Ebury triumphed in a hotly contested auction on the eve of LBF to land one of this year’s hottest non-fiction properties: a book on how to be happier and healthier by superstar behavioural scientist and “Silicon Valley legend” B J Fogg.
Deputy publisher Joel Rickett bought UK and Commonwealth rights, for a six-figure sum, to Fogg’s Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything. The deal was concluded with Abner Stein’s Caspian Dennis, on behalf of Doug Abrams at Idea Architects. Abrams sold US rights to Eamon Dolan for his eponymous Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint after a 12-way auction. Translation rights have gone in nine territories—eight at auction, one on a pre-empt—with auctions for Russian and Turkish ongoing as The Bookseller Daily went to press, all via the Marsh Agency.
Fogg, founder of the Behaviour Design Lab at Stanford University, has done groundbreaking work in behavioural psychology. In tech circles, he is renowned for his research on social media interaction; a 2007 group of students he taught on the subject is known as “the Facebook class” because many of its number went on to occupy high-powered positions at Silicon Valley giants such as Uber, Instagram, Facebook and Google.
Tiny Habits, Ebury believes, “will show how—contrary to the myth of willpower—creating happier, healthier lives is much easier than we think”. Fogg called it “the culmination of over 20 years of my research, as well as my real-world experience in helping thousands of people become healthier and happier. In this book I share my breakthrough method for making change easier—and even fun.” Rickett said: “[Fogg’s] scientifically-based, road-tested model is breathtakingly powerful and will change so many lives. The Ebury team is already adopting his techniques to change our habits at home and in the office.”