Non-fiction books take the lead at the London Book Fair
23.04.10 | Helen Nianias and Philip Jones
Non-fiction ruled the rights centre at the 39th London Book Fair according to an analysis of deals reported in The Bookseller Daily, with Hachette and HarperCollins the busier publishers. In total 36 rights deals were announced during the fair, 21 non-fiction, 15 fiction. Top agents were United Agents, PFD and AP Watt.
Top non-fictions deals were HarperCollins’ This is a call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl announced in Monday’s Bookseller Daily, followed by HarperPress’ acquisition of a new book by historian Max Hastings, with Transworld weighing in with Susan Boyle’s memoir, reported in Tuesday’s Daily. Top fiction deals were ‘hot book’ When God was a Rabbit bought for six figures by Headline, and Little, Brown’s capture of two new Dennis Lehane books, both reported exclusively in Wednesday’s show daily.
An analysis of those deals announced and reported in the three editions of The Bookseller Daily, and in The Bookseller this week, showed that independent publishers captured a third of the deals, including seven non-fiction books.
Hachette announced ten deals, but bucked the wider trend with eight of the titles bought fiction books. HarperCollins reported nine deals, seven of them for non-fiction books. Random House bought four, half of them fiction titles.
Rival agencies PFD and United Agents were behind three deals each, as was AP Watt. This was narrowly ahead of Curtis Brown, Luigi Bonomi, and Rogers, Coleridge & White, who were named in two deals each.
Other publishers appeared to do their buying before the fair, The Bookseller reported six Penguin deals on the eve of the fair in its preview round-ups, five of them non-fiction books. These included The Ponzi by Felix Riley and The Atlantic and its Enemies: A Personal History of the Cold War by Norman Stone: three were agented by PFD, two by Aitken Alexander, and the sixth by Curtis Brown.
The LBF league tables: 36 deals, 21 non-fiction, 15 fiction.
Publishers: Hachette 10 (2 non-fiction). HC 9 (7 non-fiction). Random House 4 (2 non-fiction). S&S 3 (3 non-fiction). Indies 10 (7 non-fiction).
Agents: United Agents A 3 (0 non-fiction), PFD 3 (2 non-fiction), AP Watt 3 (3 non-fiction), Curtis Brown 2 (1), Luigi Bonomi 2 (0), Rogers, Coleridge & White 2 (1)