Sunday, December 30, 2007

Scholastic to Publish the 39 Clues

Scholastic breaks new ground with the launch of The 39 Clues, a multi-platform adventure series for ages 8-12. Scholastic's Trade publishing division will launch the program simultaneously in September 2008 in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

Combining reading with online gaming and collecting, The 39 Clues will include 10 adrenaline-charged books to be released over a 24-month period, 350 collectible cards, and a dynamic online game where readers uncover information beyond what is revealed in the books and cards and compete for prizes.

All rights for The 39 Clues are controlled by Scholastic, and Scholastic Media, will be extending the print and internet components by developing the property across other media and consumer products.

The first book in the series, The Maze of Bones is written by #1 New York Times best-selling author Rick Riordan, who also outlined the program's 10-book story arc. The Maze of Bones will be released in September 2008, and the official The 39 Clues game will begin worldwide on September 9, 2008.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oberon Media Takes World's Best-Selling Author to Online Gaming

James Patterson, the world's best-selling author with 140 million books sold globally, is blazing a trail in the interactive arena by making his casual games debut based on one of his best-selling series of novels, Women's Murder Club (WMC). The WMC game in 2008 will be the first property to be brought to the mass-market casual games audience through James Patterson Entertainment's exclusive partnership with Oberon Media, the world's leading multi-platform casual-games company.

Following on from the success of ABC Television's hit new series, "Women's Murder Club" fans as well as mystery fans everywhere will have opportunity to interact with Patterson's much loved super-sleuths. Players will get to play as each of the founding members of the Women's Murder Club: Lindsay Boxer, Cindy Thomas, Claire Washburn and Jill Bernhardt. All four are talented women, each a success in her own field, who use their expertise, their close friendship and their instincts to uncover clues to San Francisco's most grisly homicides.

The game is being produced by Oberon Media, publisher of mass-market casual hits like Dream Day: Wedding and Agatha Christie: Death on the Nile. In close collaboration with James Patterson Entertainment, Oberon Media will create a series of casual games based on the Women's Murder Club franchise and release them via its extensive network of multi-platform distribution partnerships worldwide.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Simon & Schuster Adds Beacon Street Girls

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, one of the leading children's book publishers in the world, and B*tween Productions, Inc., creators of the Beacon Street Girls(R) (BSG) brand, announced that Aladdin M!X, Simon & Schuster's tween program, will add the wildly successful Beacon Street Girls book series to its list beginning May 2008. Aladdin M!X will license, market and distribute the books world wide. B*tween will continue to create the award-winning stories. The company will focus on growing the brand through the company's online presence and expanding its product and media licensing operations.

With the introduction of the Aladdin M!X program earlier this year, Simon & Schuster is the first major publisher to focus on the 9-13 year-old audience with a branded line of paperback originals and reprints. Created in 2004, the Beacon Street Girls was the first brand designed specifically to help preteen girls navigate adolescence using friendship-focused contemporary fiction. Today, the Beacon Street Girls books, website and line of gifts provide tween girls everywhere with positive media and strong role models.

Novelist Brandon Sanderson will finish Robert Jordan's bestselling Wheel of Time fantasy series

Tor Books has chosen novelist Brandon Sanderson to finish the final novel in Robert Jordan's bestselling Wheel of Time fantasy series. Robert Jordan, one of the greatest storytellers of the 20th and early 21st centuries, died September 16th after a courageous battle with the rare blood disease amyloidosis.

The new novel, A MEMORY OF LIGHT, will be the twelfth and final book in the beloved fantasy series which has sold over 14 million copies in North America and over 30 million copies worldwide. The last four books in the series were all #1 New York Times bestsellers, and for over a decade fans have been eagerly awaiting the final novel that would bring the epic story to its conclusion.

Like Jordan, Sanderson was an avid reader and writer from an early age. His debut novel, Elantris, was an unagented gem discovered after Sanderson, then a college student writing during his late night shift at a local hotel, approached Tor editor Moshe Feder at a fantasy convention. Several months later, after reading the manuscript and deciding he had to have it, Feder tried to find the author, who had since moved. Using the internet, he tracked down Sanderson through a campus directory-and the rest is history.

Sanderson has since gone on to establish a loyal fan base as the author of three critically acclaimed fantasy novels: Elantris, Mistborn, and The Well of Ascension, as well as a YA novel, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians. Publishing trade magazines Publishers Weekly and Library Journal gave Elantris starred reviews and it was the winner of the Romantic Times Award for best epic fantasy. The Washington Post also praised Sanderson for his creation of "a fascinating world" in Mistborn.

Now Brandon Sanderson has signed on to complete A MEMORY OF LIGHT, with scheduled delivery of the manuscript in December 2008 and a planned publication date of Fall 2009. "The Wheel of Time turns and ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time..."


Nolo Brands USA Today Book Series

The first three titles in a series of books co-produced by Nolo and USA TODAY -- now in the final stages of production -- will be the standard bearers for a new relationship between two leaders of the print world.

Nolo, the premier publisher of legal information for consumers, and USA TODAY, the country's top-circulation newspaper, will team up to produce at least 12 books over the next two years. The first three, to be released in February, are:

-- The Busy Family's Guide to Money by USA TODAY journalists Sandra
Block, Kathy Chu and John Waggoner.

-- Retire Happy: What You Can Do NOW to Guarantee a Great Retirement, by
Nolo co-founder Ralph Warner and Nolo editor Rich Stim.

-- The Work From Home Handbook: Flex Your Time, Improve Your Life by Nolo
editor Diana Fitzpatrick and Stephen Fishman.

Each title in the new series incorporates material from USA TODAY's vast resources of data and graphics and Nolo's expertise in writing and editing do-it-yourself guides for consumers and small business owners. Averaging about 200 pages each, the guides will focus on legal and practical aspects of owning real estate, retiring, handling personal finances and other situations where law touches your life.

For USA TODAY, the partnership represents a new vehicle for delivering content beyond the traditional newspaper. In addition to Nolo, the company signed deals with five other book and calendar publishers for products ranging from sports and puzzle books and calendars to books about USA TODAY and its parent company, Gannett Co., Inc.

Nolo's website,, offers comprehensive, plain-English legal information and a wide array of electronic and traditional legal tools including online legal documents, guides, books and software.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Author Walter Mosley Signs Three-Book Deal with Riverhead Books

Walter Mosley, the internationally acclaimed, award-winning New York Times-bestselling author, has agreed to a three-book deal with Riverhead Books. The books will be edited by Sean McDonald, Vice President, Executive Editor, Riverhead Books, who acquired world hardcover, paperback and audio rights to these works from literary agent Gloria Loomis of Watkins Loomis. Two of the books will be part of a new mystery series Mr. Mosley is launching that will feature Leonid McGill, an African-American private investigator based in contemporary New York City. This character was first introduced by Mr. Mosley in one of his short stories, "Karma," which was included in the Best American Mystery Stories of 2006 anthology. The first book in Mr. Mosley's new mystery series will be published in hardcover by Riverhead in 2009, with NAL publishing the title in paperback the following year. Mr. Mosley will also be writing a literary novel for Riverhead.

One of the most prolific, highly regarded and widely read writers of our time, Walter Mosley is the author of twenty-seven critically acclaimed books and his work has been translated into twenty-three languages. His popular mysteries featuring Easy Rawlins began with Devil in a Blue Dress in 1990. Others in the series include Black Betty, A Little Yellow Dog and the current New York Times bestseller, Blonde Faith.

Mr. Mosley has won numerous awards, including the Anisfield Wolf Award, an honor given to works that increase the appreciation and understanding of race in America. He has also been honored with the Sundance Institute's Risktaker Award and PEN American Center's Lifetime Achievement Award, and has won a Grammy Award (for the liner notes of a career-spanning Richard Pryor CD box set) and an O'Henry Award, among other honors.

Two motion pictures have been made from his work, including the 1995 TriStar release of Devil in a Blue Dress, produced by Jonathan Demme, directed by Carl Franklin, and starring Denzel Washington and Jennifer Beals.

Tor Books and Seven Seas Form New Manga Imprint

Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC -- the largest publisher of science fiction in the world -- has formed a new manga imprint with Seven Seas Entertainment, LLC. Seven Seas, founded in 2004, publishes manga, manga-inspired novels, illustrated juvenile fiction, and more, and is one of the only publishers that produces original manga content in the US.

The new Tor/Seven Seas imprint will showcase the efforts of both companies working together to jointly acquire and co-publish some of Japan's best-selling and most exciting manga series, light novels, and other fiction. Beginning with books scheduled for publication in early 2008, Tor will also be distributing new Seven Seas titles every month, under the Seven Seas imprint.

Through its relationship with Seven Seas, Tor makes an exciting entrance into the world of manga publishing; manga, the Japanese version of comic books, is a publishing phenomenon that, in 2006, represented a $4.4 billion market in Japan and a $175-200 million market in the US. The distribution and publication of select Seven Seas titles will also give Tor an opportunity to become a flagship publisher of "light novels," a type of book new to American manga and genre-fiction fans. The light novel launch will feature Ballad of a Shinigami, Pita-Ten, and Strawberry Panic, and will debut in March 2008.

In August 2008, Tor and Seven Seas will publish their first collaborative venture under the Tor/Seven Seas imprint, the manga Afro Samurai, written and illustrated by Takashi Okazaki. Afro Samurai-created in Japan but releasing here in the US for the first time-was the basis for the popular Spike TV anime series that premiered in 2007 and featured the voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Perlman, and Kelly Hu. The publication of Afro Samurai will kick off a multi-platform promotional campaign, including an Afro Samurai video game by Namco and the launch of Spike TV's second Afro Samurai season, both slated for fall 2008.

Business Plus to Publish the Memoir of David Neeleman

Business Plus, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing (Hachette Book Group USA), has will publish the memoir of David Neeleman, Founder and Chairman, JetBlue Airways. Titled "Don't Tell Me it Can't Be Done," the book will discuss Neeleman's enormous success as an entrepreneur and his rise in the aviation industry. It will also unveil Neeleman's next entrepreneurial venture designed to help break America's dependence on foreign oil.

Publication is slated for January 2009 and Neeleman will collaborate with Jeff Benedict, an award-winning investigative journalist and the best-selling author of seven books.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Shaftesbury Films Acquires Film Rights to Elizabeth Hay's Novel

Shaftesbury Films has acquired the rights to Elizabeth Hay's Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel Late Nights on Air, which the company will develop into a television series.

"Christina Jennings and Julie Lacey (Vice President, Creative Affairs) won me over with their enthusiasm for the characters in this book and its northern setting," says author Elizabeth Hay. "I'm delighted about their plans to dramatize the story."

"We knew after reading Late Nights on Air, long before the Giller Awards were announced, that this book was a winner," says Christina Jennings, Chairman, Shaftesbury Films. "Elizabeth's compelling story, set in a local radio station in the far north, and populated with a rich cast of characters, will provide viewers with a unique television experience."

Hay's Late Nights on Air features a cast of eccentric characters all working together at the local radio station in Yellowknife during the 1970s. Set in this remote locale, these transplanted strangers strike up some unlikely friendships as they begin to learn about each other's pasts.

Last year Shaftesbury acquired the rights to the 2006 Giller Award-winning book Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam, which is being developed into a limited series by Jason Sherman for The Movie Network and Movie Central.

Elizabeth Hay is represented by Bella Pomer of The Bella Pomer Agency, and Sarah Cooper of The Saint Agency.

Hachette Book Group to Publish Senator Edward M. Kennedy's Autobiography

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, one of the most respected political leaders and productive legislators in the history of the United States, will write his autobiography, to be published by Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing and Hachette Book Group USA.

"Senator Kennedy is the personification of principled leadership. His book will be a valuable record for anyone who cares about our government, our politics, and our growth as a nation. It will also tell the story of a remarkable American family that contributed to some of the most significant historical events of the last century. We are honored to be Senator Kennedy's publisher and are certain that multitudes of readers around the world share our eagerness to read his story," said David Young, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hachette Book Group USA.

Senator Kennedy has represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate for 45 years. He was elected in 1962 to finish the final two years of the Senate term of his brother, Senator John F. Kennedy, who was elected President in 1960. Since then, Senator Kennedy has been re-elected to seven full terms, and is now the second most senior member of the Senate. He is the youngest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.

World rights to the book were acquired by Jamie Raab, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Grand Central Publishing, and Jonathan Karp, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Twelve, who will edit the book. Senator Kennedy was represented by attorney Robert B. Barnett and Gregory B. Craig of Williams & Connolly, a Washington, D.C. law firm. The tentative publication date of Senator Kennedy's autobiography is Fall 2010.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hyperion Will Publish Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Hyperion will publish Dr. Randy Pausch's THE LAST LECTURE, to be written with Jeff Zaslow of the Wall Street Journal.

On September 18, computer science professor Randy Pausch stepped in front of an audience of 400 people at Carnegie Mellon University to deliver his last lecture called "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams." With slides of his CT scans beaming out to the audience, at the beginning of his talk, Randy forthrightly told everyone about the cancer that is devouring his pancreas and that will claim his life in a matter of months according to his doctors. He went on to say, "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."

Since delivering this speech, more than 6 million people have gone online to view the lecture. This number, which grows by the minute, includes an estimated 3.6 million people who have sought out the full hour-long talk on Google Video, You Tube, the Carnegie Mellon site, or through other links. His talk grew quickly and massively in popularity because hundreds of thousands of people sent friends emails about him or embedded his lecture video on their blogs. Fueling this online phenomenon, Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Zaslow attended and covered the lecture for the September 20th edition of the paper. Zaslow's column and the accompanying 5-minute highlight video on set readership and viewership records at the newspaper. Pausch subsequently appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show, "Good Morning America," and "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric." In total, more than 25 million people have seen Pausch on these various television programs and the now 343,000 websites that refer or link to his lecture.

Hyperion President Robert S. Miller and Editorial Director Will Balliett negotiated the deal with David Black and Gary Morris of The David Black Agency. Will Balliett will edit the book which is scheduled to publish in spring, 2008. Hyperion retains world rights.