Deal of the Week: Morrow’s Wallet Bulges for Whitey Bulger

According to Peter Steinberg at Foundry Literary + Media, “a lot of editors wanted Misery Mountain: The Inside Story Behind the Pursuit, Capture and Killing of Mob Boss Whitey Bulger,” but it was Matt Harper at William Morrow who snatched up North American and audio rights in a preempt in the low-to-mid six figures. Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge, a nonfiction team with a bent for tales of Boston, relate the story of infamous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, with cooperation from Ritchie Eaton and Neil Sullivan, detectives who worked on the Bulger case.


Gallery Books Signs Meghan Daum

Aimee Bell, v-p, editorial director at Gallery Books, acquired U.S., Canada, open market, and audio rights to The Problem with Everything by Meghan Daum, a former L.A. Times op-ed columnist who is the author of The Unspeakable and a 2015 Guggenheim fellow. In a release from the publisher, Daum said that the book, scheduled for publication in October, is about “the conflicted and tortured state of liberalism generally and feminism in particular.” Tina Bennett at WME brokered the deal.

Hanover Goes for Kasich

Jenny Bent, who has an eponymous agency, sold North American and audio rights for former Ohio governor John Kasich’s book It’s Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Change to Peter Joseph, editorial director of Hanover Square Press. In the book, which is slated for October, Kasich shares the guiding principles that have informed his public life for more than three decades. “We are thrilled to be publishing It’s Up to Us and look forward to sharing Governor Kasich’s hard-won experiences and life lessons to help Americans bridge the deep divide in this country,” Joseph says. “In these pages, we hope readers find the inspiration and guidance needed to help bring about the positive change we all want to see.”

Putnam Plunges In for ‘Little Threats’

In her first acquisition at Putnam, Danielle Dieterich preempted world rights to Emily Schultz’s Little Threats. Dieterich said she felt confident making this her maiden voyage, because “the kind of suspense that Schultz excels at—insightful, fast-paced, and beautifully written—is not only a fit for Putnam but is what readers have been gravitating toward these days.” In her follow-up to The Blondes,named a best book of 2015 by NPR, Schultz tells a story about the new questions and old tragedies that surface after a young woman who was found guilty of murdering her best friend is released from prison. Ryan Harbage of the Fischer Harbage Agency represented the author.

Dutton Buys a Seat at the Trump Show

At Dutton, John Parsley signed a deal with David Larabell at CAA for North American rights to Front Row at the Trump Show by Jonathan Karl, ABC News’chief White House correspondent, to be published in 2020. Karl’s book takes readers behind the scenes and shows what it is like to cover an unconventional White House and a president who has declared war on the press. Karl covered the Bush and Obama presidencies and has followed Trump since the early 1990s, when he was a reporter for the New York Post.

Blackstone Woos Authors Away from PRH

Blackstone has ventured beyond audio into print and e-books of late, and now, in a new partnership with the Story Factory, the company is expanding its presence in those markets. Launching the partnership is a seven-figure deal with three authors with impressive records: Steve Hamilton, Reed Farrel Coleman, and Meg Gardiner, all of whom have been published by Penguin Random House. Shane Salerno of the Story Factory represented all three authors during the months-long negotiations with Josh Stanton, CEO of Blackstone. The three authors moving to Blackstone have a combined 60 novels in print, six New York Times bestsellers, and 45 nominations for international literary awards, with 17 winners.

Viking Snags Comedian Aparna Nancherla

In an exclusive submission, Viking’s Georgia Bodnar scooped up Imposter Syndrome by Aparna Nancherla, a comedian, writer, and costar of Comedy Central’s Corporate, from CAA. The forthcoming collection of essays offers a meditation on her experiences with anxiety and depression, using humor to illuminate her interior life.

Behind the Deal

Harper’s Emily Griffin dished out seven figures for world rights to the next two books by Liv Constantine, a pseudonym for sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine, the duo behind The Last Mrs. Parrish, which was published last year and was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club. Last Time I Saw You, their second book is due in May.

The first of the new contract, The Wife Stalker, due out in summer 2020, is a psychological suspense story that centers on Joanna, whose ex-husband has married a woman, Piper, whom Joanna suspects is a black widow, as her two previous ex-husbands—and a stepdaughter—died in tragic accidents. Fearing for the safety of her children and her ex-husband, Joanna is determined to win her family back. But Piper is equally determined to keep them for herself and schemes to make Joanna look deranged and dangerous.

In a separate two-book deal, Griffin also bought world rights to two thrillers from Lynne Constantine, writing under the pseudonym L.C. Shaw, that will launch the Jack Logan series, which centers on an investigative journalist. Both deals were negotiated by Bernadette Baker-Baughman at Victoria Sanders & Associates.


● In good news for library geeks everywhere, TV rights to Susan Orlean’s The Library Book were sold to Paramount Television and Anonymous Content, in association with Brillstein Entertainment, according to Variety. Orlean will adapt the book for television along with James Ponsoldt, who will direct the pilot. Anonymous and Inkwell Management negotiated on behalf of the author. “I am so excited to see this book leap from the page to the screen and tell the story of a place that’s so well-loved and complex and interesting,” Orlean said.


The Bookseller reports that Simon & Schuster scooped up U.K. and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to The Killing in the Consulate: The Life and Death of Jamal Khashoggi by Jonathan Rugman, London’s Channel 4 News foreign affairs correspondent. Rugman said,

“It was shocking to return to Istanbul to report on the killing and dismemberment of a fellow journalist. My book bears witness to Jamal’s life as well as to his death. His story needs to be told and it should never be forgotten.”

● According to Publishers Marketplace, Stacey Hall’s as-yet-untitled sophomore effort, set in Edwardian England, sold to Margaret Stead at Zaffre for six figures. Her debut, The Familiars sold to eight countries. Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens repped the author.

For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.