Little, Brown is to publish J K Rowling’s first novel for adults worldwide in the English language, both in print and e-books.
David Shelley, publisher, Little, Brown, will be Rowling’s editor and will be responsible for publication in the UK with Michael Pietsch, executive vice-president of Little, Brown and Company, responsible for publication in the US. The book will be published by Hachette in Australia and in New Zealand and by Hachette’s companies and normal appointed agents for the English language in other markets.
The title, the date for the worldwide publication, and further details about the novel will be announced later in the year. Hachette refused to divulge any further details about the deal, including whether an advance was paid, and when further details would be forthcoming. According to reports the book was not put out to auction, but offered direct to Hachette.
Rowling said her next book would be "very different" to the Harry Potter series. "The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher." It had been rumoured for sometime that Rowling was working on a crime novel set in Edinburgh.
At Little, Brown Shelley has published crime writers such as Mark Billingham, Val McDermid and Carl Hiaasen. Shelley said it was "a personal and professional dream come true" to be working with Rowling.
A spokesperson from Bloomsbury said: "We are proud to be J K Rowling’s longstanding children’s book publisher. On the 26th June this year, we will be celebrating the 15th anniversary of the first publication of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone. The relationship between Jo Rowling and Bloomsbury remains stronger than ever.
"We are pleased to announce that as part of our long term strategy for Harry Potter we intend to publish illustrated editions of all seven Harry Potter books in a rolling programme from 2013 onwards in addition to our partnership on e-books with the Pottermore website."
Rowling was represented by Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership. Blair split from the literary agency that first represented Rowling, Christopher Little, last year in a move that led to the creation of Pottermore, a website based around the Harry Potter books that will also exclusively sell the e-book versions of that series.