DEAL OF THE WEEK
Krantz’s ‘Monogamy’ Flirts with Harmony
In a six-figure sale, Bustle writer Rachel Krantz sold her debut nonfiction work, Anything but Monogamy, to Harmony Books. Peter McGuigan at Foundry Literary + Media, who represented Krantz, brokered the North American rights agreement with Harmony’s Donna Loffredo. Claiming he pitched the book as “Lisa Taddeo does polyamory and actually has sex with her subjects,” McGuigan said the title is on submission in foreign markets now, where it’s gaining traction. Slated for 2021, the book is an investigation of nonmonogamous sexual practices among women, pegged to statistics showing that these practices are on the rise among them. The book’s pitch letter claims it is a “deeply personal account of one journalist’s not-so-conventional sexual journey [that] breaks down the barriers surrounding nonmonogamy—and brings this ‘hush hush’ topic out from behind closed doors.”
FROM THE U.S.
Carrey’s Fiction to Knopf
For Knopf, Sonny Mehta nabbed world rights to a novel by Jim Carrey titled Memoirs and Misinformation. Knopf said the novel, written with Dana Vachon (Mergers and Acquisitions), is a “semiautobiographical deconstruction of persona” about “acting, Hollywood, agents, celebrity, privilege, friendship, loneliness, romance, and a cataclysmic ending of the world.” David Kuhn at Aevitas Creative Management sold the book, which is set for May 2020.
SMP Summits Davidson’s ‘Everest’
Mountaineer and bestselling author Jim Davidson (The Ledge) sold a new book about his travails on Mt. Everest to St. Martin’s Press. George Witte took world rights to The Next Everest, for six figures, from Sharlene Martin at Martin Literary & Media Management. Davidson survived a 2015 earthquake on Everest that claimed the lives of 18 climbers, and then, two years later, returned to the peak and finally reached its summit. The book is set for May 2021.
Hirano Arrives at Amazon Crossing
In a world English rights acquisition, Gabriella Page-Fort at Amazon Crossing bought two novels by award-winning Japanese author Keiichiro Hirano, titled A Man and At the End of the Matinee. Hirano’s work is currently available in a number of languages, but these editions will mark the first time he has been translated into English. Both novels, the publisher said, “focus on characters in the midst of a midlife reckoning.” Daihei Shiohama at Media Do International handled the sale for the author.
Bowen Re-ups at Lake Union
For six figures, Danielle Marshall at Lake Union Publishing took world rights to two historical novels by Rhys Bowen. Meg Ruley and Christina Hogrebe at the Jane Rotrosen Agency brokered the agreement. Ruley said the first novel, set for 2021, is about “an English art student who becomes an enemy in hiding when the outbreak of WWII traps her in Venice.” Bowen, per Ruley, has sold more than half a million copies of her 2018 novel, The Tuscan Child (also published by Lake Union).
Cowan’s ‘Soames’ Settles at HC
American journalist Justine Cowan sold, for a rumored six-figure sum, a memoir titled The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames to Sara Nelson at HarperCollins. Nelson took North American rights to Soames, comparing it to memoirs such as The Glass Castle and the forthcoming Wild Game. In Soames, Cowan examines the discovery that her seemingly well-bred English mother was, in fact, a product of London’s Foundling Hospital (a home for abandoned children that cemented its place in popular imagination thanks, in part, to Charles Dickens, who lived near the hospital and looked to some of its residents as inspiration for a number of his characters). The book, sold by Mollie Glick at Creative Artists Agency, is slated for winter 2021.
Whistle-Blower to RH
Christoper Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower, sold a book titled Mindf*ck to Random House. Subtitled Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America, the book is set for October 8 and will tell, RH said, “the inside story of the data mining and psychological manipulation behind the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum, connecting Facebook, WikiLeaks,
Russian intelligence, and international hackers.” Mark Warren bought North American rights to the book from Jay Mandel at William Morris Endeavor, who represented Wylie.
Gates Sells Green Plan
Anthony Chirico, president of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, nabbed world rights to a book on climate change by Bill Gates. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, set to be released by Doubleday in 2020, will, per the publisher, offer “a vision for how the world can work to build the tools it needs to get to zero greenhouse gas emissions.” Michael I. Rudell at Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo brokered the sale.
Arnett to Riverhead
After an 11-bidder auction, Riverhead’s Cal Morgan won North American rights, for six figures, to two books by Kristen Arnett. Arnett’s agent, Serene Hakim at Ayesha Pande Literary, said the first novel, Samson, examines “motherhood, expectations, and toxic masculinity within a queer household.” Hakim described the second book, a story collection titled With Foxes, as “diverse, blackly funny, and provocative.” Arnett’s debut novel, Mostly Dead Things, was published this year by Tin House; her stories have appeared in publications such as Guernica and the Portland Review.
Boeing Book to D’day
Bloomberg reporter Peter Robison’s Flying Blind, about the behind-the-scenes machinations at Boeing that led to crashes involving the company’s 737 Max jets, sold to Doubleday after a seven-bidder auction. Yaniv Soha took world rights to the book from Andrew Stuart at the Stuart Agency. Stuart described the book, set for 2021, as “a fast-paced, character-driven look at the corporate dysfunction that contributed to one of the worst tragedies in modern aviation.” Robison has been reporting on Boeing since the late 1990s.
● According to Deadline, the YA vampire series House of Night, by mother-daughter writing duo P.C. and Kristin Cast, has been optioned by Shadowhunters producers Don Carmody and David Cormican. The books are being set up for series adaptation.
● A 1991 book about the family behind one of the country’s most recognizable beer brands, Under the Influence: The Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty (Simon & Schuster), has been optioned for television. The bestseller, by Peter Hernon and Terry Ganey, is being developed by former Weinstein Company executive David Glasser’s 101 Studios.
● Sphere (of the U.K.’s Little, Brown Book Group) bought world rights, in a two-book deal, to The Coven by screenwriter Lizzie Fry. The novel, the publisher said, is set in a world where “witchcraft is real—and in which a right-wing, populist demagogue decides that witches are the enemy” and that “to be female is to be one step away from criminal.” Rights to The Coven have been preempted in Spain and Germany.
● Wildfire (of the Headline Publisher Group) bought world rights to Goldilocks by Laura Lam, a speculative thriller set in a near future in which the planet has been ravaged by environmental disasters. The Bookseller said that the novel’s been touted as “The Power set in space.”
For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the name of author Justine Cowan as Justine Thompson Cowan. This article has also been updated to reflect the fact that Rachel Krantz's book sold for six-figures, not mid-six-figures. Additionally, agent Peter Mcguigan's quote regarding Krantz's book has been updated to reflect the fact that he referred to polyamory, and not polygamy as previously stated.