Publishing Industry Lowdown (Sept. 19-23)

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 deals, important changes, etc.

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!

Now, let’s get started!!


Author of RED MOON RISING, Peter Moore’s young adult THE ALMOST TOTALLY TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE VILLAIN, about a misfit teenager who’s grown up in a family of superheroes and might be lured to the dark side.

Andrew Smith’s young adult THE PASSENGER, in this sequel to THE MARBURY LENS, the teenaged protagonist, now safely home, tries to destroy the lens, hoping to break its hold on him, but when it cracks in half, he and his friends are transported to the only place worse than Marbury: a shattered, inverted version of Marbury that challenges everything readers thought they knew about the characters and world of THE MARBURY LENS, for publication in Fall 2012.

David Lipsky and Darin Strauss’s young adult THE UNACCOUNTED, a love story and an epic adventure set in both a modern-day American high school and in a glamorous Europe, pitched as a teenage Jason Bourne meets The Prisoner of Zenda, in a three-book deal, for publication in Winter 2013.

UK rights to Shel Silverstein’s EVERYTHING ON IT.

Robert Clark’s middle grade DIZZY MISS LIZZIE, a modern-day teen befriends a Victorian-era girl through a secret basement room and together they help break a family curse and solve a 120-year old mystery, for publication in Winter 2012.

J.K. Coi’s upper YA debut, GRETA AND THE GOBLIN KING, in which a seventeen-year-old now trapped in a fairytale world after falling through a portal trying to save her brother from the witch’s fire, is pursued by a sexy young Goblin King as she fights to find a way home for herself and the ragtag group of boys marooned on that side of the veil, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2012.

Jon Scieszka’s young adult WHO DONE IT?, a murder-mystery anthology with stories from over 70 authors (Dave Eggers, Sara Shepard, Lemony Snicket, Adam Mansbach & Ricardo Cortes to name a few) in regards to the alleged murder of Herman Mildew, the most cantankerous editor in the history of publishing, with proceeds to benefit the literacy non-profit 826nyc.

R.J. Palacio’s WONDER, in a two-book deal.

Randi Barrow’s middle grade IVAN, THE REBEL BOY, prequel to SAVING ZASHA, the story of a 12-year-old boy separated from family during the siege of Leningrad who joins the partisans and becomes a Nazi target when he works to liberate two German Shepherd puppies from their cruel training for publication in 2013.

Ryan Graudin’s young adult LUMINANCE HOUR, in which a partying prince falls for a Kate Middletonesque fae, who has been protecting the British royal family for centuries, and who must make an impossible choice amidst a backdrop of a palace murder and paparazzi mayhem, in a two-book deal.

Lauren Barnholdt’s young adult companion novel to her popular TWO WAY STREET, for publication in Summer 2013.

Bobbie Pyron’s middle grade MERCY’S BONE, inspired by the true story of a young Russian boy abandoned on the streets of Moscow after the fall of the Soviet Union, and his miraculous adoption by a pack of street dogs that allowed him to survive the winter.

Lisa Greenwald’s young adult THE SUMMER OF PINK & GREEN, sequel to her popular MY LIFE IN PINK & GREEN, in which the family’s new eco-spa business spawns as many mishaps as it does makeovers, for publication in 2012.

Say Anything and Arrested Development actor Ione Skye’s young adult MY YIDDISH VACATION, a humorous story in which a young girl and her brother spend a weekend with their Jewish grandparents and encounter many Yiddish words.

AG Howard’s young adult SPLINTERED, an urbanized gothic retelling of ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, in which a sixteen-year-old descendant of Alice Liddell (real life inspiration for the Lewis Carroll novel), realizes the story was true when she is pulled into the darker side of Wonderland to fix the things her great-great-great grandmother Alice put wrong, in a two-book deal.

Don Mitchell’s young adult WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED, the story of the “Freedom Summer” effort in Mississippi to register African Americans to vote in 1964 and the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner by the KKK, for publication in Spring 2014.

Ophelia rights to Lisa Klein’s young adult THE ADVENTURES OF LONG MEG AND YOUNG WILL, featuring a young Will Shakespeare who, eager to escape the glover’s trade and an ill-fated courtship of the Hathaway sisters, escapes to London where he has a series of adventures Long Meg, a tavern maid with a past of her own to hide.

(Source: Publisher’s Marketplace)

Other News

Amazon’s Kindle library-lending service went live, but a lot of people (publishers included) are confused by this newest development.

The #Yes GayYA issue has finally wound down, and I hope we all learned an important lesson: if we want to read more QUILTBAG literature (in YA or any reading level), then we need to buy the QUILTBAG books already out there. If publishers see there’s a market, they’ll take on more projects. Here are some great lists to get you started: SF & Fantasy YA with Major LGBTQ Characters and The Ultimate Gay Reading List.

Emma Thompson (an actress whose work I love) is has written the newest Peter Rabbit tale, The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit. As a childhood fan of Peter Rabbit, I’m not sure how I feel about this… I guess I’ll just wait to decide after the book comes out in September 2012. (And does no one else think it should be called The Further TAIL of Peter Rabbit? A play on words, my friends…always a winner.)

The editor who oversaw the entire Harry Potter series at Bloomsbury, Sarah Odedina, has announced her newest publishing venture: Hot Key Books.

Two celebs–Mario Lopez and Perez Hilton–are releasing picture books this month. I can’t help but wonder if these were ghost-written. I mean, I’ve heard picture books are REALLY hard to write and one of the toughest markets to crack into…

Writer Katharine Owens, a.k.a. The Insect Collector, has signed with an agent! This is fantastically exciting, and everyone should go wish her a hearty congrats.

WHO WATCHED CASTLE THIS WEEK? I am obsessed with this show. The Frenchman and I discovered it a few weeks ago, and we are devouring a few episodes a day. It’s terrible because we aren’t all that in to TV-watching. We’ll go weeks or even months without turning it on, and then KAPOW.Β  We find a new show we like and we become full-blown couch potatoes…

Finally, Sarah J. Maas and I are finally able to reveal the pitch for our Top Secret MG project, Nautilus. It’s about Tallie and Viv Dakkar, who are descendants of Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

After generations of passing the Nautilus from Nemo-father to Nemo-son, the current Nemo winds up with two daughters he’s clueless to handle. When he gets called away to attend an emergency meeting for his secret society, the girls are given command of the submarine. But the sisters quickly find themselves facing broken equipment, an infuriating first-mate, a rogue pirate, and magical creatures thirsting for human blood. Now they just want Nemo to come back and help them deal with it all.

Trouble is, he should have been back hours ago. And now their biggest enemy, the Moray Corporation, is on their tail….

I KNOW, it’s not really publishing news. But I’m really darn proud of this project, and I wanted to share the details with everyone here.

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


K.A. Barson’s 45 POUNDS, about a girl who doesn’t fit — not into her blended family, and certainly not into Snapz! clothes, and who is certain that if she could lose 45 pounds, her life would be perfectly normal, only to find that there is nothing perfect about normal, to Sharyn November at Viking Children’s, by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger (world).