Deal of the Week: Random House Kisses a Prince

On October 29, Prince’s memoir will be published. Esther Newberg and Dan Kirschen of ICM brokered the deal for world rights in 2016 with Chris Jackson at Random House. Prince died of an accidental drug overdose later that year and publication was delayed. The Beautiful Ones will combine Prince’s own writing, personal photos, and original lyric sheets. It culminates with his original handwritten treatment for the 1984 film Purple Rain, the publisher said. Dan Piepenbring, who was Prince’s chosen collaborator, will write the introduction. “Prince is a towering figure in global culture,” Jackson said. “This book is a beautiful tribute to his life... a genuinely moving and energizing literary work, full of Prince’s ideas and vision.”


HMH’s David Rosenthal Signs Two

It’s been a busy week for HMH editor-at-large David Rosenthal, who nabbed two high-profile books. From Flip Brophy at Sterling Lord Literistic, he bought world rights to Final Draft: The Selected Work of David Carr, which will be edited by Carr’s widow, Jill Rooney Carr. Ta-Nehisi Coates will provide an introduction. “David Carr was a great journalist, mentor, and teacher,” HMH publisher Bruce Nichols said. “His passing at age 58 was a tremendous loss, but with this collection, he can continue to inspire and teach us all.” The book collects Carr’s pieces from a range of publications including the Atlantic, New York magazine, the New York Times,the Twin Cities Reader, and the Washington City Paper. It is set for publication in spring 2020.

Rosenthal’s second big deal of the week was a preempt for two books from writer and cartoonist Will McPhail, whose work for the New Yorker has earned him the National Cartoonist Society’s Reuben Award for cartoonist of the year for the past two years. In, the Story of Nick is a graphic novel about an introverted illustrator and his quest to make real connections with others; it will be out in fall 2020. The second book in the deal, Collected Cartoons, will gather more than 50 of McPhail’s New Yorker cartoons and an equal number of previously unpublished works. Heather Karpas at ICM brokered the deal for North American rights.

Lily King’s Next Goes to Grove Atlantic

Elisabeth Schmitz at Grove Atlantic bought world rights from Julie Barer of the Book Group to Writers and Lovers by Lily King, the Kirkus Prize–winning author of Euphoria, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and was chosen by many for 2014 best books lists, including those by PW and the New York Times Book Review. The publisher described King’s new book, planned for publication in winter 2020, as “a captivating novel of love, art, and ambition that captures a transitional moment in a young woman’s struggle to succeed—creatively, financially, sexually, existentially.”

Avery Buys Moby’s Vegan Cookbook

Lately, musician, entrepreneur, activist, and philanthropist Moby has been putting down the mic and picking up the pen. On the eve of next week’s publication by Faber & Faber of his new memoir, Then I Fell Apart, he signed a deal with Avery’s Lucia Watson for Moby’s Little Pine Kitchen Cookbook, due for release in spring 2021. Known by some as “the godfather of veganism,” according to his publisher, Moby is the owner of Little Pine Kitchen, a contemporary vegan restaurant in Los Angeles’s Silver Lake neighborhood. The restaurant donates 100% of its profits to animal charities. Angela Miller of Miller Bowers Literary Management brokered the deal for world rights.

GCP Goes for a Woman in Red

At Grand Central, Karen Kosztolnyik preempted The Woman in Red, a debut novel by Diana Giovinazzo, the cocreator of weekly literary podcast Wine, Women and Words and founder of the Creating Herstory blog, where she explores women’s history and literature. Her novel is, according to the publisher, the fictionalized true story of Anita Garibaldi, the headstrong revolutionary and fierce wife of Giuseppe Garibaldi, whom she fought alongside for liberty and national self-determination in Italy, Brazil, and Uruguay. Johanna V. Castillo at Writers House sold the world English rights.

Mother Jones’s Editor to Dey Street

Alessandra Bastagli at Dey Street Books acquired world English rights to Mother Jones national affairs editor Mark Follman’s Trigger Points. In the book, the publisher said, Follman offers a narrative about how mental health and law enforcement leaders in the emerging field of behavioral threat assessment are preventing mass shootings by identifying potential attackers before they strike. Howard Yoon of the Ross Yoon Agency repped the author.

Behind the Deal

Jenny Jackson, v-p, senior editor at Knopf, signed a high-six-figure, two-book deal with Swedish author Camilla Läckberg, who, Jackson said, is known as the “reigning Queen of crime in Europe” but hasn’t yet reached such notoriety in the U.S. Overseas, Läckberg’s books, including The Ice Princess and the rest of the Fjällbacka series, have been translated into 43 languages and sold more than 23 million copies. The U.S. rights to the two forthcoming books were sold by Anna Frankl and Joakim Hansson at the Nordin Agency in Stockholm.

Jackson is confident that, with the publication of the first book in the deal, The Golden Cage, Läckberg’s reputation in the U.S. will soar, noting that with an urban, cosmopolitan backdrop, it is a huge departure from the Scandinavian noir of her previous thrillers (published by Pegasus), which are all set in the small Swedish town of Fjällbacka. In Golden Cage, Jackson said, Läckberg weaves a suspenseful story about a woman who has it all: a perfect husband, a lovely daughter, a luxury apartment in the city—and a dark past. Describing it as Crazy Rich Asians but with more blood and champagne, the book is “over-the-top and juicy,” Jackson said. “It is a world of fabulousness with fashion, food, and snark—like Big Little Lies but with sharper teeth.”


● Across the pond, Picador scooped up three books by late American writer Bette Howland in a four-way auction, The Bookseller reported. Editor Kishani Widyaratna acquired the U.K. and Commonwealth rights from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein, in association with Renee Zuckerbrot at Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents. When the press publishes her complete story collection, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, in May 2020, it will be her first book published in the U.K. Her memoir W-3 and a trio of novellas, Things to Come and Go, will follow. A sometime lover and protegee of Saul Bellow, who called her “one of the significant writers of her generation,” Howland was awarded a MacArthur “genius grant” in 1984 but then never again published another book. Her books have been out of print for a while, but she was rediscovered by Brigid Hughes, founder of A Public Space, which will publish Calm Sea in May in the U.S. Widyaratna said she “had been waiting to read Howland’s writing ever since reading about her mysterious and tragic story.”

● Also in the U.K., there’s excitement about Jennifer Weiner’s first novel in four years, Mrs. Everything. The Bookseller reported that Little, Brown imprint Piatkus picked up U.K. and Commonwealth rights from Lisa Keim at Atria. The book follows two sisters with differing dreams and paths over three decades.

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