Publishing Industry Lowdown (Sept. 5-9)

It’s that day again–time for Sooz’s YA and MG Publishing Industry Lowdow. The general idea is that I share the biggest news in the young adult and middle grade publishing world each Friday–big deal*, important changes, etc.

Note: My source for deal news is Publishers Marketplace, which requires a paid subscription. As such 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!

After Labor Day is when the publishing world REALLY picks up, so I expect to see more and more deals show up below as the fall months move in. Let’s get started, shall we?


Kay Honeyman’s debut young adult THE FIRE HORSE GIRL, pitched as “a YA Lisa See or Amy Tan”, in which a girl born (and thus cursed) under the sign of the Fire Horse, travels in 1923 from rural China to Angel Island, to the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown, where she finally understands that the curse she’s been trying to escape can redeem her.

SEA author Heidi Kling’s young adult THE SPELLSPINNERS OF MELAS COUNTY, about a modern-day witch who must betray everything she knows to save her magic and her forbidden love, starting with WITCH’S BREW in a ten-book deal.

Author of SEEING CINDERELLA, Jenny Lundquist’s middle grade PLASTIC POLLY, about the ins-and-outs of middle school popularityand what really happens when former BFFs find themselves on different rungs of the social ladder.

Author of GUINEA DOG Patrick Jennings’s middle grade INVASION OF THE DOGNAPPERS, in which a boy and his friends, convinced that the recent rash of disappearing dogs is the work of aliens, form the Intergalactic Canine Rescue Unit and begin investigating.

Jennifer Mann’s middle grade debut SUNNY SWEET IS GOING TO BE SO SORRY, about a young girl and her impossible little sister who just happens to be an evil genius, pitched as in the vein of Beezus and Ramona, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2013.

Miranda Kenneally’s young adult PLAYING PARKER, about a 17-year-old girl and the inappropriate relationship she develops with the school baseball coach, and BAD, BAD THING, about a teen girl with strong Christian beliefs who can’t get over the role she played in helping her best friend get an abortion, in a two-book deal.

Author of DUCK TENTS Lynne Berry’s middle grade SQUID KID, with illustrations by Luke LaMarche, about a squid magician who, despite his sister’s attempts to disprove his magic, can make just about anything disappear.

DREAMING ANASTASIA trilogy author Joy Preble’s young adult THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, in which a sixteen-year-old stoner returns from a fatal car accident as his dying sister’s guardian angel and helps her solve a vast family mystery, for publication in Spring 2013.

Jennifer Armentrout’s young adult SHADOW OF THE STARS, in which a seventeen-year-old Florida book blogger moves to Nowhere, West Virginia, expecting thick accents, outhouses, and maybe a cute farm boy or two–only to find her new next door neighbor is a hot alien with a galaxy of enemies out to steal his abilities, in a three-book deal, for publication in December 2011.

Eric Kahn Gale’s middle grade debut THE BULLY BOOK, originally a self-published ebook that hit #1 on Amazon on the children’s mystery list and #7 on the children’s book list, about a boy who is just an average kid until he becomes the class grunt; he suspects a bizarre conspiracy and is determined to solve the mystery, in a two-book deal.

(Source: Publisher’s Marketplace*)

Other News

Amazon’s rumored Kindle tablet is apparently quite real. It’s more of an ipad competitor than ereader since there is nary a “drop” of e-ink on the device–it’s 100% back lit. Nonetheless, if you’re in the market for tablet, this might be one to consider. It’s rumored to go on sale at $250.

Speaking of e-ink, the company E Ink is promising color electronic ink in the near future. Wowzers, I say! I want whatever ereader will have that technology–anything to prevent eyestrain while also entertaining me with pretty colors? Win!

AND, speaking of digital books, children’sΒ digital developer Ruckus Media has now joined the Scholastic team to create the Scholastic Ruckus imprint. This imprint will publish for children and teens across all platforms, ranging from from interactive content to e-books print.

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).