Yet more rights deals announced at Frankfurt Book Fair today, including a U2 title and the next title by Rebecca Skloot.
Piatkus' foreign rights team is having a runaway success with début novel The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne—which they are likening to Nicci French and Sophie Hannah—with a late-night Friday deal in the US pre-fair setting up a number of international deals.
The Hachette UK imprint has clinched nine deals for the book, with the six-figure agreement concluded with Morrow in the US just before FBF.
Foreign rights director Andy Hine said: "People are responding really strongly to this, at a very personal level and emotional level. The dual storyline examines three very different relationships between mothers and their sons.”
The novel centres on the story of a solicitor defending an 11-year-old boy charged with murdering another child in the playground. Piatkus will publish in September 2012. The rights sold to the Glaswegian author's first novel include A W Bruna in Holland, btb Verlag in Germany, Distribuidora Record in Brazil, Edicions Belfond in France and Atticus in Russia. Hachette Phoenix has bought Chinese rights, with Hachette Polska pouncing on rights in Poland.
Hachette expects a 10th deal by the end of FBF, with an Italian auction, now between two publishers, under way.
Random House imprint Preface has acquired the sweetest thing—the official story of U2's 360˚ tour. Publisher Trevor Dolby bought world rights in the book celebrating the hi-tech spectacle, which saw U2 play to more than seven million people around the world, from Ed Victor. The book, U2 360˚: The Offical Story of the Greatest Spectacle in Stadium-Rock History, will be written by GQ editor Dylan Jones, and will contain exclusive contributions from the band, including Bono and the Edge, as well as from key figures such as their manager Paul McGuinness, along with exclusive photographs. Preface will publish in hardback in October 2012.
Sphere has hit the bull's-eye with two more thrillers by Tom Wood, both featuring Victor, the assassin hero of Wood's début, The Hunter, which has been sold in eight territories. Associate publisher Daniel Mallory acquired UK and Commonwealth rights through Philip Patterson of Marjacq Scripts. Wood's second novel, The Enemy, will be published next May.
Simon & Schuster has been attracting a wealth of attention for The Captain's Daughter, by Leah Fleming, with rights sold at auction to Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The story spans two generations and three continents and centres on the lives of two women brought together by the sinking of the Titanic. S&S will publish in spring 2012, around the centenary of the disaster.
Puffin's latest series by bestselling author Michelle Paver is taking flight internationally, with nine five-book global deals sealed. The Gods and Warriors series, set in the Mediterranean Bronze Age, has sold in France, the US, Holland, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Poland and Israel.
Foreign rights are picking up for Serpent's Tail's Man Booker-shortlisted title, Half Blood Blues by Canadian Esi Edugyan. Translation deals have been signed in Greece, Portugal and Italy, all for 2012 publication, as well as with the Shanghai Translation Publishing House in China. Rights director Penny Daniel said: "Half Blood is a wonderful book and we are delighted to see others getting behind it too.”
Crown has acquired the next novel by Rebecca Skloot, the author of non-fiction bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The book, as yet untitled, will explore the neurology of human-animal relationships. Writers House agent Simon Lipskar is anticipating heavy interest for foreign rights at Frankfurt, having sold North American rights to Molly Stern, vice-president and publisher at Crown.
Canongate has bought UK and Commonwealth rights in a title called Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain, through Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown, working on behalf of Heather Schroder at ICM in the US. Billed as a "Catch-22 for our times”, it is set in Texas during America's war with Iraq, and follows the eight surviving members of Bravo Squad as they tour the US as part of a campaign to reinvigorate support for the war. Ecco Press will publish in May 2012 in the US.
Anova Books craft publisher Collins & Brown has signed a world rights deal with haberdashery company Merchant & Mills, with The Merchant & Mills Sewing Book to be released in October 2012. Publisher Katie Cowan signed the deal direct with the authors, Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field. The book is billed as a guide to "good old-fashioned sewing”.
Curtis Brown agent Jonny Geller has just submitted to UK publishers the next title by Dustin Thomason, co-author of The Rule of Four, which has already attracted deals in Holland, Italy and Poland since last week. The novel, 12:21, is described as a white-knuckle thriller, with the plot based on the 2012 apocalypse believed to have been foretold thousands of years ago. Dial Press has US rights, with Geller and Daisy Meyrick representing on behalf of Jennifer Joel at ICM. Offers are pending in six other foreign markets.
Picador has acquired a quartet of linked novels by writer, artist and film-maker Richard House, and will release them initially as e-books. Publisher Paul Baggaley acquired world rights through agent Tony Peake of Peake Associates, with the first three novels—Sutler, The Massive, and The Hit—set in southern Iraq and the Middle East, and the fourth novel, The Kill, a standalone crime novel, set in Naples, which characters in the first three books have been reading. Picador will publish in digital form at regular intervals throughout the second half of 2012, with the physical versions to follow throughout 2013.