Hot Deals

Hot Deals
John F. Baker -- 10/16/00

'Vanity Fair' Novelist Preempted | Books as Healers
Doubleday's Religion Coup | Exploring: Still Hot | Kids' Double Play at Hyperion
Short Takes

'Vanity Fair' Novelist PreemptedLaura Jacobs is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine, as well as an author of several nonfiction books about the arts. She is now also a novelist. Executive editor Pam Dorman at Viking preempted her Women About Town, a book about savvy, contemporary New York women, for a six-figure advance from agent Alice Martell, saying that she loved the "incredibly intelligent, perceptive women in it who create new identities for themselves--the kind of women who become more interesting as they get older." Dorman grabbed the book within hours of reading it, buying North American, plus first serial and audio; Martell, who described it as "what Jane Austen would have written were she alive today," retains translation rights. Viking plans to publish in early 2002.

Stanley: Novels
are good for you.
Books as HealersThat's the thesis that bibliotherapist (yes, there is such a job) Jackie Stanley from North Carolina propounds, in her life and now in a book, Life's an Open Book: Bibliotherapy: A Novel Approach to Living, which West Coast agent Jandy Nelson of Manus & Associates sold, in a best-bid runoff among eight houses, to Wendy Carlton at Riverhead. The idea is that immersion in a good page-turning novel can relieve some forms of depression--a notion to which publishers are particularly prone. Carlton had to pay a solid six figures to beat her rivals for the book.

Doubleday's Religion CoupDoubleday has signed Philip Yancey, a huge bestseller in the Christian world, for a new nonfiction book that Eric Major, v-p in charge of the company's religious publishing operations, expects will be a major crossover title between the CBA and ABA markets (WaterBrook will handle distribution to the CBA side). It's tentatively called Why I'm Still a Christian: Recovering a Personal Faith from the Damaging Effects of Religion, and will describe how Yancey forged his faith--despite the deleterious effects of the fundamentalist church in which he was brought up--under the influence of notable writers like G.K. Chesterton, Robert Coles, Annie Dillard, Henri Nouwen and others. The book is set for publication next fall, and the agent in the North American rights sale was Kathryn Helmers at Alive Communications in Colorado Springs, Colo. Yancey will do a new book with his regular publisher, Zondervan, in fall 2002.

Exploring: Still HotPeople who helped map our world are hot these days and Ferdinand Magellan is the latest to star in a big book sale. Executive editor Trish Lande Grader at Morrow preempted Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by prolific and award-winning author Laurence Bergreen, paying six figures to agent Suzanne Gluck at ICM after a fast weekend read. It was a world rights deal, and Juliette Shapland will be selling foreign rights at Frankfurt. The book will tell of the explorer's three-year voyage in the early 16th century, the first to prove the world was not flat.

Kids' Double Play at HyperionIt's not often that children's deals make this column, but two high-profile ones have just surfaced at Hyperion Books for Children. Bestselling author E. Lynn Harris has signed with executive editor Andrea Pinkney to do a YA trilogy, Diaries of a Light-Skinned Colored Boy,on an African-American boy, for her Jump at the Sun imprint. She paid a healthy six-figure advance to agent John Hawkins for world rights. The first book will appear next fall. Another Hyperion imprint, the new one run by Michael di Capua, has signed two superstars, illustrator Maurice Sendak and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, to collaborate on a children's book, also for publication next fall.

Short TakesScreenwriter Ethan C n is a p t on the side, and Crown senior editor Doug Pepper has bought a book of his verse from agent Anthony Gardner, North
Louise: Now
a "somebody."
American English volume rights and first serial, for publication next fall.... A memoir by an African-American woman abandoned at birth to live in a series of foster homes has been sold by agent Arielle Eckstut of James Levine Communications to Warner senior editor Caryn Karmatz-Rudy, in a two-book world rights preempt for a "hefty" six figures. Author Regina Louise is now a successful hairdresser in San Francisco, and her Someone's Somebody is expected for publication in 2002.... Laura van Dam at Houghton Mifflin preempted a book by British geneticist Dr. Steve Jones called XY: A Book About Maleness from agent Russell Galen at Scovil Chichak & Galen for a high six figures for North American; it was also sold to Little, Brown in London.... Gretchen Young at Hyperion beat out three other publishers in an auction conducted by Andrew Blauner for Bounce!, about rubber pioneer Charles Goodyear. She bought world rights in the book by journalist Charles Slack.
There will be no Hot Deals next week because of the Frankfurt fair.