More than 70,000 fans have read David Wong's urban fantasy John Dies at the End completely online; Thomas Dunne Books will launch a trade paperback in fall 2009 to capitalize on this viral phenomenon. John Schoenfelder bought world rights from Jeff Moores at Dunow, Carlson and Lerner. John Dies at the End is a comical horror story about two college dropouts inadvertently exposed to a drug known on the street as Soy Sauce, which provides an out-of-body trip across time and dimensions—but not all users remain completely human. Wong began posting segments of the novel at on Halloween of 2001, from which point it grew to a 150,000-word electronic manuscript; the book will likely include some new material, according to Schoenfelder. Wong, now editor of, is at work on a sequel.

In another Web-driven deal, Lily Kosner at Plume preempted North American rights to Sarah Schmelling's Ophelia Joined the Group 'Maidens Who Don't Float' via Niki Castle at ICM. This humorous retelling of the classics through the lens of Facebook is based on the author's McSweeney's Internet Tendency piece, “Hamlet (Facebook News Feed Edition),” which has received more than 250,000 hits. The book will include versions of 50 to 100 other classics, from Beowulf to The Great Gatsby, and readers can also expect to see author profiles, news feeds and Scrabulous games. Plume will publish as a paperback original in fall 2009.