Bloomsbury wins River of Ink auction

Bloomsbury wins River of Ink auction

Bloomsbury has won the rights to an “astonishingly assured” debut literary novel, River of Ink by Paul Cooper, for a high five-figure sum.

Helen Garnons-Williams, publishing director of fiction for Bloomsbury, won world English language rights to two books after a multiple-publisher auction which has been ongoing since London Book Fair last week.

The deal was struck through agent Eve White at Eve White Literary Agency. The Bookseller understands at least one pre-empted offer was rejected for the novel before it went to auction.

River of Ink is based on a poet to the King in 13th century Sri Lanka, who tries to use poetic words to unite two warring factions.

Garnons-Williams told The Bookseller: “It is an amazing piece of story telling about the power of words to change the world, but it is set in 13th century Sri Lanka. At the beginning of the books the poet is a coward but he end up being a hero. It is fantasy but it also a very literary novel.” She added: “I had to fight hard to get this book. We have world English rights so Bloomsbury America and Bloomsbury Australia are pleased too. We are really excited about it, it is a wonderful novel.”

Cooper is a 24-year-old MA graduate in creative writing from the University of East Anglia.

  River of Ink will be published in summer 2015.