Michael Joseph has acquired a second "secret diary" from Hendrik Groen, the eponymous author of Dutch bestseller The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 83 ¼ Years Old, which it is also due to be published on 25th August this year.
As Long as there is Life continues the story of protagonist Hendrik – now aged 85-years-old - and follows the adventures of "The Old But Not Dead Club" in the Amsterdam retirement home in which he resides.
The deal, for UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada, was agreed between Jessica Leeke, editorial director at Michael Joseph, and Marleen Seegers at the 2 Seas Agency.
It follows the six-figure deal for the first book which was struck just ahead of London Book Fair 2016 following a "fierce auction".
The Hendrik Groen books have both been bestsellers in the Netherlands, with the first book remaining in the bestseller charts since its publication in 2014. Michael Joseph claims this is the first time a Dutch author has held both the top two places in the Netherlands' book chart.
Internationally, Hendrik Groen has sold in 30 territories including in the US, and a Dutch TV series based on the books, "in the vein of 'The Office'", is currently in production.
The publisher has said the hardback publication of the first novel this August will be one of its "biggest ever debut launches" and will include a "major" publicity campaign across broadcast, print and digital media, with point of sale packs to be sent out to booksellers on the week of publication.
In the absence of the author, who will remain anonymous, a 60+ reading group from Dagenham Library have had their discussion of The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen filmed. This forms the foundation of the marketing and publicity campaign, which addresses the subjects of aging, friendship and care for the elderly. The audio edition, also published by Michael Joseph, is read by Derek Jacobi.
As Long as there is Life is scheduled for publication in January 2018.