Rodale's Ellen Phillips paid a "solid" six figures at auction for a book by TV interior decorating guru (at ABC's The Home Show) Kitty Bartholomew , and the company hopes it will be the beginning of a series. It's called Kitty Bartholomew's Decorating ABCs and was bought from Coast agent Ted Weinstein , with journalist Kathy Price-Robinson as co-author.... Dutton editorial director Brian Tart and Riverhead's Sean McDonald made an unusual joint preempt for a book by an author they both knew in his agenting days. He is John Hodgman and his book, with the whimsical title The Areas of My Expertise , is a fictional assortment of imaginary factoids and trivia designed to show that imagination is stranger than truth. The world rights buy was made from Kassie Evashevski at Brillstein-Grey, with Dutton doing a hardcover in 2005, Riverhead the later paperback.... Leann Heywood at HarperChildren's preempted a two-book YA package by Simon Binaohan that includes a book called Bully Be Gone , about the teenage inventor of a device designed to scare bullies away from her and her friends. The North American deal was made by Joe Veltre at Carlisle & Company.... Award-winning Portuguese novelist Antonio Lobo Antunes , who has been published here at Grove (and has been mentioned as a potential Nobel winner), is moving to Norton's Bob Weil in a North American English-language deal made with agent Tom Colchie ; the title of his latest is translated as What Shall We Do When Everything Burns?