Guest slot


Turn to pp26–27 to discover how Finland’s literature scene benefited from the nation’s Guest of Honour slot

Audio dominates FutureBook Awards

Audio dominates the shortlists for this year’s prestigious FutureBook Awards, announced at yesterday’s Frankfurt Book Fair, with seven podcasts and seven audiobooks shortlisted, alongside the audio start-ups NoisyBook and DeepZen and the campaign for the launch of Penguin Classics’ audiobook series. The awards take place at FutureBook Live, The Bookseller’s annual publishing conference, in London on 25th November. The lists demonstrate the versatilit in the way audio is used by publishers, authors and retailers, including in their promotions and in developing new ways of story- telling or enhancing text. Seven book podcasts are shortlisted for Podcast of the Year, won last year by “Mostly Lit”, including the recently launched “Waterstones Podcast”; Unbound’s underground hit “Backlisted”; the “Penguin Podcast”

a youth-oriented cross-cultural podcast hosted by Fenn O’Meally and Big Zuu.

In the FutureBook of the Year


and “The Comma Press Podcast”; and “Simplify”, the lifestle podcast produced by audio business Blinkist. Sara Pascoe’s “Sex Power Money”, produced to coincide with her book of the same name, also gets a nod, as does “This is Spoke”,

category, seven audiobooks are shortlisted, including Audible’s short story collection, Hag; Sophie Dahl’s Madame Badobedah (Bolinda), which includes a song co-writen and performed by Dahl and Jamie Cullum; and PRH’s Penguin Classics and Ladybird Audio Adventures releases. The only text-based title listed is reference website ESC CardioMed, from the European Societ of Cardiology in collaboration with Oxford Universit Press. Reporting Bookseller Staff

Full information about shortlistees in the other categories at the FutureBook Awards can be found at Further details about FutureBook Live can be found at conference, where visitors can also purchase tickets for the event.

Alexa makes first Faber Social purchase history

World music

Faber has won rights to a history of world music, from legendary music producer Joe Boyd, which has been 12 years in the making. Alexa von Hirschberg bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Boyd’s as-yet-untitled book at auction from Matthew Hamilton at The Hamilton Agency. It is von Hirschberg’s first acquisition for Faber since joining from Bloomsbury earlier this year to lead Faber Social. Boyd has worked with scores of bands in his 50-plus years in the music business, including Pink Floyd, Nick Drake and REM. His book will tell the “back stories of world music and its complex and fasci- nating cast of characters”. Von Hirschberg said: “Boyd’s remarkable book will do for world music what Alex Ross did for classical in The Rest is Noise. Joe has extraordinary knowledge and access to the great global names and untold stories, writes fluently and compel- lingly, and blends history and politics to put this music in its proper context. I have no doubt that this book will be a classic.”

Début signing

Hodder & Stoughton has pre-empted the “exhilarat- ing” début novel from Bethany Clift in a two-


Clift’s dystopian thriller I Alone Survive picked up by Hodder

book deal. Women’s fiction publisher Kimberley Atkins bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Cara Lee Simpson at Jonathan Clowes. Out in 2021, I Alone Survive

tells the story of a woman in her mid-thirties who has spent her life being what other people want her to be. But when a global pandemic decimates the rest of the human race, she is forced to find independ- ence in a world she is ill-equipped to deal with. Atkins said: “This is an

unforgettable novel that is at turns funny, terrifying and heartbreaking, while remaining utterly compelling. The narrator is one of the most unflinchingly honest characters I’ve ever encountered.” Clift, a graduate of the Northern

Film School who has had screen projects in development with the BBC, said: “I couldn’t have found a better home, and I can’t wait to start on the publishing journey with Kimberley and the team.” Simpson added: “We were won over by the enthusiasm of Kimberley and the team, and their ambitious plans for the book. Hodder is its perfect home.”

Jack’s the lad for Egmont Egmont has secured 10 deals for The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, with rights snapped up in Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway, Brazil, Finland, Israel and the Netherlands, plus UK audio. Several further deals are in the pipeline. Egmont pre-empted the series (which has the same name as the first title) just three weeks ago, striking a three- book, six-figure deal with Rachel Mann of the Jo Unwin Literary Agency.

Going like Clockwork for Firefly and Fisher at FBF Firefly Press has sold Catherine Fisher’s award-winning Middle Grade novel The Clockwork Crow, and sequel The Velvet Fox, to Walker Books US after a three-way auction. Rights to both books have also been sold in China, Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The third book in the series, The Midnight Swan, will be published in the UK next autumn. Rights were sold by the Margot Edwards Rights Consultancy, on behalf of Firefly Press.


MacBird’s Holmes duo fly to HarperCollins Two new Sherlock Holmes novels by Bonnie MacBird have been snapped up by HarperCollins. Publisher of estates David Brawn bought world, all-languages rights from Langtons International Agency. HarperCollins published MacBird’s first Holmes novel, Art in the Blood, in 2015. Her Sherlock Holmes Adventures have been translated into 17 languages. The fourth book in the series, The Three Locks, will be published in autumn 2020.

Monstrous Monsters in League with Walker

Début Walker Books has signed “comedy

horror” Middle Grade series Theodora Hendrix and the Monstrous League of Monsters, by débutant Jordan Kopy. The three-book deal was struck by Emma Lidbury, who secured world rights in all languages from Alice Sutherland-Hawes at The Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. The first book will publish in October 2020, illus- trated by Chris Jevons (signed through The Bright Agency).

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