Making for a relatively busy deal-making weekend, at least by summer publishing standards, three major names have announced new books. Jimmy Connors has signed with HarperCollins to do his autobiography, Dave Barry has agreed to two new books with Putnam and 50 Cent is doing a book on bullying for Razorbill.
Connors, who won eight grand slams over the course of his near 30-year career on the court, sold North American rights to the currently untitled book to executive editor David Hirshey, who will also edit. The title, which is slated for June 2012 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the tennis star's last Wimbledon trophy (as well as his 60th birthday), will touch on everything from his relationships with bold-faced names in the tennis world--including his long-standing rivalry with John McEnroe and his engagement to Chris Evert--as well as his often-colorful antics on the court. Robin Straus at the Robin Straus Agency handled the U.S. rights deal for Connors.
The Barry deal, which sees the humorist re-up with his standing imprint, Putnam, is for two new adult novels; the first book is called Lunatics and Barry will be co-writing it with Thurber Prize winner Alan Zweibel. Details on the second book have not yet come together. Neil Nyren at Putnam took world rights in the acquisition, in which Laura Nolan at Paradigm represented Zweibel, while Amy Berkower at Writers House represented Barry. Lunatics is slated for January 2012 and the second book for early 2013.
50 Cent, whose book Playground was bought by Razorbill publisher Ben Schrank, will address the topic of bullying in novel format; the book is planned to be a first person fictional account and the title will be edited by Laura Arnold. Marc Gerald at the Agency Group brokered the world rights deal, and Playground is scheduled for January 2012.