Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has announced a partnership with the production company the Gotham Group to develop the publisher's books into TV, film and other forms of mass entertainment. LBYR said the agreement is intended to exploit its "original IP properties with strong book, film and entertainment potential."
The announcement came from LBYR's executive v-p and publisher, Megan Tingley; Gotham Group's founder and CEO, Ellen Goldsmith Vein; and Eddie Gamarra, co-head of Gotham Group's literary department.
The partnership will officially launch with the spring 2018 publication of Tracey Deebs's Phantom Wheel. The YA thriller, about a group of teenage hackers and coders trying to undo damage they accidentally wrought, was conceived in a development meeting between the two companies. Deebs was then tapped to write the book, which is being released as a paperback original.
Kara Sargent, LBYR's editor-in-chief of licensing, will oversee the publishing side of the book's release. Goldsmith-Vein and Gamarra will handle adaptation opportunities for the title in film and television.
This set-up, the companies said, is a logical template for future projects. As LBYR explained in a release, the companies will "conceive, develop, publish, and produce content across a wide array of traditional and evolving entertainment media." Elaborating on the partnership, Tingley said the pairing allows the companies to work together on projects "from the point of conception," with an eye trained on ideas that will translate seamlessly "into entertainment media."
Citing Tony DiTerlizzi's Spiderwick Chronicles as an example of a client that with a book concept that was made for film, Goldmsith-Vein explained how her company sold "the movie first, and then the books." (The first novel in the series was published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in 2003, and the film adaptation was released by Paramount in 2008.) This is the kind of scenario that Goldsmith-Vein envisions from this partnership, she said, noting that the companies can "provide great content to the studios and networks in the traditional and digital spaces."
As Tingley put it: "We are both in the storytelling business and it’s exciting to join forces and take our combined expertise in this innovative new direction."