Putnam Buys French Hit

Raphaëlle Giordano’s French bestseller, Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One, was acquired in a North American rights agreement by Tara Singh Carlson at Putnam. The lengthily titled novel has, according to Putnam, been bought by publishers in more than 28 territories and sold more than one million copies.

Originally published in France in 2015, the book was, Putnam explained, “pitched as The Happiness Project meets The Alchemist”; it is about an 38-year-old woman “whose mission to cure her ‘routine-itis’ leads her to lasting joy and true fulfilment.” The book spent 60 straight weeks atop French bestseller lists and has become “a runaway word-of-mouth bestseller,” Putnam said. The novel, which Laura Mamelok at Susanna Lea Associates sold on behalf of Editions Eyrolles, is Giordano’s fiction debut. (She previously published several self-help titles in France.) Putnam has Second Life set for a summer 2018 release.

Roosevelt Picture Book to Roaring Brook

A picture book by Eleanor Roosevelt, first published in 1932, is getting a face-lift and a new shelf life. World rights to a new version of When You Grow Up to Vote were acquired by Katherine Jacobs at Roaring Book Press. Michelle Markel (The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau) will be updating the text, and Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon) will be illustrating. Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary and Liza Dawson at Liza Dawson Associates represented the Eleanor Roosevelt estate. Olswanger said the new book will, like the original, aim to “introduce young readers to government by portraying government workers as regular folk, rather than faceless bureaucrats without roots in the communities they serve.” Olswanger also represented Markel in the deal, and Rebecca Sherman at Writers House represented Lin. The book is slated for September 2018.

Robards Gets Seven Figures at Mira

In a seven-figure North American rights agreement, bestselling author Karen Robards sold three books to Margaret Marbury at Mira. The deal, for three standalone suspense titles, was negotiated by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group. Robards has written more than 50 novels in various genres ranging from historical romances to thrillers. Publication dates for the new books have not yet been set.

HQN Inks Morgan to Three

Flo Nicoll at HQN Books inked a world rights agreement for three standalone women’s fiction titles by Sarah Morgan. Morgan, who was represented by Susan Ginsburg at Writers House, is a three-time Rita Award winner and has, according to the publisher, sold 15 million copies of her books to date. HQN added that Morgan is known for “happy contemporary romance” mixed with “her trademark humor and sensuality.” Each standalone, HQN said, “concerns a different multigenerational family.” The first book under contract is set for summer 2018.

Stanford Undergrad Closes Cookbook Deal

Incoming Stanford University freshman and YouTube star Rachel Fong sold her first cookbook to Amanda Englander at Clarkson Potter. Fong is behind the popular YouTube channel Kawaii Sweet World; her agent, Kate McKean at the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency, said the book will feature recipes for desserts and baked goods in Fong’s “signature kawaii style.” (Kawaii means cute in Japanese.) Fong, McKean noted, has more than two million followers across YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

HC Lands ‘Hidden Figures’ Picture Book

Margot Lee Shetterly sold a picture book based on her bestseller (turned Oscar-winning film), Hidden Figures. Karen Chaplin at HarperCollins Children’s Books took world rights to the adaptation, which Shetterly is writing with Winifred Conkling. Laura Freeman is illustrating the book, which is set for January 2018. Mackenzie Brady Watson at Stuart Krichevsky Literary represented Shetterly, Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary represented Conkling, and Janet DeCarlo at StoryBook Arts represented Freeman.

Orbit Nabs Debut Trilogy

Orbit’s Lindsey Hall took world rights to an adult fantasy trilogy by Tyler Whitesides. Ammi-Joan Paquette at the Erin Murphy Literary Agency, who represented Whitesides, said book one, The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn, is set “in a world powered by dragon-fueled magic” and follows a young con artist who unleashes “a forbidden magic, which could be the one thing to save his world—or doom it forever.” Whitesides is the author of the middle grade series Janitors (Shadow Mountain), and Ardor Benn marks his adult fantasy debut.