Agents reveal more hot books for LBF 2010
14.04.10 | Helen Nianias
A memoir from a long-time animal rights campaigner, a book dissecting the science of financial risk taking and a children’s book about a disease that kills the imagination are among the tips from agents in the second of a two-part round up ahead of this month’s London Book Fair.
The first part, published last week, revealed deals of The Pleasures of Men by Kate Williams, and The Ponzi by Felix Riley, as well as pitches for Solace by Irish Times journalist Belinda McKeon and A Book for All and None by Clare Morgan.
Among the books being pitched by Conville & Walsh is one that has already picked up buzz—the memoir An African Love Story by animal rights campaigner Dame Daphne Sheldrick—as one of the hot books of the fair. Patrick Walsh has sold UK and US rights for six figures apiece: both deals were pre-empts, with Farrar, Straus & Giroux picking up the Stateside territory, and Venetia Butterfield and Eleo Gordon signing for Viking in the UK. German rights have been won at auction by Goldmann, and the Dutch rights by de Boekerij.
Walsh is also working on Wendy Moore’s latest book, the true story of the 12-year-old girl who inspired George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, entitled How to Create the Perfect Wife. UK rights have gone to Weidenfeld & Nicolson, with the US auction due to take place. Other rights are up for sale at the fair.
Hill Farm, a début by Miranda France, is also being touted as one of the hot properties. UK rights have been sold to Becky Hardie in her first acquisition as the new editorial director at Chatto & Windus, in a pre-empt. The remainder will be sold at the fair.
Colleague Clare Conville will be working on Robert Wilton’s The Emperor’s Gold, having sold UK and Italian rights to Angus Mackinnon at Atlantic, and also to Longanesi in Italy. The début novel, the first in a series of historical espionage thrillers, is being pitched at remaining territories. Ben Mason is looking to sell remaining territories in debut novel The Dubious Salvation of Jack Vilje, having sold UK rights to Beth Coates at Jonathan Cape. The story is particularly apposite given this year’s market focus as it follows a boy caught between the Afrikaans and English communities in late 1980s South Africa.
The Darley Anderson Agency is heading to the fair with Carolyn Jess-Cooke’s The Guardian Angel’s Journal, with Little, Brown/Piatkus having won a four-way auction for UK and Commonwealth rights. Translation rights have been sold at auction in 10 languages, including Chinese and German. Madeleine Buston has submitted edited material in the US and is looking to secure further translation deals at the fair.
Buston is also selling translation rights to Jenna Burtenshaw’s début Wintercraft, having sold UK and US rights to Headline and Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins respectively. Buston is also preparing to submit Karen Clarke’s My Future Husband, predicting it as “a big hit on the international stage”. The team is describing it as “The Time Traveler’s Wife for the light-hearted.”
Also at Darley, Camilla Bolton is about to submit the proposal to The Mysterious Mind of Walter Hubble, a children’s book about a race to cure an obscure disease that kills the imagination by début author Miranda Sen. No rights have been sold but the agency said it was “expecting major results on an international level”.
Meanwhile, the team is looking to sell international rights, including US, to another debut—Being Billy by Phil Earle. UK rights have gone to Puffin, while in Germany, Carlsen acquired the books in what was described as “a strong two-book deal”. Darley Anderson is himself taking new books by established authors Martina Cole, Lesley Pearse, John Connolly, Tana French, Jane Costello, Chris Carter, Chris Mooney, Tara Hyland Cathy Cassidy and Lee Child, as well as a debut crime novel Partners in Crime by Ugly author Constance Briscoe.
At Capel & Land, Georgina Capel is looking to sell the remaining territories to Meira Chand’s story of a family caught in Singapore’s journey to independence, A Different Sky, having sold UK and Commonwealth rights to Harvill Secker. Capel will also be pitching Philip Mansel’s Levant, a history of the region in the modern age. UK rights went on proposal to John Murray, while Italian rights went to Mondadori and Greek to Oceanida on pre-empts.
Capel is also selling rights in Catherine of Aragon by Giles Tremlett. World English-language rights have gone to Faber, for publication this autumn, while AST won Russian rights, but the remainder of the territories are up for grabs. Capel is selling English-language rights and Romilly Must is selling remaining translation rights in Simon Sebag-Montefiore’s Jerusalem: A Biography. A total of 13 territories have gone, including UK rights to Weidenfeld and Nicolson, and US to Knopf.
C&L agent Abi Fellows is tipping poet Elizabeth Speller’s first novel, The Return of Captain John Emmett, following it publication by Virago earlier this month. As well as UK rights, Hebrew rights have gone to Modan, and Italian rights were won by Mauri Spagnol, pre-empted by Ponte Alle Grazie, with Lithuanian and Romanian deals pending.
A P Watt is selling the non-UK rights for hotly tipped non-fiction book Fight or Flight: The Biology of Financial Risk-Taking. UK rights have been sold to Fourth Estate by Georgia Garrett, with the remainder still available, and the foreign rights team handling international deals. Rights to comedian David Baddiel’s novel, The Death of Eli Gold, will also be up for grabs via Garrett who has sold UK rights to Fourth Estate. Garrett is also tipping The King of the Badger by Booker shortlister Philip Hensher, which has also gone to Fourth Estate domestically. Remaining rights are for sale over the course of the fair.
Fellow A P Watt agent Caradoc King has started selling territories for The Brave by Nick Evans, about a young boy who moves with his family to Hollywood in 1959, in advance of the fair, but is planning to sell the remainder at the event. UK and US rights have been sold to Little, Brown here and across the pond. Italian, Chinese, Dutch, Serbian and Polish rights have also been sold.