Abrams Acquires New Ellen Potter Series

As part of a three-book deal, Abrams editor-in-chief Susan Van Metre acquired world English rights, in a preempt, to a new chapter book series, Big Foot & Little Foot, by Ellen Potter, author of the Olivia Kidney and Piper Green series. According to Alice Tasman of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, who negotiated the deal, the new series centers on two characters, “Hugo, a young Sasquatch looking for adventure, and Boone, a young boy looking for a Sasquatch, who team up to search for mythical beasts while learning about each other’s very different worlds.” The first book in the series is expected to be published in spring 2018.

Jacobs Lands at MCD/FSG

MCD/FSG executive editor Daphne Durham has acquired Liska Jacobs’s debut novel, Catalina, in a preempt, as part of a two-book deal. Hill Nadell Literary Agency’s Dara Hyde, who represented the author, says that Jacobs was “highly sought after at the [UC Riverside–Palm Desert M.F.A.] program by agents and editors alike.” Jacobs’s novel, set to be published in the fall of 2017, follows a young woman on a post-job-loss bender who travels to California’s Catalina Island, where she’s forced to “confront who she really is.” The MCD/FSG imprint was launched earlier this year, with Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s Sean McDonald as publisher.

Flatiron Picks Up a Prescient Novel

In a preemptive bid that took place this summer, Flatiron Books v-p and senior editor Amy Einhorn acquired world rights to Reed King’s FKA USA, a speculative novel that Inkwell’s Stephen Barbara, who represented King in the deal, calls “eerily prescient.” Comparing it to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Barbara said that FKA USA imagines a “final, disastrous president” of the United States, “a despotic billionaire whose self-interested rule provokes a massive civil war and the splintering of the states into individual countries,” thereby “[ushering] in the end of the union.” The novel features a young man who has been tasked with a secret mission and who is assisted in his endeavors by three unlikely companions. Flatiron plans to publish the book in winter 2018.

Abawi Sells YA Novel to Philomel

In a second deal involving Inkwell’s Stephen Barbara, the agent sold world English rights to Atia Abawi’s YA novel A Land of Permanent Goodbyes to Jill Santopolo of Philomel Books. Abawi, a journalist and former Afghanistan-based foreign correspondent for NBC News and CNN, is also the author of The Secret Sky (Speak, 2014), for which she was named a 2014 Publishers Weekly Flying Start. According to Barbara, A Land of Permanent Goodbyes centers on “Tareq, a Syrian teenager who, after losing most of his family in an air strike, begins a harrowing journey with his sister to Europe.”

‘Billy Lynn’ Author Brings Nonfiction Book to Ecco

Ecco editorial director Megan Lynch acquired North American rights to Beautiful Country, Burn Again by Ben Fountain, the author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco, 2012), in a deal negotiated by Heather Schroder of Compass Talent. According to the publisher, the book, Fountain’s first nonfiction title, will expand on a series of pieces the author wrote about the U.S. election for the Guardian exploring “America’s existential political and cultural crisis.” It is set to be published in 2018.

Cassidy Goes to Black Dog

Rebecca Koh, editorial director of Hachette Book Group imprint Black Dog & Leventhal, acquired world rights for This Is What a Librarian Looks Like, by author and photographer Kyle Cassidy, in a deal negotiated by Gordon Warnock of Fuse Literary. Based on a popular Slate photo essay of the same name, the book features photographs of librarians and writers alongside ruminations about the role of libraries in today’s society. The book’s contributors include George R.R. Martin, Jeff VanderMeer, Jude Deveraux, and Neil Gaiman. Black Dog plans to publish the book in May 2017 to coincide with the American Library Association’s Libraries Transform campaign and EveryLibrary’s Year of the Librarian campaign.

S&S Picks Up Memoir by Medal of Honor Recipient

Simon & Schuster executive editor Bob Bender acquired world rights, in a preempt, to Eight Seconds of Courage, a memoir by Florent Groberg, a Medal of Honor recipient, and Tom Sileo. The book tells of how Groberg, a U.S. Army captain, intercepted a suicide bomber while on a mission in Afghanistan. The act saved lives but caused Groberg severe injuries, which required dozens of surgeries over the course of three years. According to agent E.J. McCarthy, who negotiated the deal, the book also touches on Groberg’s standing as a French immigrant to the U.S.; now an American citizen, he is the first foreign-born person to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.