Simon & Schuster's rights team has sold A F Steadman's debut middle-grade series Skandar and the Unicorn Thief in 23 languages, with total advances in excess of £1m.
The global deals were largely snapped up by pre-empts and at auction. The series has sold to publishers in all territories including CITIC Press Corporation China, HarperCollins Germany, Penguin Random House Spain and Portugal, Hachette France and Ushio Japan.
Stephanie Purcell, rights director, said: "The rights team have had a phenomenal worldwide response to Skandar and the Unicorn Thief and it’s been fantastic that so many international publishers share our passion and enthusiasm for this outstanding series. This is definitely the biggest series I have experienced in my rights career."
The series was bought for a record-breaking seven-figure co-publication by Ali Dougal, publishing director at Simon & Schuster Children’s UK and Kendra Levin, editorial director, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, who bought three books from Sam Copeland at Rogers, Coleridge & White in September. The film rights were simultaneously sold pre-emptively to Sony Pictures for a seven-figure deal.
The series, for readers age nine plus, is set to launch in hardback in spring 2022.