Publishing Industry Lowdown (July 25-August 5)

For those of you who missed the revealing of this new feature, Sooz’s YA and MG Publishing Industry Lowdow, the general idea is that I’d share the biggest news in the young adult and middle grade publishing world each Friday–big deals, important changes, etc.

So, let’s get started!! (We’ve got 2 full weeks of deals today!)


J. Scott Savage’s three books in the middle grade THE GRIMVILLE CASE FILES series, about three monster-obsessed boys who must solve fiendish mysteries in their hometown, including an amulet that turns its bearer into a zombie and a football team that’s “stitched together” by a body-snatcher.

Sports columnist and NYT bestselling author of Travel Team and Heat, Mike Lupica’s middle grade GAME CHANGERS, a new series starting with the story of a fifth grader who things he deserves to be the starting quarterback on his football team instead of the coach’s son, with the next two books to center around basketball and baseball, in a three-book deal, for publication beginning in May 2012.

Pseudonymous Bosch’s middle grade WRITE THIS BOOK!, a companion book to the New York Times bestselling The Secret Series, that leads readers through the steps of writing a book, told through a mystery in which readers must track down a missing author through interactive games, puzzles, and activities, for publication in Spring 2013.

Orange Prize-nominated author Lissa Evans’s middle grade SMALL CHANGE FOR STUART, in a two-book deal.

Vince Vawter’s middle grade PAPERBOY, the story of a boy with a debilitating stutter forced to find ways to communicate against a backdrop of racial bigotry in the summer of 1959 in Memphis, to Francoise Bui at Delacorte, for publication in spring 2013.

NYT bestselling author of Prayers for Sale and The Bride’s House Sandra Dallas’s middle grade THE QUILT WALK, about a young girl who learns the true meaning of friendship — and how to quilt — while making a harrowing wagon journey from Ohio to Colorado with her family in the 1860s.

Megan Shepherd’s debut young adult THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, a gothic thriller trilogy pitched as loosely inspired by H.G. Wells’ classic THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, in which Dr. Moreau’s 16-year-old daughter travels to her estranged father’s island and finds murder, madness, and a love triangle with an enigmatic castaway and her father’s handsome young assistant, in a three-book deal, for publication in Winter 2013.

Hate List and Bitter End author Jennifer Brown’s young adult THOUSAND WORDS, about a teen girl who learns just how powerful one photo can be when she finds herself at the center of a public sexting scandal, for publication in Spring 2013.

Author of BREAK and INVINCIBLE SUMMER Hannah Moskowitz’s young adult FISHBOY, featuring a sixteen-year-old boy whose family, in an effort to cure his ailing brother, relocates to a remote island where legendary magic fish are said to have healing powers, and he discovers the island has terrible secrets, including a half-teenager, half-fish.

Kristin Halbrook’s young adult debut WILL AND ZOE, featuring two teenagers who, in search of a better life, run away to Vegas, but realize they can’t run fast enough when they end up wanted by the police, out of money, and out of options, pitched as a YA Bonnie and Clyde, in a two-book deal.

Author of The Mockingbirds and its upcoming sequel The Rivals Daisy Whitney’s young adult WHEN YOU WERE HERE, pitched as Lost in Translation meets Where She Went, about an American teenager who travels from California to Tokyo to uncover the secrets surrounding the death of his mother, all while trying to both hold onto and let go of the girl he’s been in love with his whole life, for publication in Spring 2013.

Beck McDowell’s young adult THIS IS NOT A DRILL, told from alternating viewpoints of two teens who must protect kindergarteners from a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder who opens fire in the classroom,for publication in Fall 2012.

Bethany Pinnell’s young adult STUNG, in which government attempts to save endangered bees by genetic modification causes their sting to induce deadly, flu-like symptoms in humans, and a vaccine created in response changes children into ferocious, killer beasts; the uninfected have built a wall to keep the beasts out, and a girl has awakened on the wrong side, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2012.

Mindee Arnett’s young adult debut THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, set at a supernatural boarding school where a sixteen-year-old girl (half human, half Nightmare) feeds on the dreams of a hot guy only to discover that he’s dreaming of a murder — and it comes true, pitched as Harry Potter meets Veronica Mars, in a three-book deal.

Katie McGarry’s young adult CRASH INTO YOU, in which two teenagers, an anxiety-ridden daughter of a wealthy businessman and a street-smart guy raised by the foster care system, face their greatest fears and fall in love when their shared obsession with speed and drag racing creates a debt to a dangerous street hustler, in a two-book deal.

Jennifer Armentrout’s young adultDEITY: The Third Covenant Novel, the third installment of the Covenant series, in which a teenage girl descended from the Greek gods must fight the daimons that want to kill her…as well as her growing feelings for a man she’s forbidden to love, for publication in 2012.

ARIES RISING and TAURUS EYES author, Bonnie Hearn Hill’s young adult GHOST ISLAND, pitched as “Lost” for teens, about a group of kids stuck on a strange island where dreams seem irresistibly real and promise the very thing you most want and need, for publication in Septemer 2011

Wanita May’s young adult DARK NEBULA in The Chronicles of Kerrigan series, just when a girl thinks things are going to get easy, life just gets more complicated, in a three-book deal.

Donald Sobol’s middle grade ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN MASTER DETECTIVE, the latest in the ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN series . (Oh MAN did I love Encyclopedia Brown growing up!)

Nina Berry’s young adult OTHERKIN, in which a girl discovers she can shift into a tiger and is introduced into a world where people and objects aren’t what they seem, in a two-book deal.

Todd and Sonja Burpo’s middle grade HEAVEN IS FOR REAL FOR KIDS: Heaven is for real, and you’re going to like it!, for publication on November 8, 2011.

LUCKY author C.W. Tooke’s middle grade KING OF THE MOUND: MY SUMMER WITH SATCHEL PAIGE, detailing one boy’s struggle to overcome polio and return to playing baseball while finding inspiration from one of the greats, for publication in Spring 2012.

Edgar Award-winner Vivian Vande Velde’s middle grade DEADLY PINK, a companion to HEIR APPARENT and USER UNFRIENDLY, in which an average girl has to find a way to get her brilliant older sister out of a princess-filled virtual reality game before it’s too late, for publication in spring 2012.

Jessica Corra’s young adult debut AFTER YOU, featuring a seventeen girl who can rewind moments in her life and change the present, but when her twin sister kills herself, she has to face that trying to rewrite the past might be risking her own future pitched as Before I Fall meets The Sky is Everywhere. (WOOT! GO JESS!! )

J.A. Kossler’s young adult VENOMOID, in which a teenage vampire working for a hostile paranormal agency falls in love with one of the deadly zombies he’s meant to capture, while another zombie frames him for a series of murders and causes him to be targeted by his own organization, for publication in 2013.

Dawn Metcalf’s young adult INDELIBLE INK, featuring a heroine who is accidentally marked by a mysterious boy, which places her in the midst of a dangerous, otherworldly plot to end the Age of Man, in a two-book deal.

A.G. Cascone, a.k.a. the “twisted sisters” Annette & Gina Cascone’s middle grade DEADTIME STORIES, a 17-book children’s series, for publication beginning in January 2012.

Gina Rosati’s young adult AURACLE, an unconventional love story in which a girl who has the power to astrally project finds her body taken over by a dead classmate, and must find a way to reclaim it if she wants to save herself and her friend who is accused of murder.

(Source: Publisher’s Marketplace*)

Other News

QUERY DAY will return on MONDAY (August 8th) at 12:00 PM Eastern Time (so 9:00 AM Pacific Time), so get your queries ready to go!  I’m only accepting five this time, and submissions fill quickly!

The TouchyBooks children’s bookstore app, which sells lovely interactive picture books for the little ones, has grown huge  in the digital children’s publishing world. They have over 70 books, and so far, they’ve had  over 700,000 downloads!

Congress’s House of Representatives surprised the nation by passing an amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that excludes regular printed children’s books and learning materials from new lead-content testing requirements. That makes it easier on publishers to get their books into readers’ hands.

Wanna snag a sneak preview of the 2012 spring titles in children’s books (picture, MG, and YA)? Head here!

Curious about what’s selling well in an independent bookstore these days? Tami Furlong talks about popular kid’s titles at her store.

Pottermore has teamed up with Google, so when the hyped-up endeavor goes live this October, fans will be able to store their HarryPotter ebooks in their Google library.

If you’re still waffling on getting a digital reader, then maybe this will convince your: Toys R Us will be carrying the Kindle and OfficeMax will have the nook. On top of that, Italy’s Mondadori publisher will make more than 2,000 ebooks available for Kindle stores in the UK, Germany and the US. Ebooks are the way of future, my friends!

And finally, if you haven’t heard about the heartbreaking “fake Jodi Reamer incident”, then steel your little writing heart before reading this.

You tell me: Is there any industry news-bite I missed? Do you have an significant news you want to share?

*Note: Because Publishers Marketplace requires a paid subscription, I’m only sharing part of the information here–basically, just author names and pitches. If you want to know deal sizes (e.g. advances), editors, publishers, and agents, I highly recommend you sign up for PM–it’s totally worth the cost!

Marni Bates’s FAUXMANCE, in which a teenager dives into a music hottie’s cruise ship stateroom due to seasickness and they send the Hollywood gossip machine into overdrive by innocently spending the night together; then he has to make their fauxmance look real to save the band’s family-friendly image, to Megan Records at Kensington Children’s, in a nice deal, for publication in 2012, by Laurie McLean at Larsen/Pomada Literary Agents (World).

Andrew Smith’s WINGER, about a fourteen-year-old at boarding school who grapples with living in the dorm for trouble makers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates, and ONCE THERE WERE BIRDS, a futuristic novel with echoes of the Wild West, about a teen boxer who escapes from a prison school for boys and is followed by a younger kid who is determined to stick with him, but who has his own secret agenda and something to prove, to David Gale at Simon & Schuster Children’s, for publication in Spring 2013, by Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (World English).