FBF Day 3: rights round-up

FBF Day 3: rights round-up

The third day of Frankfurt has seen a wealth of new deals, including "frenzied" bidding for Egmont's BZRK series, and a second Led Zeppelin title.

Michael Grant’s new young adult thriller series BZRK has hit the half a million pound mark in foreign rights sales, selling into five territories: France, Germany, Holland, Norway and the US.

Egmont, which is selling world rights, has reported “frenzied” bidding from a number of other territories for the three-book series. The title is Egmont’s first cross-media product, which brings together books and gaming. American author Grant is best known for his Gone and The Shadow Gang series.

The digital gaming element of the book is the Alternate Reality Game (ARG) that has been available since September in the UK via multiple channels, including an iOS/Android game app, on the hub website GOBZRK.com and social networks. The series has been co-developed by leading ARG writer Rich Silverman, whose credits include games for TV drama “Heroes” and Oscar-winning film “The Dark Knight”.

Egmont will release the first book of the series in February as one of the lead titles in its new YA imprint Electric Monkey.

Gillian Laskier, group sales director for Egmont UK, said: “We’ve been completely overwhelmed by the level of early interest in this book. By acquiring titles of this quality, our new imprint Electric Monkey is securing its position in the YA market globally.”

Random House has sold its forthcoming Rod Stewart memoir into three territories at Frankfurt Book Fair. The as-yet-untitled book has been sold to Globo in Brazil, Mondadori in Italy and Random House Germany. The Random House Group UK and Random House US jointly acquired world rights to the memoir of the former Faces frontman this autumn. The book will be published simultaneously in October 2012 by Century in the UK and Crown Archetype in the US.

Janklow & Nesbit UK’s Tim Glister has sold at auction UK and Commonwealth rights to Evil Genius, a “lifestyle guide like no other” by Joshua Blackburn, to Rosemary Davidson at Square Peg Books. The book uses well-known characters including Lex Luther, Darth Vader and Bond villain Blofeld to teach people “how to succeed in life, business, and world domination”. US rights are currently on offer through P J Mark at Janklow & Nesbit US.

Jo Fletcher has made her first buy for her eponymous imprint at Quercus, snapping up an epic Indian fantasy trilogy. Fletcher acquired world English rights outside the Indian subcontinent to the Shiva trilogy by Amish from US agent Claire Roberts at Trident Media Group, acting on behalf of the author and the author’s Indian agent, Anuj Bahri of Red Ink Literary Agency. The first two books, The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas have been bestsellers in India. Fletcher will publish in 2012.  

Contributing to what is proving to be a rock ‘n’ roll FBF, Faber has acquired a “major” new book on Led Zeppelin, written by Tom Waits biographer Barney Hoskyns. Senior editor Angus Cargill bought UK and Commonwealth rights, plus translation—excluding France and Germany—to Trampled Under Foot from Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown. Faber plans to publish as a hardback, with rare and unseen pictures, in September 2012. US rights were sold by Geller to Wiley. Cargill said the book is “fantastically entertaining, but also genuinely revealing, as Hoskyns goes after the true, in-depth story of one of the most legendary periods in rock ‘n’ roll history.”

Penguin’s Helga’s Diary, the account written by Helga Weiss when she was a young girl during her internment in two concentration camps over the course of the Second World War, has now sold, on the strength of a 28-page sample translation, in Finland to Tammi, Miskal in Israel, Einaudi in Italy and Intrinseca in Brazil, with Belfond pre-empting in France. German, Dutch and Danish auctions are ongoing, and will be concluded before the end of the fair, with a Romanian offer and “very strong interest” in the US also reported.

Fourth Estate editor Mark Richards has bought world rights to Communion Town by Sam Thompson from Peter Straus at RCW. Richards said: “It’s a first novel by an exceptional young writer, set in an unnamed city—one that borrows topography from various cities around the world—that is haunted by a strange, shadowy presence.”

Weidenfeld & Nicolson has bought two novels by début author, and former BBC journalist, Richard Crompton. Both titles feature Mollel, a crime-solving former Maasai warrior. Publishing director Kirsty Dunseath acquired rights through Eugenie Furniss at WME. The first book, The Honey Guide, follows Mollel as he investigates the murder of a local prostitute. The second, Hell’s Gate, will see him work on a case involving vigilante killings, corruption and terrorism.

Tor UK has acquired the first three books in a series by début author and Sega computer games developer Seth Patrick, snapping them up with a six-figure pre-empt offer. Editorial director Julie Crisp bought world English-language rights in the three books in the Reviver series with Thomas Dunne Books in New York from agent Luigi Bonomi. The books will feature “Reviver” Jonah Miller, who can make contact with the dead and bring them back to life for a short period of time. The first book in the series is set to be published by Tor in the UK in 2013.

Anova Books is selling world rights to the official book marking the 25th anniversary of the original production  of “The Phantom of the Opera”. Fully supported and sanctioned by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and theatre impressario Cameron Macintosh (who produced “The Phantom”), the book has exclusive material on the whole Phantom global phenomenon, the latest updated official libretto and a foreword by Lloyd Webber on what Phantom means to him. The Phantom is one of the most popular pieces of musical theatre, having been seen by an estimated 130 million people worldwide. Over 40 million copies of the original cast recording have been sold.   

Frankfurt Book Fair Daily: Day 3