LBF Day 1: rights round-up

LBF Day 1: rights round-up

A flurry of rights deals have been announced at this year's London Book Fair, with a Condoleeza Rice memoir and four Paullina Simons novels in the works.

Sphere has signed an autobiography by tennis champ Rafael Nadal, while HarperPress has acquired titles from ex-PM John Major and Simon Callow. Candace Bushnell is to write two more for HC, while Little, Brown has acquired a biography of Apple supremo Steve Jobs.

Simon and Schuster UK has bought UK and Commonwealth rights, including serial, to former US secretary of state Condoleeza Rice's memoir. M.d. Ian Chapman bought the rights from Simon Trewin at United Agents on behalf of Wayne Kabak and Teri Tobias in New York. The book will be published in November, alongside Crown in the US.

Hamish Hamilton's Simon Prosser has bought British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to the follow-up to the award-winning Precious. The Kid by Sapphire is the story of Precious' orphaned son Abdul as well as a generational tale from Mississippi to Harlem. Rights were bought from Margaret Halton at RCW, on behalf of Melanie Jackson. The book will be published in August.

Publishing director Wayne Brookes at Pan Macmillan has acquired world rights in two books by F R Tallis from Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander. The first, Strix, a 19th-century Gothic horror, is described by Brookes as “both evocative and terrifying in equal measures”. Pan Macmillan plans to publish in B-format hardcover in late spring 2012, and B-format pb the following year.

Suzie Dooré, Hodder fiction editorial director, has signed two deals. The first is for an as-yet-untitled novel about a freed slave who becomes a spy during the American Civil War. She bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Elizabeth Sheinkman at Curtis Brown. The paperback original will be published in February 2012. Dooré also bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman. The story is about a Jewish couple separated during the Second World War and reunited years later. Rights were bought from Tawanna Sullivan at Penguin Group US, which will publish in September. Hodder will publish an export paperback original that month and publish in the UK in March 2012.

Becky Hardie at Chatto & Windus has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in Jack Wolf's debut novel, The Tale of the Raw Head and Bloody Bones, at auction from Will Francis at Janklow & Nesbit UK. Rights have been pre-empted by Belfond in France and Destino in Spain, with offers in other territories. A UK publication date for the book, about a genius but psychotic 18th century surgeon, is to be confirmed.

Viking's Venetia Butterfield has bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Honour, a novel from The Bastard of Istanbul author Elif Shafak. Set in 1970s London, the book is about a half-Kurdish, half Turkish immigrant family. Viking will publish in spring 2012. The deal was signed with Elizabeth Sheinkman at Curtis Brown.

HarperCollins has bought world rights to four books from Paullina Simons directly from the author. Katie Espiner, who signed the deal which included e-book rights, said: "Ever since we first published Paullina's debut novel, Tully, we have known what a truly outstanding author we have in Paullina. Her phenomenal success in Australia and New Zealand, where her books always sell to more than 100,000 devoted fans, show that she is an author with massive global and digital potential. We are thrilled to be continuing our
long relationship with Paullina and delighted to be able to bring her books to a new audience around the world."

Chris Smith, editorial director at HarperCollins, bought UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada, to A Devil is Waiting by Jack Higgins through Ed Victor. The book will be published next year. Smith said: “Jack Higgins is a legend in every sense of the word, with sales in excess of 250 million copies and an unparalleled backlist of action thrillers, and he is now fast becoming one of the most successful authors in the digital market. The killer combination of classic storytelling and bang up to date action is winning a whole new readership in e-book, and we have big plans to build on this in 2012.”

Sylvie Fenczaz of Flammarion has bought French rights to Kitty Ferguson's book on Stephen Hawking. The deal was negotiated through Sandrine Paccher of Lora Fountain & Associates and Brie Burkeman of Burkeman & Clarke.

Transworld has UK rights and the manuscript will be delivered later this year.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired new literary talent Kenneth MacLeod. Kirsty Dunseath, publishing director, bought UK and Commonwealth rights to The Incident from Peter Straus of Rogers, Coleridge and White.

The novel follows Craig who was a teenage lifeguard on a beach in Germany when two chidlren died on his watch: it also follows the story of his grandfather who was on board a ship torpedoed during the Second World War and survived by clinging to the body of one of his colleagues. The third strand follows Gerd, a refugee of the Cold War who was recruited by the Stasi. W&N described it as " a book about history . . . and the way such incidents or turning points can echo across generations". W&N will publish in June 2012.

Historian and city commentator Leo Hollis has moved to Bloomsbury for a new book on the changing face of city life. Helen Garnons-Williams in London with George Gibson at Bloomsbury New York together bought world English rights at auction on what agent Patrick Walsh calls "a brilliant and counter-intuitive proposal . . . which argues that in every way possible cities are better for their inhabitants in terms of health, wealth, happiness, greenness and so on." Walsh said: "Importantly the book also takes on all the dull books being written in the States by economist and statisticians and argues for the need for city life to be built up out of small communities who look after each other".. So a book about the heart of the international city, whether you live in Lagos, Shenzen or New York."

Hollis' previous two books were published by Weidenfeld.

And Simon and Schuster Children's Books has acquired the rights for two more Dork Diaries titles and a spin-off journal.

Jane Griffiths, editor at S&S, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada for Rachel Renee Russell's books from Angharad Kowal at Writers House UK.

Te first title under the new contract, Dork Diaries: Pop Star, will be published in June 2011 and is the third title in the series. The fourth will follow in June 2012. The journal, entitled How to Dork your Diary, will be published in 2012.

Griffiths said: "The Dork Diaries series has already proved a hit, both in the UK and internationally, and I'm delighted to have three more books in the pipeline to continue spreading the Dorky word!"

The first two Dork Diaries book have sold 1.7 million copies sold worldwide.

LBF Daily: Day 1