday, had a rumored nine bidders vying for it, is being pitched as something in the vein of comedic writers like Woody Allen and Joshua Ferris.
According to sources, Abate has promised editors that Novak, who is adapting the stories from a popular series he performs at Upright Citizens Brigade, will bring his audience into the promotion of the book via Twitter and other social networking platforms, as well as by signing books after stops on a planned comedy tour of the U.S.
While some in the media have claimed that certain up-and-coming comedic actors are fetching advances that are too high--namely Lena Dunham, who recently scored a $3 million-plus deal with Random House--Novak's likely comparison is to his former Office castmate, Mindy Kaling. Kaling's book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, which is also a collection, has sold, according to Nielsen BookScan, over 116,000 copies in hardcover, and over 100,000 copies in trade paperback at outlets that report to BookScan.
Abate was not available for comment at press time.