Atlantic Books has won a "competitive" six-way auction to publish Guardian journalist Oliver Milman’s "terrifying and compelling" debut, The Insect Crisis.
Editorial director for non-fiction Mike Harpley acquired UK British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Sally Holloway at Felicity Bryan Associates on behalf of Zoe Pagnamenta at The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. The deal followed a six-way bidding war, described by Atlantic as “competitive”. Audio rights were acquired by Harriet Poland of Audible, and rights have also been sold in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands.
The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World will be published in hardback and e-book in February 2022.
Atlantic said: “There are over 1 million known species of insects and collectively there are 10 quintillion of them buzzing and crawling around the Earth. However studies show that their numbers are seriously on the wane – with a third of the world’s insect species already endangered, from bees to butterflies. This terrifying and compelling book will show how without insects, our lives would never be the same again. A third of the food stuffs we eat would no longer be viable. Many birds and fish would just disappear. Part warning, part celebration of the incredible variety of insects, this book will highlight why we need to wake up to the next big environmental crisis.”
Milman has been a Guardian journalist for seven years, firstly in Australia and now in the US as their environment correspondent. He was raised in Bedfordshire and this is his first book.
Harpley said: “On speaking to him, Oliver’s enthusiasm for the subject is infectious. As soon as I shared the proposal at Atlantic, everyone was engrossed and begging me to buy it. It’s timely, well written, and important. But it’s also not all doom and gloom: I loved learning more about the idiosyncrasies of these wonderful creatures as well. I can’t wait to publish it.”