Two potentially hot new titles have been signed in the Enron stakes. Adrian Zackheim, who publishes the Portfolio imprint at Penguin Putnam, has landed an offering by a team from Fortune magazine to do an in-depth investigation of the company's collapse: senior writer Bethany McLean, who first questioned Enron's earnings claims, and Peter Elkind, the magazine's investigative reporter in Texas, with their efforts guided by executive editor Joseph Nocera. Zackheim bought world rights to the untitled book, which will be delivered next year, from agent Liz Darhansoff, for an undisclosed sum believed to be one of the highest yet for an Enron title.
Meanwhile, at Broadway Books, executive editor Charlie Conrad zeroed in on the Arthur Andersen side of the story, signing a book by Barbara Toffler of the Columbia Business School, a consultant on business ethics who actually found herself in the middle of the scandal when she acted as a consultant, up until 1999, on the company's ethics service. In this spot, she saw the first signs of Andersen's drive for profit at the expense of responsible business practice, and will detail it all in a book to be called Our People: How Arthur Andersen Won Big Business and Lost Its Way. Conrad got North American rights on the book, to be co-written with Jennifer Reingold, formerly of Business Week, from agent Susan Ginsburg at Writers House.