HarperCollins secures world Agatha Christie rights

HarperCollins secures world Agatha Christie rights

<p>HarperCollins has signed a deal with the estate of Agatha Christie to become the crime author&#39;s exclusive worldwide English language publisher.</p><p>The deal, signed for a seven figure sum and announced this morning on the 120th anniversary of her birth, secures all global publishing rights, including digital and audio formats, to the publisher for the next 10 years. Previously Penguin and St Martin&#39;s Press had been publishing Christie in the US. Collins has published Agatha Christie since The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was first published in 1926.</p><p>Brian Murray, president and c.e.o., HarperCollins Worldwide, said: &quot;Agatha Christie Ltd and HarperCollins have worked together to build her into one of world&rsquo;s bestselling authors. In the last ten years alone, we have doubled her sales across the globe and have catapulted her to a top-ten English language author in India, a market where we believe, she can only continue to grow. This new deal will enable us to take the brand to even greater heights in the decades ahead.&quot;</p><p>Victoria Barnsley, c.e.o. and publisher, HarperCollins UK and International, said: &quot;Agatha Christie has now become a global brand, embodying a certain quintessentially British style. In this the 120th year since her birth, in a rapidly changing world, we are keen to publish her work in all formats, everywhere in the globe, to consolidate her position as the world&rsquo;s most popular author.&quot;</p><p>Waheed Ali, executive chairman of Chorion, the majority shareholder of Agatha Christie Ltd said: &quot;We are delighted that HarperCollins will be Christie&rsquo;s new global publisher as we already have a great working relationship with them in the UK on Agatha Christie, and we are excited about working with them on the challenges that lie ahead in this new world of publishing.&quot;</p><p>Mathew Prichard, chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd and the crime author&#39;s grandson, said: &quot;Both my family and Agatha Christie Ltd are delighted to be renewing our long-standing publishing agreement with HarperCollins, this time on a world-wide basis. My grandmother herself valued her relationship with Collins enormously, and in an ever-changing media world, it is a tribute to both the lasting popularity of Agatha Christie and the professionalism of HarperCollins that such a long and important publishing partnership will be renewed and expanded.&quot;</p><p>HarperCollins repackaged its Christie backlist in the UK two years ago so an immediate refresh is unlikely. However, the publisher aims to redesign its backlist for the US market for spring 2011.<br /><br />For a full interview with David Brawn, HarperCollins&#39; publishing director for estates, see this Friday&#39;s issue of<em> The Bookseller</em>. </p>