Quercus backs O’Neill  after YA Book Prize win

Quercus backs O’Neill after YA Book Prize win

Quercus is to publish an adult edition of Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill above, the winner of the YA Book Prize 2015.

The publisher hopes the adult edition will get more space in bricks and mortar bookshops and attract more coverage outside of YA press circles.

Quercus’ Niamh Mulvey, who edited the book, said: “The YA edition has shown us that this is one of those very special books with the potential to reach readers of all ages and genders.”

The issues tackled in the book, including body image and female subjugation, are “of crucial importance to all of us—female and male, of all ages—and as such the book deserves to be read as widely as possible,” Mulvey said. “I see this book as further proof of how sometimes the biggest, boldest and most interesting voices in fiction come from the children’s and YA world—I’m thinking of books like [R J Palacio’s] Wonder, [Markus Zusak’s] The Book Thief, [Mark Haddon’s] The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, etc.”
Mulvey pointed out that the book has already enjoyed the same level of coverage as an adult novel would receive in Ireland, where O’Neill lives. She won Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards last November in a category “made up entirely of serious literary fiction [authors]”.

The UK adult edition, (pictured above) will be released on 2nd July. It features a different doll’s head to the YA edition and has a pale background rather than a black one, with the strapline: “Be Good. Be Pretty. Be Chosen.” Quercus is planning a promotional and marketing campaign with advertising in Cosmo​politan, Stylist, Grazia and Glamour, as well as activity on social media. The publisher said more than 20,000 copies of Only Ever Yours had been sold in print and e-book since it won the YA Book Prize in March. According to Nielsen BookScan data, UK sales of the print edition rose 171% week on week when the book won the award. Rights have sold in three international territories and there are “three offers on the table” for film rights.

In the US, Only Ever Yours was published by Quercus US on 13th May after already selling out on pre-order, meaning the publisher had to reprint immediately.

O’Neill’s second book, Asking For It, is about a rape victim. It will be published in September. The book tells the story of Emma O’Donovan, an 18-year-old girl living in Ireland who wakes up one day on the porch of her house after a party, with no recollection of what happened the night before. Soon after, people in the community start sharing explicit photos online and via social media, which reveal what happened to Emma.

“We are publishing in hardback in September and then paperback in spring 2016, which is indicative of our belief in the strength, appeal and importance of this book,” said Mulvey.