Transworld m.d. Larry Finlay and senior commissioning editor Henry Vines have signed one of the hottest books of the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair: The Story of Everything by influential blogger Tim Urban.
The deal, for a substantial six-figure sum, was made with Richard Pine and Lyndsey Blessing at Inkwell Management. The title will be released in 2019.
The book will be in the style of Urban’s hugely popular Wait But Why blog, in which he uses stick-figure illustrations and “sometimes epic prose” to explain topics from “procrastination to artificial intelligence to marriage”. Described as a cross between Randall Munroe’s What If? and Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, the title will “synthesise the complexity of both recorded history and the vast unknown”.
Since Urban launched Wait But Why in 2013 his articles have racked up impressive readership numbers: his four-part series on tech billionaire Elon Musk has been viewed 4.5 million times.
Urban gave a TED Talk on procrastination earlier this year, which has been viewed 7.7 million times.
US and Canadian rights to the title were sold in a major pre-empt to Andy Ward at Random House.