With a 150 back-to-back 30 minute meetings, the Agency saw publishers from over 40 different countries including the US, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Portugual, Poland, Brazil, Russia, China and Japan. The Frankfurt book fair enables agents to pitch their new titles and backlists to publishers all over the world. Most books are reviewed after the Fair when significant interest has been generated, so we tend to see offers coming in 4-8 weeks following the meetings. The Agency did, however, have a a record number of offers before and during the Fair, particularly for début fiction.
The winner of the Crime and Thriller competition held over the summer, DON’T STAND SO CLOSE by S.L. Lewis, went to heated head-to-head best offers culminating in a sale to one of the UK’s biggest publishers, Transworld, who publish blockbuster authors such as Dan Brown, Lee Child and S.J. Watson. This psychological suspense début was also a huge success internationally. The Agency accepted a substantial overnight pre-empt for German rights from Goldmann which was promptly followed by a pre-empt for Italian rights by Longanesi, and a three way auction in The Netherlands. We have also just received a best offer from Rocco in Brazil.
At the Fair, all of the Agency authors generated huge excitement with offers at the table from Russia for Carolyn Jess-Cooke’s THE BOY WHO COULD SEE DEMONS and Cally Taylor’s HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. There was a significant pre-empt by Piper for German rights to Taylor’s new psychological suspense thriller, AN END TO SILENCE, and a pre-empt from Longanesi in Italy. Anna-Lou Weatherley’s CHELSEA WIVES was snapped up by Italian publisher, Newton Compton, who are going to use the title REVENGE OF THE HOUSEWIVES.
The international YA bestseller, NIGHT SCHOOL by C.J. Daugherty, caused great excitement as all the foreign publishers discussed their publication plans further to the huge success in Germany, where it remained on the bestseller list for six weeks. Metaichmio in Greece was the latest to offer for Greek rights to the series, marking the 19th foreign language deal.
Publishers are now reviewing all the material we pitched. There was a lot of interest from foreign editors in Victoria Fox’s TEMPTATION ISLAND (MIRA Books), Nuala Casey’s SOHO, 4AM (Quercus), Evie Hunter’s THE PLEASURES OF WINTER (Penguin), Jean Burnett’s WHO NEEDS MR DARCY? (Little, Brown), Emma Garcia’s NEVER GOOGLE HEARTBREAK (Random House) now sold to publishers in fifteen countries, and Lynda Page’s A PERFECT CHRISTMAS (Headline). The Agency also finalised a deal with HarperCollins/Avon for THE NAUGHTY GIRLS’ BOOK GROUP by one of their established authors who will be writing under a pseudonym.
On the YA and children’s side, Jenna Burtenshaw’s new YA prisonbreak thriller, CONVICTION, sparked a lot of interest as did L.A. Jones’ latest book RISE OF THE SHADOWMARES (Orchard Books). S.B. Hayes delivered her second psychological suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK (Quercus) which publishers were excited about, and Dave Lowe’s hilarious talking hamster series for 6-8 year olds (Templar Publishing) was also very popular. Usborne’s lead YA title for next year, SOULMATES by Holly Bourne, continued to generate new interest amongst publishers.
Milburn says: ‘There was a huge buzz surrounding all the Agency authors. Each fair continues to confirm the importance of relationships with foreign editors. I am delighted with the excitement and interest in our books, and I look forward to seeing more offers come in. It is so important for all our authors to sell on an international level.’