Hot Deals

Hot Deals
John F. Baker -- 12/18/00

Big Hyperion Deal for 'CEO' Author | Rightscenter Offers New Deal
French Prizewinner to Random | Two-Book Buy for Rural Carpenter
Short Takes

Big Hyperion Deal for 'CEO' Author
Mary Ellen O'Neill
at Hyperion has laid out a very substantial sum (believed to be over six figures) to retain bestselling business author Jeffrey J. Fox (How to Become CEO ). It was a three-book deal, negotiated by agent Doris S. Michaels, the first fruits of which will be How to Be a Great Boss, scheduled for May 2002. Meanwhile, the CEO book and How to Be a Rainmaker are successful backlist titles, and his next, Don't Send a Résumé,is due next May, with a planned first printing of 75,000. Michaels kept U.K. and translation rights, as well as audio and dramatic.

Rightscenter Offers New, the online rights trading service, has announced a new set of publishing tools that can help the operations of various publisher departments, such as rights and permissions, sales, marketing and publicity. The package, called Enterprise, is available for companies signing up for an annual subscription, and can be paid for on an annual, quarterly or monthly basis. Use of the tools enables departments to share information among themselves and with retailers, streamline permissions requests and royalty accounting, create online catalogues and list titles more quickly and easily on the site. According to CEO Kip Parent, the new model was introduced, after consultation with publisher customers, for those "who are serious about developing an effective digital content and rights strategy."

French Prizewinner to RandomA novel that won France's Prix Femina, and caused a stir there when it failed to take the Goncourt, too, has been bought by senior editor Joy de Menil for hard/soft at Random House. In Those Arms by Camille Laurens has sold more than 100,000 copies in France since its publication there three months ago. De Menil describes it as "a stylish, saucy, smart, funny novel" about a woman and her relationships with all the various men in her life. She preempted from the French Publishers Agency in New York, which sold it on behalf of French publisher POL. The book was also bought at auction by Bloomsbury in the U.K., and De Menil hopes to publish here next year. In another example of a sudden burst of interest in French novels, Eric Chinski at Houghton Mifflin picked up Farewell My Lovely One, by a former publisher, Antoine Audouard, whose work is now handled by his wife, Paris agent Susanna Lea. It's a retelling of the Heloise-Aberlard story, and was also a French bestseller, for Gallimard.

Two-Book Buy for Rural Carpenter
William Gay
, a 57-year-old carpenter from Tennessee whose fiction has won several awards, and whose second novel, Provinces of Night, is due out later this month, has a new two-book deal with Amy Scheibe at Doubleday for another novel, Cut Flowers, and a book of short stories, I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down. The healthy six-figure North American deal was put together by agent Amy Williams at the Gernert Company. Gay only began publishing stories a couple of years ago, and his first novel, The Long Home,was published by small publisher MacMurray &Beck in late 1998. He was paying his first visit to New York in 25 years when he kicked off an 11-city tour for Provinces there last week.

Corn: New book
at old house.
Short Takes Dutton editor Laurie Chittenden preempted, for a substantial six figures, one of those pieces of maritime history that are all the rage, written by a previous Dutton editor-in-chief. He is Charles Corn, and the book is The Drums of Quallah Battoo: Salem Pepper Traders and Sumatran Pirates, a story of how, in 1830, a spice trading ship was seized by pirates, inspiring the first punitive expedition ever launched by the U.S. Navy. World rights in the tale were sold by West Coast agent B.J. Robbins.... Morgan Entrekin at Grove Atlantic bought two books by British author Lawrence Norfolk (Lempriere's Dictionary), whom he describes as "one of the most talented and interesting writers in the English language today." The first is In the Shape of a Boar, just published in London; the sale was made by Carole Blake at London's Blake
Philbrick: Return
of an NBA winner.
Friedmann Agency.... Viking Penguin's Wendy Wolf responded within 24 hours to a new proposal by National Book Award winner Nathaniel Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea). She bought North American rights in a book about an American naval expedition in 1838-1842 that mapped much of the Pacific, and discovered and named Antarctica--and ended in legal wranglings between captain and crew. The agent who made the deal was Stuart Krichevsky, and Wolf hopes to have the book available three years from now.... New agent Kyung Cho at the Henry Dunow agency made her first sale there on behalf of a former classmate at the Iowa Writer's Workshop, young Kevin Brockmeier, 26. She sold a story collection and a novel in a two-book world rights package to Jenny Minton at Pantheon, who preempted.