How much did Janet Evanovich get to move to Simon & Schuster? That will surely be the question on the lips of many insiders, as news spreads that the bestselling author signed an eight-figure deal with the house's Atria Books imprint. For its part, Atria called the four-book agreement a "blockbuster" one, but gave no further indication about the money involved.
Evanovich, who is arguably still among a coveted tier of bestselling fiction writers in the world, inked a world rights agreement with Atria that was negotiated by her agent, Shane Salerno at the Story Factory. The deal marks the second major publisher Evanovich has signed with in recent years.
After a lengthy 15-year stint at St. Martin's Press, Evanovich moved to Random House's Ballantine Bantam Dell imprint in 2010. While it's certainly not unusual for big-name authors to move houses, marquee authors like Evanovich do not move houses very often. Just before Evanovich signed with PRH, Deadline reported that the author, who was then represented by her son Peter, wanted a multi-book agreement worth $50 million.
While it was not reported what PRH ultimately paid Evanovich, it had been thought her prior multi-book deal at SMP was worth upwards of $30 million.
The first book under her new deal at Atria, where Peter Borland will be her editor, is called Fortune and Glory; it will be the 27th entry in her popular Stephanie Plum series. (The series was actually launched by S&S, which published book one in the line in 1994.) Fortune and Glory is slated for a November 10 release.
The second book in the deal will also be a Plum novel, while the third will mark the beginning of a new spin-off series. The fourth book contracted, The Bounty, will be the seventh title in Evanovich's Fox & O'Hare series (co-written with Peter Evanovich).
According to S&S, Evanovich has sold over 100 million books. For this deal, Libby McGuire, Atria's senior v-p and publisher, Borland, and Atria's legal team negotiated terms with Salerno and attorneys Richard Heller and Mark Merriman.