The Economics of Behavior

David Moldawer at Portfolio beat three other bidders in a two-day auction for Moneylab: Lab-Tested Wisdom from the New Science of Business by Kay-Yut Chen and Marina Krakovsky; Ted Weinstein made the well-into-six-figure world rights sale. In the book, Hewlett-Packard economist Chen and science journalist Krakovsky will explain the practical implications of behavioral economics and offer real-world lessons, such as how to deal with irrationality in ourselves and others, how to use incentives to manage risk and predict the unpredictable, and how to overcome all-or-nothing thinking. Nobel-winning economist George Akerlof will write a foreword; tentative pub date is late 2010.

Cryer's Debut to SMP

Former Newsday critic and Pulitzer finalist Dan Cryer has sold his first book, on the life of Rev. Forrest Church, to George Witte at St. Martin's; Betsy Lerner at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner sold North American rights. A preacher, political activist and prolific author, Church has also been at the center of personal scandals that threatened his leadership; Cryer's untitled book is described as an intimate portrait of a spiritual leader and flawed man.

Cohen Tells It

CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen just signed with Jill Schwartzman at Random for her first book, tentatively titled What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You; Lynn Johnston sold North American rights. Cohen signed a new agreement with CNN, negotiated by former S&S deputy general counsel Eric Rayman. Planned pub date is 2010.

Lancaster Reups with NAL

Jen Lancaster has signed a major deal for two more books with Kara Cesare at NAL via Kate Garrick at DeFiore & Co. In the first book, tentatively titled My Fair Lazy, Lancaster gives herself the Pygmalion treatment, researching literature and studying etiquette; pub date will be May 2010. A year later, the tentatively titled Involuntary: My Year of Giving Dangerously will detail Lancaster's work with various charitable organizations. Since 2006, Lancaster has published one book a year with NAL, and the first three each have more than 100,000 copies in print. NAL will pub Lancaster's fourth memoir, Pretty in Plaid, in May.

Barnes Back to Knopf

Jenny Jackson has acquired U.S. rights to Kim Barnes's third novel, American Mecca, via Sally Wofford-Girand at Brick House. The book tells the story of a young woman, raised in Oklahoma, who follows her husband to the oilfields of Saudi Arabia in the 1960s; living within a gated compound, the couple makes a startling discovery about the depth of the Saudis' institutionalized racism, and an accusation of murder threatens to tear them apart. Barnes's previous novel A Country Called Home was also published by Knopf.

Elsewhere at Knopf, Diana Coglianese won an auction for paperback rights to Andrew Porter's The Theory of Light and Matter, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award, via Terra Chalberg at Susan Golomb. Vintage will publish in spring 2010, and the deal also includes an untitled novel, a family drama set in Houston.

The Briefing

Dan Halpern and Ginny Smith at Ecco bought North American rights to Danyelle Freeman's Gourmet Glossary, in which the founder and editor of will explain everything you need to know about the way we dine today; Jennifer Joel at ICM made the sale.... Jane Rosenman at Algonquin bought North American rights to a first novel by New Yorker librarian Jon Michaud via Eric Simonoff at Janklow & Nesbit. The Inwood Girl tells the story of a girl growing up in Dominican New York whose life changes in unexpected ways.