SMP Nabs Plank’s ‘Man’

Hannah Braaten at St. Martin’s Press took North American rights, in a preempt, to Liz Plank’s nonfiction book How to Be a Man. Eve Atterman at William Morris Endeavor handled the sale for Plank, a senior correspondent at Vox Media who also hosts (and produces) the video series and podcast Divided States of Women. The book, set for fall 2019, will, SMP said, explore the state of masculinity “in an age when the attitudes and behaviors of men are receiving unprecedented amounts of scrutiny.” Braaten said she thinks the book “nails it on what it’s like to be surrounded by a patriarchal gendered system, and how men can benefit from challenging it.”

Abrahams Moves Canine Series to Forge

After eight years writing the series Dog on It under the pseudonym Spencer Quinn for Simon & Schuster, Peter Abrahams is going to continue the line with a new publisher. Abrahams struck a world English rights deal with Forge Books for two new titles in the series, which follows a PI named Bernie and his canine sidekick, Chet, who narrates the proceedings. S&S has published eight titles in the series to date. The new books were acquired by Kristin Sevick from Molly Friedrich at the Friedrich Agency.

Putnam Buys Owens’s First Novel

Scientist and bestselling nonfiction author Delia Owens (Secrets of the Savanna) closed a world rights agreement with Putnam for her debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing. The book, set for fall 2018, was preempted by Tara Singh Carlson from Russell Galen at Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. Owens, a wildlife specialist, has coauthored three books about her glamorous (and sometimes dangerous) work in Africa and has written for publications such as Life and Sports Illustrated. Her novel, Putnam said, which is “in the vein of Barbara Kingsolver, juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world with a young girl’s heartbreaking coming-of-age story and a shocking murder investigation.”


In one of Severn House’s first acquisitions since being bought by Canongate, Kate Lyall Grant took world rights to Catherine O’Connell’s The Last Night Out. Helen Breitwieser at Cornerstone Literary Agency represented O’Connell. The work of domestic suspense, set for a May 2018 hardcover release, follows a woman who, after her bachelorette party, wakes up to find that there’s a strange man in her bed and one of her best friends is dead. Grant said the novel is a “gripping page-turner” that “combines the suspense of Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood with the appealing, complicated characters of Marian Keyes.”

Aliza Fogelson sold her debut novel, The Lending Library, to Danielle Marshall at Lake Union Publishing.

Marshall took world rights to the book from Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency. Ruley said the novel, about a quirky and passionate book lover named Dodie Fairisle, was pitched as “Anne of Green Gables for grown-ups.” It follows Fairisle, Ruley explained, as she sets up a lending library in her New England town, only to discover she is “in over her head.” Fogelson is a book editor who works largely on lifestyle titles and cookbooks.