GCP Rides the Death Machine, Part Deux

Ben Greenberg at Grand Central Publishing took North American rights to a new story collection, This Is How You Die, by the creators of the self-published hit, Machine of Death. Agent PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit represented the editors of the new collection, Matthew Bennard, David Malki and Ryan North, in the deal. Machine of Death is an anthology of crowd-sourced short stories, each inspired by a comic from North’s Web series Dinosaur Comics. For a 24-hour stretch, the book hit #1 on Amazon (besting such legacy bestsellers as Keith Richards’s memoir, Life), after the trio launched a viral campaign encouraging readers to buy the book on the same day. Greenberg said GCP beat out a number of houses for This Is How You Die, which is subtitled Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death. The book is scheduled for July 2013, and will be released at San Diego Comic-Con.

HC Children’s Throws Down for YA Debut

In a major two-book deal, Rosemary Brosnan at HarperCollins Children’s Books pre-empted world English rights to Courtney C. Stevens’s YA debut, Faking Normal. Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented Stevens in the deal; the second book, which is currently untitled, will be a stand-alone novel. Faking Normal follows a 16-year-old girl and the relationship she develops with her awkward neighbor, a teenage boy, as she struggles to forget the traumatic events of the summer before. Sonnack said the book has “striking emotional staying power” and that its “final twist will keeps teens guessing, and get them talking.”

Clancy Series Moves to SMP

Tom Clancy’s bestselling series about a powerful, top-secret government agency and the people who run it, Op Center, is being rebooted at St. Martin’s Griffin. SMP publisher Matthew Shear bought North American rights, from agent Mel Berger at William Morris Endeavor, to four new books in the line. Dick Couch and George Galdorisi, who wrote the Clancy-branded novelization Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor (based on the 2012 film Act of Valor), are writing the new SMP Op Center novels, the first of which will be published in fall 2013 as a trade paperback. (Couch and Galdorisi both have military backgrounds—Couch was a Navy SEAL and Galdorisi is a retired Navy captain—which, SMP said, makes them ideal to tackle this series.) The Op Center series was launched in 1995 by Berkley—the series was written by Jeff Rovin and displayed the Clancy brand—and the last of the original Op Center books came out in 2005, also published by Berkley.

Philomel Inks Flanagan to Multi-book Contract

Bestselling author John Flanagan signed a North American rights, seven-book deal with Penguin’s Philomel imprint. The deal covers new books in a number of current series by the author, including the seventh and final title in his Ranger’s Apprentice series (which Penguin says has over four million copies in print), and four new books in his Brotherband series. Flanagan, as part of the deal, will also launch a prequel series to Ranger’s Apprentice called Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years, which will chronicle the childhood of the best known ranger, Halt. Philomel publisher Michael Green struck the deal with Catherine Drayton at Inkwell Management; the first book from the deal to drop, the last Ranger’s Apprentice title, is scheduled for fall 2013.