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thebookseller.com WEDNESDAY 19 10.2016 NEWS


At the Frankfurt Book Fair BY THE BOOKSELLER NEWS TEAM New imprints splash ‘huge’ sums


Brexit has not stopped the flow of deals struck by UK publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair, as new imprints, “hungry” for big acquisitions, are stoking an“overheated” market. Several agents and publishers spoke of competitive auctions culminating in “sky-high” prices ahead of the fair with new imprints such as Headline’s Wildfire, Orion’s Trapeze, Little Brown’s Fleet, HarperCollins’ HQ and Quercus’ riverrun eager to stamp their authority with eye-catching deals. There were frenzied pre-fair


auctions for psychological thrillers The Chalk Man by C J Tudor, won by Michael Joseph in the UK after a nine- way auction, and The Woman in the Window by A J Finn (a pseudonym for William Morrow vice-president and executive editor Daniel Mallory), which went to HarperCollins UK and William Morrow in the US. We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt, which has been sold in multiple territories, was won by Trapeze after a five-way auction. The Bookseller has previously reported all three books fetching at least a high six figures worldwide. Alison Hennessey, editorial director of Bloomsbury, who is herself heading a new, as-yet-unnamed


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INSIDE  THE MISSING


The daughter of a Hong Kong bookseller in


detention in China is at this year’s fair for talks with the IPA over potential action


IMPRINTS CHARMING


crime list, said: “It feels like there are a lot of new imprints, and people are hungry to buy books for those imprints. If something is good, everyone will go for it and the money will shoot up.” Agent Lorella Belli agreed: “People seem to be quite excited, with all these new imprints in the UK. The editors are in acquiring mode and there has been a lot of movement, especially in crime fiction, between editors.” Yet Will Atkinson, m.d. of Atlantic


Books, sounded a warning. “The market for copyright is overheated,” he said. “Therefore, if we’re getting into auctions we’re tending to lose them. Books of any distinction or name or strong ideas are going for a lot of money. I’ve sat around publishers’ acquisition tables for


over 25 years and the numbers we’re losing out to are huge. The big companies on the whole [are paying high] but independents are also paying good money for books.” Julia Silk at MBA Literary Agents,


however, said the vibrancy was refreshing considering the negativity surrounding Brexit: “Certainly with the springing up of new imprints, all acquiring aggressively, it seems there’s hope, despite the doom and gloom.” Belli, however, cautioned on


currency. “It’s a really big difference if you are changing money: over 10%. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it can be a big difference if it’s an advance. I’ve noticed more people are asking to do deals in sterling, where before you would have done so in Euros.”


Young succeeds retiring Bland at Canongate EXCLUSIVE


Former Hachette US and Orion boss David Young left is to succeed Sir Christopher Bland, long-serving chairman of Canongate Books, in January 2017. Bland is retiring after 22 years as chair of the Edinburgh-


based independent publisher. Young managed Little, Brown UK for 10


years before taking over what would become Hachette Book Group USA from 2007–13, after which he returned to the UK as c.e.o. of Orion and deputy c.e.o. of Hachette UK. He is the current president of The Book Trade Charity. Young said: “I am very excited by the prospect of working with [Canongate c.e.o.] Jamie Byng and his talented team. I look forward to


A four-page feature looks at the rise of the ‘bespoke’ imprints that are cropping up at UK publishers


MAN, ALIVE!


Roger Tagholm asks what is behind indie publishers’ recent purple patch of Man Booker success


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PLUS UK/US CHARTS 10–11 HORACE BENT


32 BY TOM TIVNAN


contributing to Canongate’s continued success and profitability over the years ahead.” Bland would be “missed enormously”, Byng


said, “but David Young is someone who I have admired and respected for almost as long as I have been in publishing. To have David succeeding Christopher makes me and the rest of the Canongate board both reassured and excited.” Bland, who has had an influential career at some of the UK’s most reputable businesses, had his début novel, Ashes in the Wind, published by Head of Zeus in 2014.


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