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The London Book Fair 2009

abstract:The London Book Fair takes place each spring for three glorious days offering over 100 seminars and events for over 3,000 industry professionals. It is the global marketplace for rights negotiations and the sale and distribution of content across print, TV, film and digital channels. The LBF closed today to reports of moderate attendance, compared with years past, due to the recession and publishing house cutbacks, but the people who came, did so "with a mind to doing business" was the conclusion. Checking out the big book deals in London this year, one of the biggest involved the Swedish thriller, The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler - a pseudonym, according to rumours at Earls Court, for Henning Mankell. The title, which has yet to sell in the US, was at the center of a heated auction in the UK involving some of the country's leading crime publishers. Also, the British literary agency David Godwin Associates Ltd. has sold Tiger Hills, a novel by Sarita Mandanna, to Penguin India for the largest advance the house has ever paid for a debut. Sophie Hoult of DGA did not give an exact amount but said the deal was for seven figures. Hoult called Tiger Hills “a sweeping popular novel set in India between 1878 and the second World War” and classified it as “an Indian Thorn Birds crossed with Gone with the Wind.” Mandanna is a banker in New York. HarperCollins signed Prince Charles for two books, the first about stewardship. The Free Press and Holt both ink debut authors to six-figure deals. Umberto Eco flew to London specifically to present the sixth annual LBF Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing to his old friend Drenka Willen, senior editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Just over half of publishers surveyed at the London Book Fair have put plans in place to sell books in any digital form. The British are at least three years behind Americans in adapting e-books; and American readers are much more interested in romance, while more British readers skew toward literary fiction.


April 26, 2009

Who's The Big New Deal?

Henning Mankell is a Swedish author who gained bestseller stardom with his series of crime novels featuring inspector Kurt Wallander. Mankell gives a brilliantly evocative portrait of contemporary Sweden. The books have been published in 33 countries and consistently top the bestseller lists in Europe, receiving major literary prizes and generating numerous international film and television adaptations.He has sold over 20 million books, worldwide. Mankell divides his time between Sweden and Maputo, Mozambique.

The Hypnotist is about a boy whose entire family is murdered in a Stockholm suburb and the hypnotist who returns to his trade after a 10-year absence to help solve the crime. There are, Janson-Smith said, a number of "twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the final pages." Blue Door is aiming to publish in 2010 "dependent on the delivery of a translation" and Jonas-Smith said the house will "probably be working in tandem with the as-yet-unchosen U.S. publisher and, indeed, other foreign publishers, to ensure that [the publication] is an event."



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