DEAL OF THE WEEK
S&S Signs Up Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld sold a new book to Simon & Schuster in a world rights agreement. The currently untitled work, which is the funny man’s first adult title since the 1993 bestseller Seinlanguage, is slated for October 2020. In the book, Seinfeld (who was represented by CAA) will, S&S said, share selections of “his favorite material” organized “decade by decade.” S&S’s Jonathan Karp, who acquired the book, said, “Not only is the book brilliantly crafted and laugh-out-loud funny on every single page, but readers will be able to see Jerry and his comedy evolve through the years.” According to S&S, Seinlanguage has sold more than 2.5 million copies.
FROM THE U.S.
Morrow Invests in “Talking” Pooch
In a rumored seven-figure deal
following a nine-publisher auction, William Morrow nabbed a memoir by a woman who taught her dog to “talk.” How Stella Learned to Talk by Christina Hunger was sold in a North American rights agreement to Mauro DiPreta. Ryan Harbage and Christopher Hermelin at Fischer-Harbage represented Hunger in the agreement, which will see the book released in fall 2020. Subtitled A Speech Therapist’s Groundbreaking Method for Communicating with Dogs, the book chronicles how Hunger taught Stella to communicate with her by pushing buttons on a homemade soundboard, and the impact those lessons had on her and her family. Morrow said Hunger, whose work with Stella has been covered by outlets including CNN and People, taught her dog to “combine up to six words to share stories, feelings, and ask questions.” Morrow added that the book will include “tips for dog owners to try themselves.”
HC Kids Fires Marantzes’s ‘Laser’
After an auction, HarperCollins’s Clarissa Wong won world rights to the middle grade graphic novel Blake Laser by husband-and-wife author-illustrator team Keith and Larissa Marantz. The book, HC said, is set in the 24th century and follows a 12-year-old inventor who, along with her family, “must stop aliens from stealing the sun’s energy, which would lead to the total destruction of Earth within 48 hours.” Rachel Orr at the Prospect Agency represented both Marantzes in the deal. The book will be released in fall 2022.
Harper Buys Cummings’s Posthumous Memoir
A memoir by Elijah Cummings, the late Baltimore congressman and chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, was bought by Harper. Lisa Sharkey took world rights to We’re Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy from David Black at the David Black Agency. Harper said that in the book, Cummings “details the formative moments in his life that prepared him to hold President Donald Trump accountable for his actions while in office.” Cummings, Harper continued, “weaves together the urgent drama of modern-day politics and the defining stories from his past.” Fight, set for June 2020, was not fully completed by the author before his death in October 2019; his collaborator James Dale and his widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, finished the book.
Lovering’s Truth Lands at SMP
In a six-figure, two-book deal, Carola Lovering (Tell Me Lies) sold Too Good to Be True. Sarah Cantin at St. Martin’s Press acquired the novel, which her publisher called “a seductive story of love, revenge, and obsession, exploring three different sides of a relationship—and three different versions of the truth.” The author was represented by Allison Hunter at Janklow & Nesbit in the world rights agreement.
Lin’s ‘Crimes’ Unfold at Little, Brown
A debut novel by 23-year-old Tom Lin, The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu, was preempted by Ben George at Little, Brown. Lisa Queen at Queen Literary sold world rights to the novel, which LB said is set 150 years ago in the American West and “follows a Chinese-American assassin hell-bent on revenge as he travels the deserts of Utah, Nevada, and California to be reunited with his wife, who was abducted years earlier.”