Deal of the Week: Gladwell’s ‘Strangers’ Finds Home at LB
In a North American rights acquisition, Little, Brown nabbed Malcolm Gladwell’s next book, Talking to Strangers. Tina Bennett at William Morris Endeavor sold the book, which is slated for September, to Asya Muchnick. Talking to Strangers is Gladwell’s first book since his 2013 bestseller David and Goliath and is, LB said, “a classically Gladwell-ian intellectual adventure” in which he examines why there is “something very wrong with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know.” Calling the title a “gripping guidebook for troubled times,” LB added that it shows how our inability to meaningfully talk to strangers is “inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.”
FROM THE U.S.
Guillory Re-ups with Berkley
Jasmine Guillory, whose 2018 sophomore novel The Proposal was recently named the February pick of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, closed a four-book deal with Berkley. Cindy Hwang took world English rights to the titles from Holly Root at Root Literary. Guillory, Berkley noted, has been at the forefront of a new wave of interest in romance novels; she was also mentioned in a 2018 PW article about a renewed interest in the genre from indie booksellers. The first book under this deal is set for 2020.
Hachette Picks Up Gordon’s ‘Conversations’
Ed Gordon, a journalist and host of the BET show Weekly, sold Conversations in Black: On Power, Politics, and Leadership to Krishan Trotman at Hachette Books. Regina Brooks at Serendipity Literary Agency brokered the world rights agreement. The book, which is based on conversations with notable African-Americans such as politician Maxine Waters and actress Kerry Washington, will, according to Hachette, “explore and debate the tactics used to secure black America’s rightful place in the ‘home of the brave’ ” and serve as “a blueprint for navigating race in a new American landscape.”
Firestone Gets “Coded” at Putnam
After a six-figure preempt, Putnam’s Stephanie Pitts acquired Carrie Firestone’s debut middle grade novel, Dress Coded. The title, which Sara Crowe at Pippin sold in a two-book, world English rights agreement, follows an eighth grader who launches her own podcast to challenge her school’s dress code. The show, Putnam explained, “sparks a rebellion,” and the heroine must deal with that while also juggling “changing friendships and her older brother’s vaping addiction.”
Canadian Social Media Star Strikes U.S. Deal
Humble the Poet closed a rumored six-figure, two-book deal with HarperOne. Humble, whom his new publisher called a “rapper, poet, and social media influencer,” is already a bestseller in his native Canada, where he self-published Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life. (After self-publishing Unlearn, Indigo acquired Canadian rights.) In the deal, HarperOne took world rights, excluding English-language print in Canada, to Unlearn, and world rights, excluding English-language in Canada, to a new book titled Things No One Else Can Teach Us. The U.S. edition of Unlearn is slated for April 9, while Things is set for fall 2019. Unlearn, the publisher said, “provides counterintuitive advice for shedding the things that hold us back.” Things, meanwhile, “offers lessons for finding the silver linings in our hardest times.” Anna Paustenbach preempted the books from Marc Gerald and Jaime Chu at Europa Content.
Boynton Closes Double at Workman
Sandra Boynton (Hippos Go Berserk) struck a two-book world rights agreement with Workman Publishing. A songwriter, author, humorist, and illustrator, Boynton has written more than 60 books for children and has been publishing with Workman for over 30 years. In that time, Workman said, she has sold more than 70 million copies. Book one in this deal, Dinosnores, is about, per the publisher, “a group of very noisy dinosaurs who snore throughout the night.” The title is set for fall 2019. Workman’s Daniel Reynolds brokered the agreement directly with Boynton.
Lubin’s ‘Moms’ Heads to HC
In a rumored six-figure deal, Wall Street Journal editor Joann Lublin sold Power Moms to Hollis Heimbouch at HarperCollins. Heimbouch took world rights from Karen Gantz, who has an eponymous shingle. Gantz, who noted that for the first time in our country’s history “a significant number of mothers have reached upper management,” said the book “compares the first generation of trailblazer executive mothers with young power moms today.”
- Laura Cumming, an art critic at the Observer, sold a memoir called On Chapel Sands, about the childhood disappearance of her mother, to U.K. publisher Chatto Windus. The imprint, part of Penguin UK, called the book, which is subtitled My Mother and Other Missing Persons, “astonishing.” In the States, Nan Graham at Scribner took U.S. rights. [The Bookseller]
- Viking in the U.K. has nabbed U.K. and Commonwealth rights to a translation of French author Philippe Besson’s award-winning novel Lie With Me (published in France by Editions Julliard). Actress Molly Ringwald is doing the translation. Scribner, which is publishing the book in the U.S. in September, brokered the agreement with Viking. [The Bookseller]
PAGE TO SCREEN
- Fox 2000 has optioned Angie Thomas’s On the Come Up. The author’s sophomore novel was published last week by HarperCollins’s Balzer + Bray imprint. The deal sees the continuation of a relationship between Thomas and Fox 2000, as the studio also released the 2018 film adaptation of her debut bestseller, The Hate U Give. [Deadline]
- Netflix has ordered an eight-episode series based on Karin Slaughter’s 2018 bestselling thriller Pieces of Her (Morrow). The series is set to be executive produced by a trio of women: Lesli Linka Glatter, Charlotte Stoudt, and Bruna Papandrea, who produced Mad Men, Homeland, and Big Little Lies, respectively. [Deadline]