Obama’s ‘Light’ Shines on Crown

In a world rights acquisition, Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle and David Drake, president of PRH’s Crown imprint, bought Michelle Obama’s The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times. The title, which Deneen C. Howell at Williams & Connolly sold, will be released by Crown on November 15. Set for an announced first printing of 2.75 million copies, the book, PRH said, will feature “a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power.” It will also, the publisher elaborated, see its author share “the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles.”

Gaines Sells ‘Stories’ to Harper Select

For HarperCollins’s Nashville-based Harper Select imprint, Matt Baugher acquired Joanna Gaines’s The Stories We Tell. The title is set for a November release and will be the first solo memoir from Gaines, whose books, the publisher said, have sold over 10 million copies to date. The Stories We Tell, which will go to press for an announced first printing of 1.5 million copies, is, Harper said, “a raw, authentic, and deeply vulnerable journey into the author’s story,” as well as “a guide to deconstructing the lies we tell ourselves and a way to strip fear of its power.” Gaines was represented by Byrd Leavell at UTA.

HBR Breaks Through with Pfizer Exec

After an auction, Jeff Kehoe at Harvard Business Review won Sally Susman’s Breaking Through for six figures. Susman is Pfizer’s chief corporate affairs officer, and the book, subtitled Communicating to Open Minds, Move Hearts and Change the World, is slated for March 2023. Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management, who represented Susman, said the book argues that “communications can no longer be considered a ‘soft skill’ in this current high-stakes, media-saturated world,” and that “the ability to lead and drive the public conversation is a rock-hard competency.”

Geroux’s ‘Fifteen’ Piles Up at Crown

William Geroux’s The Fifteen was acquired by Paul Whitlatch at Crown in a world rights agreement. The nonfiction book from the author of The Mathews Men, Crown said, chronicles “a series of grisly killings of German soldiers in U.S. POW camps, revealing an extraordinary, all but forgotten story of Nazi power games playing out in Americans’ backyard.” The publisher added that the book also tracks “the parallel events of American POWs in Europe who became pawns in a high-stakes diplomatic struggle between Germany and the U.S. in the chaotic final days of the war.” Farley Chase at Chase Literary Agency represented Geroux.

Verde Gets ‘Kind’ at Abrams

Abrams Image’s Rebecca Kaplan took world rights to Susan Verde’s debut book for adults, Say One Kind Thing. Verde is a children’s yoga instructor who’s written a number of bestselling picture books; this title is a collection of essays about her experiences as a parent. Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio, who represented Verde, elaborated that Say One Kind Thing chronicles “Verde’s life as a parent and a person on a journey toward self-acceptance.” According to Silverman, Verde’s I Am picture book series has sold more than 1.5 million copies.

Blackstone Takes Two from Brown

In a six-figure, world rights agreement, Blackstone Publishing bought the next two military thrillers in Dale Brown’s series featuring U.S. Air Force officer Nick Flynn. Rick Bleiweiss acquired the books from Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group. The first book under contract, which is currently untitled, will mark the third entry in the series.