Hot Deals

Hot Deals
John F. Baker -- 1/15/01

Negotiator Cohen Returns | TV Figure in Three-Novel Deal
German Filmmaker Snags 'Parfum' | The Great Poker Battle
Short Takes

Negotiator Cohen Returns
Herb Cohen
made a fortune 20 years ago with a book called You Can Negotiate Anything, which sold 800,000 copies in Lyle Stuart hardcover, another 200,000 in a Kensington trade
Cohen: One more
paperback and a whopping two million (and still selling) as a Bantam mass market. Now he's back with an entirely new book on negotiating, untitled so far, and Rick Wolff at Warner got him. Wolff paid a "very substantial" six figures, which in view of Cohen's track record is probably closer to seven--and jokes that on this occasion he wouldn't be unhappy to have overpaid, as it proves Cohen knows his stuff as a negotiator. In fact, the deal was made with Ed Victor as Cohen's agent and was for world rights excluding audio. Wolff said there were other interested publishers, but he was impressed with Cohen's promotional know-how and got his bid in swiftly. He plans to publish in fall 2002.

TV Figure in Three-Novel DealA sales rep who met Brad Thor,young creator and host of TV's Traveling Lite show, on a train in Europe was responsible for precipitating a deal that saw Pocket Books editorial director Emily
Thor: meeting
on a train.
Bestler making a three-book deal with Thor for his first fiction efforts. It was Pocket rep Cynthia Jackson who encountered Thor on the train and was so taken with a manuscript he showed her that she passed it along to Bestler. Meanwhile, Thor had secured himself a literary agent, Heide Lange at Sanford Greenburger, and she negotiated the deal, reportedly for close to a million dollars. Bestler bought world rights to the package, first fruit of which will be The Lions of Lucerne. This chase thriller revolves around the kidnapping of a U.S. president on the ski slopes and the efforts of an ousted Secret Service agent to find him, and is set in the Swiss Alps and Utah's Wasatch Mountains--where Thor lives. According to Bestler, "It's rare to find such an accomplished first thriller, and rarer still to have it come through the house's sales channels." She plans to publish the first title next fall.

German Filmmaker Snags 'Parfum'A number of leading studios and directors have been anxious to acquire Patrick Suskind's 1985 thriller Parfum for years, but it was German movie maker Bernd Eichinger who finally landed it, reportedly paying nearly $6 million to Zurich-based publisher Diogenes Verlag. The book has sold about 12 million copies around the world in 37 languages (Knopf did it here), and Suskind has long resisted offers to film it, including ones from major Hollywood figures. Eichinger, who has made a number of internationally successful movies including The Never-Ending Story, The Name of the Rose and Juliet of the Spirits, describes the book, about an 18th-century serial killer, as "one of the books of the century" and said he would work with Constantin Film in Munich on putting it into production.

The Great Poker BattleIt's not the card game we're talking about, but a fierce argument in which red-hot pokers were reportedly waved at each other by two famous but embattled philosophers, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper.The occasion was their first and last meeting before an audience in Cambridge, England, just after WWII. Their brief encounter has become legendary, although no one present in the crowded room seems clear as to who won or exactly what happened. Now a book, Wittgenstein's Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers by British authors David Edmonds and John Eidinow, has been bought by Daniel Halpern at the Ecco Press at HarperCollins and will be on next fall's list. Halpern describes the book as an engaging mixture of philosophy, history and literary detective work that ranges from prewar Vienna to the eccentric collection of English philosophy dons in Cambridge in 1946--including Bertrand Russell, who acted as a sort of umpire in the fight. Halpern bought U.S. rights from Faber, its original U.K. publisher.

Short TakesNorton's Amy Cherry¸ continuing the house's long-established bond with Scottish "bad boy" Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting; Filth), has bought his latest, Glue, from U.K. publisher Jonathan Cape and declares it a real change of pace, "an epic and ambitious novel about friendship," involving the relationship of four Edinburgh lads over several decades.... Jody Hotchkiss at Sterling Lord Literistic reports selling an unpublished novel by South Carolina author Frank Newcomer to GreeneStreet Films for actor Robb Morrow to direct. It is Barbecue Dog, about a young boy's relationship with his increasingly disoriented father.

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