Deal of the Week: Boehner’s “Notes” Pile Up at Thomas Dunne

Former speaker of the House John Boehner sold his memoir, Notes from a Smoke-Filled Room, to Stephen S. Power at Thomas Dunne Books. Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn at Javelin handled the world rights agreement for the onetime Beltway insider and veteran politico. SMP, calling Boehner “a man of Camels, good wine, and frequent tee times” in a world of “kale chips, cold-pressed coffee, and SoulCycles,” said the book will feature his tales from “the halls of power.” A longtime Ohio congressman who spent five years as speaker, Boehner will focus on, SMP continued, “legislative battles won and lost” and “interacting with presidents from Gerald Ford to Donald Trump.”


SMP Goes “Home” for Clancy

In a world English rights preempt, Sarah Cantin at St. Martin’s Press took two novels by Christi Clancy, including her debut, in a rumored six-figure deal. The Second Home, per the publisher, is about “a Cape Cod vacation house and the summer spent there that almost ruined a family.” The author, who was represented by Marcy Posner at Folio Literary Management, is an associate English professor at Beloit College and has written for, among other outlets, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Popular Web Series Creator to HMH

After what it dubbed “a competitive situation and bidding war,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt won North American rights to the debut essay collection by Cazzie David, the 24-year-old creator of the hit web series Eighty-Sixed. The book, No One Asked for This, was bought by Kate Napolitano from William Morris Endeavor and is slated for 2020. HMH said the title will “chronicle Cazzie’s bumpy coming of age, with special attention to the bumps.” David’s satirical web series, according to HMH, has more than one million views to date; she has written essays for, among other publications, Vanity Fair and Vogue. A comedy series she co-created and is set to star in, Half Empty, recently sold to Amazon.

Brown’s ‘Men’ Nabbed by Cheiffetz

For her new nonfiction imprint at Atria Books, Julia Cheiffetz took world rights, for a rumored high six figures, to Emma Brown’s How to Raise a Boy: Rethinking Gender in America Post #MeToo. The book, Cheiffetz explained, “will answer a simple question: how do we raise boys to become empathic, respectful men?” She continued, “From playgrounds and prep schools to small-town football locker rooms, Brown will speak to leading experts, educators, parents, and boys themselves to reveal the childhood roots of adult behavior.” Brown is a reporter at the Washington Post and wrote the story that broke Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that then–Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Brown was represented by Bridget Wagner Matzie at Aevitas Creative Management.

Dominatrix Nun’s ‘Good Girl’ Acquired

Kasia Urbaniak, a dominatrix turned Taoist nun turned popular speaker, sold a nonfiction book at auction to TarcherPerigee’s Marian Lizzi. Killing the Good Girl, which Lizzi took North American rights to, is expanded from popular talks the author conducted at her New York City–based organization the Academy, which bills itself as “a school that teaches women the foundations of power and influence.” The publisher elaborated that the book will “enable women to flip power dynamics with men, at home and in the workplace.” The author was represented by David Doerrer at Abrams Artists Agency.

Newton-John’s Memoir Heads to U.S.

Oliva Newton-John’s memoir has been acquired by a U.S. house. Don’t Stop Believin’ was nabbed by Jennifer Bergstrom at Gallery Books and is set for March 2019. The book, which will feature a new afterword by the Melbourne-raised star, chronicles her career on the charts and on-screen, as well as her battle with cancer. Bergstrom brokered the U.S., Canadian, and open market rights agreement with Nerrilee Weir at Penguin Random House Australia (which published the book in September).

Kubica Closes Seven-Fig Double

In a world rights, two-book, seven-figure deal, Erika Imranyi at Park Row Books bought the seventh and eighth novels by Mary Kubica (The Good Girl). Rachael Dillon Fried at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, who represented Kubica, said the sale was coming at “an incredibly exciting time” in the author’s career. She cited the fact that The Good Girl (published by Mira in 2014) was recently optioned by Grey Matter Productions. Fried added that The Good Girl “was one of the earliest ‘girl’ books on the scene and helped to define this subgenre of psychological thrillers.”

Behind the Deal

In its most significant foray into traditional publishing yet, Hello Sunshine, Reese Witherspoon’s media company, has partnered with G.P. Putnam’s Sons on Eve Rodsky’s forthcoming book, Fair Play. As a recent profile of Rodsky in Fast Company explained, Hello Sunshine is something of a “venture partner” on the book and brought the title to Putnam. (It was sold to Michelle Howry, in a North American rights deal, by Yfat Reiss Gendell at Foundry Literary + Media.) According to the agreement, Hello Sunshine—best known for producing adaptations of bestselling books (such as Big Little Lies) and running Reese’s Book Club—will promote Rodsky via its various verticals. The book, Putnam explained, lays out the system Rodsky developed working with couples as a family mediator. Armed with a background in management consulting, she applied corporate tactics to help clients, Putnam elaborated, “rebalance the work it takes to run a home.” Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden said that what drew the company to the book was “the idea of tackling a serious subject with a serious solution that works for all women whether they work outside the home or not.” Putnam is set to publish Fair Play in fall 2019.


  • Bilgrav Publishing (Denmark) and Piemme (Italy) separately acquired the Spanish-language novel Yo, Julia by Santiago Posteguillo (published in Spain by Planeta in November). Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells, which handled the sale, said more than 260,000 copies of the historical novel, which is “based on the life of Julia Domna, one of the most relevant, and unknown, female characters in the history of Rome,” have been printed in Spain.

  • Leonardo Canova’s thriller Addicted, which will be published in Italy next year by Società Editrice Milanese, sold to Roca Editorial (Spain). Piergiorgio Nicolazzini, who has an eponymous shingle and handled the sale, said the book follows seven patients in rehab who begin disappearing one by one.


  • That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together by Joanne Lipman (Morrow) has been optioned by Red Arrow Studios International, in partnership with Anonymous Content, for series development.

  • After a bidding war, Disney won dramatic rights to Melissa de la Cruz’s just-published middle grade novel, 29 Dates (Inkyard). Disney has put the project on a fast track, with plans to release it via its new streaming service, Disney+. The Gotham Group is attached as a producer. [Deadline]