Canongate is to publish two new books by Matt Haig: a "sequel of sorts" to bestselling Reasons To Stay Alive and a second adult novel.
Publishing director Francis Bickmore acquired world rights from Clare Conville of C&W. Rights for both these titles have since been sold to Haig’s long-standing Canadian publisher, HarperCollins Canada.
The first deal is for a work of non-fiction provisionally entitled Notes on a Nervous Planet, set to be published in summer 2018. A "sequel of sorts" to Haig's top-selling title Reasons To Stay Alive, the book sets out to explore the many causes of anxiety in modern society and ways to combat them.
The second book will be an adult novel for publication in summer 2019.
Haig’s latest novel, How to Stop Time, was published last week, for which rights have been sold in 26 countries. Film rights were optioned earlier this year by SunnyMarch, with StudioCanal fully financing the film and with Benedict Cumberbatch attached to play the lead.
Haig has so far sold 549,611 books for £3.59m, according to Nielsen Bookscan. Reasons to Stay Alive is his biggest hit, having shifted 44,841 copies in hardback and 150,381 in paperback since it was published in 2015.
Haig described the books as "slightly unconventional and very different from each other" but "connected in weirdly abstract ways. He said: "The non-fiction book will look at all kinds of stuff about the modern world – from lightbulbs to magazine – to explore how much the outside world impacts on our mental health. The other one is at a more embryonic stage, but has already been immense fun to work on. I am excited about building on my great relationship with the brilliant and creative Canongate team and can’t wait for these new books to arrive on bookshelves."
Bickmore said: "Matt is one of the most versatile writers out there and it is very exciting to follow his bestselling new novel with a return to the kind of non-fiction writing that won hearts and minds with Reasons to Stay Alive. He is now published in 36 countries and we are seeing year on year growth of his readership both here and abroad."
Conville added that Haig has a unique voice, humour and "sense of otherness" which permeate through his work. She too echoed the fact that Haig has international appeal. "...The joy is that he is able to connect with so many readers both in the UK and across the world," she said. "Canongate has played a vital part in establishing Matt as one of the most thrilling and visionary of writers working today and I am delighted to have concluded this new two book deal on Matt's behalf."