Holt Wins Jones Book

Henry Holt editor-at-large Retha Powers acquired world rights to two books by activist and YA author Kimberly Jones. The first, How Can We Win, will be based on a YouTube video of the same name in which Jones breaks down the systemic challenges that Black people face in America. The video has drawn two million views since it was posted on June 1 in response to criticisms of the protests that sprung up in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25. In the book, Jones will, Holt said, “illuminate the causes of economic disparities Black Americans have faced for generations and offer possible solutions to combat them.” Latoya Smith of LCS Literary Services represented Jones, and How Can We Win is scheduled for next spring.


Gerritsen and Braver Thriller Goes to T&M

In a six-figure deal, Thomas & Mercer editorial director Gracie Doyle acquired world English rights to Choose Me, a standalone novel by bestselling authors Tess Gerritsen and Gary Braver. The thriller, T&M said, follows Boston detective Frances “Frankie” Loomis as she unravels the cause of the death of college student Taryn Moore. Loomis’s investigation, the publisher continued, “uncovers the dark side of Taryn’s relationships—including an obsessive affair with her professor and mentor.” Gerristen has written 29 suspense novels, including the Rizzoli & Isles series, which was adapted for television by TNT. Braver is the author of eight popular thrillers. Choose Me, whose sale was handled by Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, is Gerritsen and Braver’s first joint project, and it's their first time publishing with the Amazon imprint.

Ballantine Hires Pronovost’s ‘Maid’

Nita Pronovost, v-p and editorial director at Simon & Schuster Canada, sold her debut novel (writing as Nita Prose) to Hilary Rubin Teeman at Ballantine. According to the publisher, The Maid was pitched “in the vein of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.” The novel follows a “socially awkward hotel maid who stumbles on a dead body in one of the rooms she’s cleaning and must puzzle out a way to prove her innocence, while protecting secrets she’s not willing to share.” Ballantine took U.S. rights, as part of a two-book deal, from Madeleine Milburn, who heads her own agency.

Flatiron Gets Cacioppo’s ‘Love’

In a preempt, Meghan Houser at Flatiron Books bought North American rights to Wired for Love by University of Chicago neuroscientist Stephanie Cacioppo. The book, Flatiron said, examines the “biological roots, experiential truth, and lifelong benefits of romantic love—intertwined with Cacioppo’s own remarkable story of love and loss.” Katinka Matson at Brockman Inc. brokered the deal.

MIT Scores ‘Pain Points’

As the Covid-19 pandemic stresses the U.S. healthcare system, surgeon Rena Xu has sold her first book to MIT Press editor Bob Prior, who acquired world rights from Lorin Rees of the Rees Agency. Xu, who earned joint MD and MBA degrees from Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School, has also written for the Atlantic, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the New Yorker. In Pain Points: Medicine’s Greatest Ailments, Xu draws on her personal experiences as a physician to offer “a much-needed catalyst for change in the delivery of health care by addressing the regulations and operations that govern how doctors practice and how patients get care,” according to MIT. A fall 2022 publication is planned.