Murder and sci-fi hit rights spot at Frankfurt

Murder and sci-fi hit rights spot at Frankfurt

S K Vaughn’s blockbuster space-set survival thriller Across the Void (Sphere) and Stuart Turton’s murder mystery The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle are among the titles bagging numerous foreign-rights deals at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair.

Vaughn’s book, Sphere’s “biggest submission for the Frankfurt Book Fair 2017”, has been sold into multiple territories based on a 50,000-word partial manuscript. Skybound Books seized US and audio rights for a “significant” six-figure sum through Foundry agent Sam Morgan. It is the first acquisition for the imprint, which is a co-publishing partnership between Atria Books (part of S&S US) and media company Skybound Entertainment. Little, Brown’s rights team, which holds world rights apart from US and Canada, sold the novel into Germany (Goldmann) for a “very strong” five-figure advance, and accepted a “major” five-figure pre-empt in Italy (Rizzoli) and further pre-empts in Brazil, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Portugal and Spain, with a Dutch deal imminent.

Murder mysteries are also selling strongly, with a string of deals for Turton’s The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, billed by DHH Literary Agency’s Harry Illingworth as “‘Gosford Park’ meets ‘Inception’, by way of Agatha Christie”. After Raven Books bought UK rights, US rights were sold to Sourcebooks and Spanish rights to Atico, with deals in Turkey, Japan and the Czech Republic. TV rights have been bought by House Productions.

Chris McGeorge’s high-concept locked-room murder mystery Guess Who?, acquired in the UK by Orion Fiction, has earned four “major” deals: North American rights went auction to HarperCollins, with sales in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and a pre-empt in Germany.

Other books sold into multiple territories include Rhys Thomas’ The Unlikely Heroics of Sam Holloway (Wildfire in the UK). German rights were pre-empted by Goldmann for a six-figure sum, while Emily Gunnis’ début The Numbered (Headline in the UK) has been the subject of mid-five-figure deals in Germany (Heyne) and Italy (Garzanti).