SMP Lands Miniter’s White House Book
George Witte, editor-in-chief at St. Martin’s Press, bought North American rights to journalist and bestseller Richard Miniter’s Leading from Behind. Richard Pine at Inkwell Management brokered the deal for Miniter, whose last book, Mastermind, about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was published by Penguin’s Sentinel imprint in May. In Leading, Miniter looks inside the Obama administration and, as SMP put it, “explores the president’s deferential and mercurial leadership style as it has been influenced by three powerful women: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, whose role in the White House has never been fully revealed.” The book is scheduled for fall 2012.
Philomel Re-Ups Sepetys
In a six-figure, two-book acquisition, Tamra Tuller at Philomel took world rights to the next two YA titles from its current author, Ruta Sepetys. (Philomel released Sepetys’s debut, Between Shades of Gray, in March.) Agent Ken Wright, at Writers House, brokered the new deal for Sepetys, and the first novel, which is set near the end of WWII and is currently untitled, follows a family aboard the doomed ocean liner the Wilhelm Gustloff, which was sunk by a Soviet submarine as it was carrying thousands of European refugees trying to escape war-torn Europe. Wright said that Sepetys, who had family members aboard the ship, will draw from personal histories for the novel.
Jones Closes Double at Holt
In her first acquisitions as executive editor at Holt, Barbara Jones bought two memoirs, the first about addiction, and the second about a woman dealing with the loss of her twin sister. In the first deal, Jones took world rights to Nikki Moustaki’s The Bird Market for Paris, which intertwines the author’s descent into addiction with her life-saving relationship with her grandfather and his love of birds. Joy Tutela at the David Black Agency handled the sale, and Holt is planning a summer 2013 release. In the second deal, Jones bought North American rights to Christa Parravani’s Her, which Lisa Bankoff at ICM sold. In the book, Parravani, a photographer, chronicles the bond she had with her twin sister, Cara, and how she coped with Cara’s sudden death, in 2006, of a drug overdose. Her is scheduled for early 2013.
Siegel’s Roman à Clef Lands at Weinstein
Agent Ryan Harbage, at Fischer-Harberge, sold world rights, at auction, to campaign fund-raiser Bridget Siegel’s debut novel, Domestic Affairs, to Weinstein Books. (Judy Hottensen acquired the book, before she left Weinstein for Grove, and the new Weinstein publisher, who has not been named yet, will be taking over the title.) Siegel was the finance director for the Kerry–Edwards campaign and, in February, the New York Post ran a gossip item about her shopping a roman à clef about an Edwards-like character whose political life is derailed by an affair; the Post called the book “Primary Colors meets The Devil Wears Prada.” Harbage said the novel is about “an idealistic, 20-something campaign staffer who sacrifices everything in the months leading up to campaign season to help a Southern governor become president, and how the chemistry between her and the married candidate threatens to unwind everything they’ve worked for.”
Tegen Gets YA Debut by ‘The Intern’
In a six-figure, two-book pre-empt, Molly O’Neill at HarperCollins’s Katherine Tegen Books bought North American rights to Hilary Smith’s YA debut, Midnight at the Radio Temple. Laura Rennert at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency handled the auction for O’Neill and said the novel, which is scheduled for summer 2013, is a coming-of-age story about a teenage musician who uncovers shocking family secrets during “an unforgettable summer of love and chaos, music and madness.” Smith was behind the formerly anonymous publishing blog, The Intern (www.internspills.blogspot.com), in which she chronicled toiling away as an unpaid laborer in the editorial department at a nameless publishing house; the blog became something of an industry phenomenon in 2009, drawing, at its height, 10,000 visits per month.
Laurie Frankel’s Deadmail, one of the buzzed-about Frankfurt books we reported on from the fair, has been sold for film and bought in a number of foreign countries. Doubleday’s Alison Callahan bought North American rights to the book, which has been given the new title of Goodbye for Now, in October, and it has been optioned by Summit Entertainment. Molly Friedrich at the Friedrich Agency, who reps Frankel, also confirmed that the title has now sold in 17 countries. The novel is a love story about a computer whiz who invents a way for people to communicate electronically (e-mail, etc.) with the dead.
Executive editor at Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Kate O’Sullivan, acquired world rights to Alan Rabinowitz’s debut picture book, My Promise, in a deal handled by Anna Olswanger at Liza Dawson Associates. In the book, Rabinowitz, a zoologist who has focused on protecting endangered cat species, explores a topic he has spoken about publicly: the shame he felt as a child with a stutter. HMH said Rabinowitz was drawn to working with animals because “they like him, couldn’t talk.” The book is slated for spring 2013.