Wolff Takes Bregman

Rick Wolff at Grand Central bought world rights to Peter Bregman’s 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done. Bregman, founder of the consulting firm Bregman Partners and a columnist for CNN and the Harvard Business Review online, offers guidelines on how people can better use their time to do the things in life that matter most. Though the title will be on the Business Plus list, Wolff, who pre-empted the book from agent Giles Anderson, said 18 Minutes is a book about “time and life management” that will help readers improve their quality of life (not just their job performance). Wolff, who plans to publish the title in fall 2011, compared Bregman’s book to iconic business/self-help titles like The 4-Hour Work Week.

Blind Sided

Scott Waxman, at Waxman Literary, sold world rights to Michael Oher’s autobiography, I Beat the Odds: My Amazing Journey from Foster Care to the NFL and Beyond, to Megan Newman at Gotham Books. Oher is the subject of Michael Lewis’s bestseller-turned-hit-movie, The Blind Side, and here discusses for the first time his life before he met the Touhys, the family that took him in.

Morrow Gets Shut-In

Cassie Jones at William Morrow took world English rights to Sara Benincasa’s Agorafabulous!Scott Mendel of Mendel Media sold the book, which details the comedian’s not-so-funny struggles with agoraphobia, panic attacks, and anxiety disorder. Benincasa developed a profile creating vlogs during the 2008 presidential campaign and has been performing her one-woman show Agorafabulous! around the country. Mendel said there are also plans for a screen adaptation of the show.

Rennert Closes Two

Agent Amy Rennert just closed two deals, selling director Garry Marshall’s memoir, My Happy Days, and A.E. Willis’s debut novel, The Lost Saints of Tennessee. Shaye Areheart at Harmony pre-empted world English rights to Marshall’s story, which tracks the movie director’s life and career from his childhood in the Bronx through his time in Hollywood; Marshall is co-writing with his daughter, Lori. Elisabeth Schmitz at Grove/Atlantic bought world rights to Willis’s book, which is set in Tennessee in 1940 and is, as Rennert described, “about the intersections of love, loyalty and self-sacrifice.”

'Saints’ in the City

Ecco’s Lee Boudreaux bought North American rights to Eleanor Henderson’s debut novel, Ten Thousand Saints, in a deal brokered by Sterling Lord’s Jim Rutman. Ecco calls the book an “ensemble coming-of-age story”; it’s set in New York City during the late 1980s and follows Jude, who moves from his small Vermont town after his best friend’s death to live with his estranged father in New York, where he gets sucked into the Straight Edge movement. Henderson got her M.F.A. at the University of Virginia, and her short story “The Farm” appeared in Best American Short Stories of 2009; Ecco is planning a summer 2011 publication.

African Adventure

Sally Wofford-Girand at Brick House Literary sold world rights to Max Alexander’s The Gong-Man: A Business Adventure in Darkest Africa. Hyperion’s Elisabeth Dyssegaard acquired the book, which recounts Alexander and his brother Whit’s attempt to start a viable business in Ghana with a mission: employ local workers. The brothers—Whit founded Cranium (the company behind the board game of the same name)—get more than they bargained for when they wrestle with everything from a machete attack to staving off malaria.


Agent Sandra Dijkstra sold world rights to journalist Roddy Boyd’s Fatal Risk: A Tale of AIG and Modern Corporate Suicide. Pamela van Giessen at Wiley bought the book, which, per the agency, relies on new documents pertaining to the collapse of the financial giant along with on-the-record interviews with key players. Boyd has worked for Fortune and the New York Post.

Melody Guy at Ballantine/One World took world rights to Judge Karen Mills-Francis’s Stay in Your Lane: Judge Karen’s Navigational Guide to Living Your Best Life. Maura Teitelbaum at Abrams Artists brokered the deal for Mills-Francis, whose former show, Judge Karen, airs in syndication and whose new show, Judge Karen’s Court, premieres in September.

Europa Editions’ Kent Carroll bought U.S. rights to Henry Sutton’s Get Me Out of Here, a novel Harvill Secker published in the U.K. about the financial crisis. Melanie Jackson brokered the deal, and Carroll said the book echoes what Tom Wolfe did 10 years ago, using “fiction to capture the spirit of the culture of irresponsible entitlement.”

Colin Dickerman at Rodale pre-empted North American rights to Sam Sheridan’s The Disaster Diaries: My Journey to Self-Sufficiency in Armageddon. David Kuhn did the deal for Sheridan (A Fighter’s Heart), an amateur boxer and Harvard alum who’s also been a wildland firefighter and construction worker. In the book he delineates the skills you need to survive a bevy of apocalyptic scenarios.