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Transworld majors in McNab and McKenna
03.04.09 | Philip Jones
Transworld publisher Bill Scott-Kerr is beefing up some big brands, after signing up former SAS man Andy McNab for seven new books, and five by hypnotist Paul McKenna.
The deal with McNab, done through agent Mark Lucas, is for three new Nick Stone thrillers, two non-fiction titles and two standalone novels. It comes on top of the two-book deal for a young adult adventure series by McNab for Random House Children's Books also announced this week. Scott-Kerr said: "We're very keen to get him to broaden the brand. We are always looking to capitalise on his unique real-life experiences."
McNab's busy schedule will see Spoken From the Front, an oral history of the Afghan war, appearing in October and also available as a download to mobile phones through McNab's company Gospoken. Meanwhile, the author is to co-write with thriller writer Liz Rigby two standalone novels which Scott-Kerr described as "more ensemble pieces" than the Nick Stone thrillers. The first novel will be published in summer 2010. An outline has been optioned by the BBC for a Sunday evening TV drama.
Publishing director Doug Young has signed a further five books with Paul McKenna, including a new weight-loss title for January 2010, and is aiming to speed his publishing schedule up to two books a year. Young said: "We're looking for him to be the go-to author to solve your problems and the more subjects we can do, the better."
Magician Derren Brown will also write two more books for Transworld. The first, Portraits, to be published in June, will reveal the caricatures painted by Brown as a hobby, including images of David Tennant, Amy Winehouse and Woody Allen. An exhibition will be held at Foyles on publication. A memoir, as yet untitled, will follow in November.
M.d. Larry Finlay said the publisher was slimming its output and will publish 15% fewer titles by the end of 2010 than it did in 2007, with less mid-list fiction and serious non-fiction. "We've always been incredibly tight on numbers and we're being even more rigorous about what we take on," he said.
However, Finlay added, Transworld was always in the market for "exciting, one-off fiction" and intends to back new novelists.