HarperCollins’ Avon and children’s divisions will work together to expand the Alfie range of cat books by Rachel Wells, with titles for both kids and adults.
Harriet Wilson, editorial director of fiction at HarperCollins Children’s Books, will publish two children’s books about Alfie: Alfie: Cat in Trouble in paperback in April 2016 and Alfie: Far From Home in June 2016. She bought world rights, excluding film, TV and merchandise, from Chloe Seager of Diane Banks Associates.
At the same time, Helen Huthwaite, editorial director for Avon, has acquired world English language rights from Kate Burke, also of Diane Banks Associates, for a new Alfie title for the adult market. Alfie and George is due to be published November 2016.
Alfie first appeared in Alfie the Doorstep Cat in 2014. The book was HarperCollins’ biggest hardback debut that year, selling more than 100,000 copies, according to the publisher.
Huthwaite said: “I am absolutely delighted to continue Avon’s fantastic relationship with Rachel. It’s been a wonderful partnership so far, and we’ve been thrilled to see the Alfie books read and loved by so many readers.”
Wilson added: “I loved the warmth and humour of Avon’s bestseller Alfie the Doorstep Cat and it struck me that the idea of a helpful neighbourhood cat who helps everybody out was perfect for developing into stories for young readers. Happily, the author agreed and she has delivered two wonderful books which share all the hallmarks of the adult Alfie titles, but reimagined for a young audience.”
HarperCollins Children’s Books is taking the Alfie kids titles to the Bologna book fair next month.