Bancroft's new series goes to Orbit for six figures

Bancroft's new series goes to Orbit for six figures

Josiah Bancroft's new series The Hexologists has gone to Orbit in a six-figure deal.

Bradley Englert, senior editor, acquired world English rights to the books from Ian Drury of Sheil Land Associates. 

The first novel in the new series, published in late 2022, is an alternate universe urban fantasy mystery introducing Hexologists Iz and Warren Wilby. “Aided by hexes and charmed relics, they help desperate clients with the bugbears of city life, whether it’s children abducted by chimney-wraiths, infestations of barb-nosed incubi or the occasional troubled ghost,” reads the synopsis. “But when they are approached by the royal secretary and told the king pleads to be baked into a cake – going so far as to wedge himself into the unlit oven – the Wilbies find themselves embroiled in a mystery that could turn the nation on its head.” 

Orbit first signed a four-book deal with Bancroft in 2017 for the self-published debut fantasy series, The Books of Babel, which began with Senlin Ascends

Drury said: “Bancroft had already self-published the first novel of his planned series when I signed him as a client. I was so impressed with Senlin Ascends that I arranged to meet him while on a sales trip to New York. He fairly fizzed with ideas for the series and by that time he'd garnered more than 500 five-star reviews on Goodreads.”  

“He'd tackled self-publishing with considerable professionalism: he'd paid to have the script properly edited and also found a first-class artist to design the jacket. When I started pitching Senlin Ascends to publishers, some editors worried that he'd already found his audience. Orbit bought the series and proved them wrong. Multiple printings of the physical books revealed that there was plenty of market left. The Books of Babel series is fast becoming a modern classic of literary fantasy.”