Pan Macmillan’s lifestyle and wellness imprint Bluebird concluded three high-profile deals on the eve of the fair, including a book on paediatric care which has gone for a seven-figure sum in the US.
Carole Tonkinson, Bluebird publisher, pre-empted for The Well: Childhood, Adversity, and Solving the Puzzle of Lifelong Health by Dr Nadine Burke Harris, a paediatrician famous for her work linking physical and social difficulties in early years - often related to poverty - to health problems in later life.
Last year Google donated $3m to Burke Harris’ Center for Youth Wellness, an organisation she founded to raise awareness about children’s health issues. She is also a key player in Too Small to Fail, Hillary Clinton’s childhood health initiative. Tonkinson said: "We got the submission on a Monday and I offered for it by 3pm. Nadine is a born storyteller and this is such an important issue. The idea is to have a tentpole title each season at Bluebird, and The Well is going to be that book for us in spring 2018.”
UK and Commonwealth rights were bought from Chandler Crawford at the Chandler Crawford Agency acting on behalf of Idea Architects’ Doug Abrams. US rights were snapped up by Houghton Mifflin senior editor Deanne Urmy in a "hotly contested" five-publisher auction.
Tonkinson also bought world rights to ...and Relax, which combines the adult colouring craze with doodling. Tonkinson bought the book direct from illustrators David Sinden and Nikalas Catlow. Meanwhile, Bluebird assistant editor Olivia Morris snapped up Eat Dirt by intestinal health specialist and YouTuber Dr Josh Axe, which features recipes and lifestyle tips for a variety of “gut-related” ailments. Morris bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Juliette Shapland at HarperCollins US.