Big Green Bookshop's Simon Key lands parenting book deal

Big Green Bookshop's Simon Key lands parenting book deal

Independent bookseller Simon Key has been snapped up to write a book with Head of Zeus, based on his parenting tweets.

The co-owner of The Big Green Bookshop, based in London’s Wood Green, is set to publish We’re Asleep Dad, billed as a “collection of parenting tweets from the frontline”, in autumn, with illustrations by Moose Allain.

The book will be out in time for Christmas on 2nd November after editor Ellen Parnavelas acquired world rights directly from the author. It will be published under Head of Zeus' new Anima imprint, supported by a “major” marketing campaign, the publisher said.

Key told The Bookseller: “I tweet a lot from the Big Green Bookshop account and in around 2012 I used to tweet ‘my kids are asleep…’ and then give examples which illustrated they are clearly not asleep. For example ‘my kids are asleep, I know this because they are singing their ‘we are asleep, dad’ song”.”

Key continued: “They started getting a lot of retweets. Some people said ‘you should do a book’, and I thought ‘oh yeah right’, but then a couple of weeks ago Head of Zeus got in touch to say they would like to publish this book in time for Christmas, and I jumped at the chance.”


Simon Key and Moose Allain

Key said his children Freya, aged eight, and Ollie, aged seven, are “excited” about the prospect of appearing in a book.

He added that the parenting title is for parents but also for children and “anyone who gets kids”. “My kids are hilarious,” he said. “They are always making me laugh. Kids are very funny.”

It is not the first time that Key’s tweets have brought him notoriety. In February this year Key began tweeting Piers Morgan every word of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone after the television presenter engaged in a Twitter spat with author J K Rowling.

The bookseller has also used his Twitter presence to help his business, just last month using the platform to announce he was “seriously skint”, resulting in customers flocking in and trebling orders in one day.

Key said: “We have had a very strong four weeks after the appeal.”

Key's book deal follows a string of booksellers being snapped up by publishers. Yesterday (24th May) The Bookseller reported that Foyles bookseller Chloe Coles had signeda deal to publish a teen series about female friendship and the fight to save a struggling independent bookshop with Hot Key Books, while Housmans bookseller Catherine Barter penned a debut YA novel, Troublemakers, published by Andersen Press. This follows Waterstones’ buyer Joseph Konx’s debut release in January Sirens.