Sunday, April 27, 2008

Quercus Publishing Plc: Book Rights Deals

Quercus Publishing Plc, the PLUS-quoted publishing company, announced outstanding sales of overseas territorial rights in two of its recent acquisitions, Journal of Helene Berr and Genesis.

After a fierce auction between six different publishing houses, Weinstein Books bought the US rights to 'Journal of Helene Berr' from Quercus. The book is an uplifting journal of an intelligent and courageous young woman, Helene Berr, in occupied Paris. Helene was a student of English Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. She was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 with her mother and father, and she died in Bergen-Belsen in April 1945, just a few weeks before the liberation of the camp. 'Journal of Helene Berr', which is being translated from French by David Bellos, has already been sold in ten languages and will be published in the UK by Quercus in October 2008.

At this month's Bologna Book Fair, 'Genesis', a prize-winning novel by Bernard Beckett, was pronounced 'The Book of the Fair' by the Bookseller. Quercus more than recouped a substantial advance they paid for world rights (excluding Australia & New Zealand) with deals in 5 territories. Since the Bologna Book Fair, Quercus has already sold rights in a number of countries, including France, Italy, Greece, US, Brazil and Finland, and are auctioning rights in 3 further territories. 'Genesis' is described as a 'prize winning novel of ideas', a collision of ancient philosophy and future history in a provocative thriller. It is due to be published by Quercus in the UK in February 2009.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

DreamWorks Studios Options Rights to Atlantis Rising

DreamWorks Studios has optioned the rights to make a feature film from Platinum Studios Inc.'s comic book "Atlantis Rising."

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who brought the project to the studio, will produce through their DreamWorks based company. Platinum Studios' Chairman and CEO, Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, will also produce. The Greenberg Group CEO and former Universal Pictures senior executive Randy Greenberg will executive produce and Platinum Studios' Rich Marincic will co-produce.

Created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, "Atlantis Rising" is a five-part mini series first published by Platinum Studios Comics in November of 2007. The fifth and final installment in the series is due on comic book shelves in late April 2008.

In "Atlantis Rising," seismic disturbances at sea force world militaries to investigate the deepest part of our ocean, where an underground civilization emerges to do war with planet Earth.

"Atlantis Rising" marks the second property that DreamWorks has optioned from Platinum Studios. DreamWorks, along with Universal Studios, optioned the rights to "Cowboys and Aliens" last year and is currently developing the sci-fi western adventure along with Kurtzman and Orci and Imagine Entertainment.

Kurtzman and Orci currently have an overall producing deal with DreamWorks Studios. They are currently producing the action thriller "Eagle Eye" for DreamWorks which will be released in theaters this September. They have also written several screenplays for DreamWorks projects.

Lifetime Television Adapts Patricia Cornwell's Novels for TV

In a ground-breaking agreement, Lifetime Television will become the first network ever to adapt acclaimed international author Patricia Cornwell's novels for television. Her #1 New York Times bestseller, At Risk, and its sequel, The Front, to be published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in May, have been optioned by the Network.

Stanley M. Brooks and Jim Head of Once Upon a Time Films (LMN's "The Capture of the Green River Killer" -- Lifetime Movie Network's highest-rated movie in its 10-year history; Emmy(R) Award-winning "Broken Trail"), Russell Werdin and Lane Bishop of Twinstar Entertainment and Patricia Cornwell will serve as executive producers.

Other bestsellers that have been adapted to Lifetime Original Movies include Joyce Carol Oates' "We Were the Mulvaneys," Sue Monk Kidd's "The Mermaid Chair," and a quartet of Nora Roberts' novels. Recent movies include Kim Edwards' "The Memory Keeper's Daughter," starring Dermot Mulroney, Emily Watson and Gretchen Mol and Jodi Picoult's "The Tenth Circle" starring Kelly Preston and Ron Eldard, premiering Saturday, June 28 (9PM ET/PT) on Lifetime.

ICM negotiated the deal on behalf of Cornwell.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Disney Publishing Worldwide Signs Multi-Book Deal with Author Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan, the multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the internationally beloved Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, has signed a multi-book deal – which includes a new, original fantasy series - with Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW).

As a response to the huge anticipation from retailers, DPW has announced a first printing of 1 million books for the fourth book in the Percy Jackson series, The Battle of the Labyrinth, which goes on sale in the U.S. on May 6th. As part of launch day celebrations, Rick Riordan will appear at BookPeople in Austin, TX and take part in chariot races, a Pit of Targarus, and interact with a centaur. BookPeople will also be hosting Camp Half-Blood, a camp for kids based on the Percy Jackson books, throughout the summer of 2008.

A brand new website,, will launch in the U.S. in April 2008. The site will feature never-before-seen images of characters from the books, exclusive content, interactive games, tour information, and Percy-related news.

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has been sold in more than 15 countries and has sold more than 1.6 million copies to date in the U.S. The first book, The Lightning Thief, debuted in the summer of 2005, was a New York Times Notable Book, a Today Show/Al Roker’s Book Club Selection, and has been optioned for a feature film to Twentieth Century Fox. The Sea of Monsters was a Publishers Weekly and BookSense national bestseller. The most recent title, The Titan's Curse, debuted at #1 on the New York Times children's series bestseller list; the series has remained on the list since the launch of the third book.

Riordan’s Percy Jackson series features a twelve-year-old dyslexic boy who discovers he is the modern-day son of a Greek god. The novels draw on Riordan’s experience with his older son who was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. After recounting the stories of gods and heroes, he ran out of myths and his son asked him to make up a new story. Over the course of a few nights the story of Percy Jackson came to life and at the suggestion of his son, he wrote what became The Lightning Thief.

For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award.

His adult fiction has won the top three national awards in the mystery genre – the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. He has presented workshops for such organizations as the International Reading Association, the California Association of Independent Schools, the National Council for Teachers of English, the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute and the Texas Library Association. His short fiction has appeared in Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. In 2003, he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters.

Rick lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife and two sons.

HarperCollins Publishers Signs Danielle Steel to Children's Book Deal

HarperCollins Publishers has acquired world rights to The Happiest Hippo in the World, a children's picture book by international bestselling author Danielle Steel. The new book, by the author of 88 adult novels, including Honor Thyself, Sisters, and the "Max and Martha" series for children, tells the story of a baby hippo who happens to be born green instead of gray and learns with the help of a little boy to love himself despite being different. Both delightful and heartwarming, the book was written by Ms. Steel for her son Nicholas Traina when he was little and is expected to be published in Fall 2009. Illustrations will be by celebrated artist Margaret Spengler.

The deal was negotiated by Kate Jackson, SVP/Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief of HarperCollins Children's Books, with agent Kate Schafter of Janklow & Nesbit Associates.

Since 1981, Ms. Steel has been a permanent fixture on the New York Times hardcover and paperback bestsellers list. Twenty-one of Ms. Steel's novels have been adapted for television, each earning high ratings and critical acclaim, including two Golden Globe nominations for Jewels, a four-hour miniseries that starred Anthony Andrews.

Ms. Steel is also the author of several children's books, including "Max and Martha," a ten-book series of books for young readers, and four "Freddy" books. Her nonfiction work His Bright Light, about the life and death of her son Nicholas Traina, released by Delacorte Press in September 1998, immediately jumped to the New York Times Nonfiction bestseller list. Her books are published in 28 languages in 47 countries.