DEAL OF THE WEEK
Wingate Re-ups at Ballantine
Ballantine has acquired Lisa Wingate’s new novel The Book of Lost Friends. The North American rights deal was handled by Elisabeth Weed at the Book Group and Ballantine v-p and executive editor Susanna Porter. The deal comes on the heels of the success of Wingate’s Before We Were Yours, which Ballantine published in 2017 and which it said has more than 2.2 million copies in print. Like Before We Were Yours, The Book of Lost Friends is inspired by historical events and, the publisher explained, follows “three young women on a journey in search of family members amidst the destruction and chaos of the post–Civil War South.” The tale, Ballantine added, is filtered through “a modern-day teacher who uncovers these women’s connection to her own students’ lives.” Friends is slated for April 2020. Wingate’s nonfiction Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, about the children who were the inspiration for Before We Were Yours, will be released by Ballantine at the end of October.
FROM THE U.S.
HarperOne Has Woods’s ‘Back’
For HarperOne, Shannon Welch and Judith Curr nabbed world rights to Tiger Woods’s memoir, Back. The book, sold by Mark Steinberg at Excel Sports Management, will, the publisher said, be “a candid and intimate narrative of an outsize American life,” touching on the professional golfer’s triumphs and struggles, “from rising to unprecedented fame and global icon status to battling devastating injuries and personal issues.” HarperOne added that the title marks “the first and only account directly from Woods.” And Curr noted boldly that she believes the book will be “the publishing event of the decade,” with Woods “reclaiming his own story and legacy.” Back will be released by all HC divisions across the world, though no pub date has been set.
Onyebuchi’s ‘Goliath’ Attacks Tor
In a world English rights agreement, Tor.com Publishing’s Ruoxi Chen paid six figures for Tochi Onyebuchi’s novel Goliath. The two-book deal was brokered by Noah Ballard at Curtis Brown Ltd. The publisher (a print division of Tom Doherty Associates, which also houses the Tor Books imprint) compared Goliath to Emily St. John Mandel’s 2014 novel Station Eleven, describing it as “a post-apocalyptic epic... focused on a diverse cast of characters living in and around the once-thriving metropolis of New Haven, Conn.” Tor said the second book, which is currently untitled, was “pitched as a fantasy Get Out meets The Secret History.”
Flatiron Wins Climo’s ‘Mom’
Sarah Murphy at Flatiron Books won North American rights, after an eight-bidder auction, to Liz Climo’s You’re Mom: A Little Book for Mothers (and the People Who Love Them). The two-book deal, which includes a follow-up about fatherhood titled You’re Dad, covers, the publisher said, the “first noncollection illustrated book for adults” from the bestselling author-illustrator. Climo, author of the picture book series Rory the Dinosaur, was represented by Kathleen Ortiz at New Leaf Literary & Media. Flatiron described You’re Mom as “a funny, sometimes cynical, but ultimately sweet homage to motherhood.” The publisher also noted that Climo’s books have sold more than 2.25 million copies.
Candlewick Preempts Joseph’s ‘Friend’
With a six-figure preempt, Candlewick’s Kaylan Adair bought world English rights to Frederick Joseph’s YA nonfiction debut, The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person. The author, founder of the nonprofit marketing agency We Have Stories, was represented by Trident Media Group’s Alexander Slater, who described the book as a “collection of essays, interviews, and personal history.” The book stems in part from a tweet the author posted in June that drew more than 27,000 likes, in which he mused that he should write a book called How to Be a Decent White Person. Elaborating on the book he wound up selling, Slater said it “aims to serve as an entry point for young readers to discuss race, privilege, and problematic behaviors.” Friend is set for spring 2021.
Milburn Closes Double at Frankfurt
U.K.-based literary agent Madeleine Milburn closed two major deals at last week’s Frankfurt Book Fair. She sold U.S. rights, for six figures, to Emma Stonex’s The Lamplighters. The novel was acquired in a two-book deal by Viking’s Andrea Schulz after what Milburn, who has an eponymous shingle, called a “heated auction.” Lamplighters, which has also sold in a number of other territories, is inspired by actual events. Milburn said it follows “three lighthouse keepers who mysteriously disappear from a remote rock miles from the
Cornish coast.” Twenty years after the keepers’ disappearance, which remains unsolved, “the women they left behind are given the chance to tell their side of the story.” The novel is slated, in the U.S., for spring 2021. In the second deal, Milburn sold Michelle Adams’s Little Wishes to HarperCollins for six figures after an overnight preempt. Lucia Macro nabbed North American rights to the novel, along with a second book. (The title sold earlier this year to Orion’s Trapeze imprint in the U.K.) Milburn described the book as a “sweeping love story” about a couple who, after 49 years, “get a second chance at love.” Wishes marks Adams’s women’s fiction debut; she previously published two works of psychological suspense.
● A24 optioned Anna North’s forthcoming novel Outlawed (Bloomsbury, 2021) for television. North was represented by Julie Barer at the Book Group and Brooke Ehrlich at Anonymous Content. Barer said the dramatic rights to the novel, which she described as “a feminist western,” were bought in “a competitive situation with multiple bidders.”
● Dan Gemeinhart’s middle grade novel The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise (Holt, Jan. 2019) was optioned by Walden Media. Alan Nevins brokered the deal, and Brendan Deneen at Assemble Media is among those attached to produce.
● Chinese house Guomai won simplified Chinese rights, after a four-house auction, to seven books by author-illustrator Liz Climo in a high-six-figure deal. Clare Chi and Yuming Kao at the Grayhawk Agency, and Veronica Grijalva at New Leaf Literary & Media, brokered the deal, with New Leaf noting that Climo (the Rory the Dinosaur series) has sold more than 1.5 million copies in China.
● Debut Swedish crime novel The Bucket List by Peter Mohlin and Peter Nyström has been preempted by five foreign publishers, six months before it is set to be released by Sweden’s Norstedts. Judith Toth at the Nordin Agency brokered the deals in, among other territories, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.
For more children’s and YA book deals, see our latest Rights Report.
Correction: An earlier version of this article cited the publication date of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise as January 2020; the book was published in January 2019. The article has also been updated to reflect the fact that Tor.com is an imprint of Tom Doherty and Associates, and not Tor Books, as initially stated. (Tor Books is within the TDA division, along with Tor.com.)