DEAL OF THE WEEK

Boylan, Picoult Team Up for Ballantine

Mad Honey by bestselling authors Jennifer Boylan and Jodi Picoult was acquired by Ballantine’s Jennifer Hershey in a world rights (excluding British Commonwealth) deal. The publisher said the novel, which grew out of an exchange the authors had on Twitter, is about “what we choose to keep from our past, and what we choose to leave behind.” Mad Honey is slated for October 2022. Boylan was represented in the agreement by Kris Dahl at ICM Partners, and Picoult was represented by Laura Gross of Laura Gross Literary Agency.

Atria Nabs Armas’s TikTok Sensation

For Atria, Kaitlin Olson won North American rights, at auction, to The Spanish Love Deception and its sequel, The American Roommate Experiment, by Elena Armas. The Spanish Love Deception was self-published in February and went on to become a viral hit, largely through TikTok, according to Atria. The novel follows “enemies-to-lovers coworkers who become entangled when one needs a date to a wedding in Spain.” Jessica Watterson at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency represented Armas, and her firm also closed a number of foreign rights deals for the books, including with houses in Croatia, Hungary, and the U.K. Atria will release a new print edition of The Spanish Love Deception in February 2022.

Baker Gets ‘Rooted’ at One World

Rooted by Brea Baker was preempted by Nicole Counts at One World. The North American rights agreement for the book, subtitled The American Legacy of Land Theft and the Modern Movement for Black Land Ownership, was brokered by Johanna Castillo at Writers House. Rooted focuses on land theft, which the publisher said is a major contributor to the racial wealth gap and “one of the nation’s first sins.” Baker, a writer and activist, explores her own family history in the book to show the legacy of land theft and “chart a path forward.”

Cain Is ‘Bittersweet’ for Crown

Gillian Blake at Random House’s Crown imprint acquired North American rights to Susan Cain’s Bittersweet. The book, subtitled How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, is scheduled for April 2022 and was sold by Richard Pine at Inkwell Management. Quiet, Cain’s 2012 book about the positives of introversion, sold more than four million copies, according to the publisher. Bittersweet, which Crown said “employs the same skills and sensibility” as Quiet, explores “the powers of a bittersweet, melancholic outlook” and asks why we have historically “been so blind to its value.”

Brown Re-ups at Putnam

In a world rights deal, bestseller Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters) sold a new novel to her long-standing publisher, G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Any Other Family was acquired by Putnam publisher Sally Kim from Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein at McIntosh & Otis. The novel, set for summer 2022, explores “the nuances and intricacies of the relationships among three sets of parents who form a family after adopting biological siblings,” Putnam said. Gabriella Mongelli at Putnam will edit the title.

TikTokker Finds ‘Faith’ with Zondervan

Zondervan Books’ Carolyn McCready preempted world English rights to Andy Dooley’s Faith, Family, Fitness. The publisher said the author is a fitness coach and TikTok influencer who boasts more than 1.5 million fans on the platform. The book, slated for fall 2022, is a collection of readings intended to “inspire and motivate the whole family to live a healthy Christian life.” Kathleen Ortiz of New Leaf Literary & Media represented Dooley.


A version of this article appeared in the 09/27/2021 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Book Deals: Week of September 27, 2021

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