Industry Notes: Serial Box’s Foreign Rights, Amazon’s Summer Reading List

In News by Porter Anderson

Bookcase Literary Agency is handling international rights sales for Serial Box, which has an ‘Orphan Black’ series coming; and Amazon’s ‘Best So Far’ 2019 list is out for summer reading.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Serial Box: New “Orphan Black’ Content Coming
Literary agent Flavia Viotti and Miere Dias at Bookcase Literary Agency have announced today (June 19) they’re handling international rights sales for Serial Box, the digital serial reading and audio producer established by Molly Barton and Julian Yap in 2015.

It’s an interesting move, in that Viotti’s Bookcase Literary, as Publishing Perspectives readers will remember, is an agency that specializes in international rights for self-publishing authors, including Anna Todd, whose After series of teen romances was one of Wattpad’s first breakthroughs. (Jenny Gage’s film adaptation was released in April.)

Serial Box’s offerings are primarily originals, usually written by teams led by a concept creator. Currently, the service is touting a police procedural set in near-future Tokyo, Ninth Step Station, and an upcoming “continuation” series coming based on Orphan Black, the 2013 Canadian television production (Temple Street Productions and BBC America) that made Saskatchewan native Tatiana Maslany a new icon of multi-character performance.

The new series from Serial Box, Orphan Black: The Next Chapter, is to feature Maslany as narrator of the audio edition, and the work of writers Malka Older, Mishell Baker, E.C. Myers, Lindsay Smith, Madeline Ashby, and Heli Kennedy. It should be noted that this is an interesting reversal of the book-to-film trend, in this case a highly popular television series prompting the creation of a textual and audio series.

The connection between Serial Box and Orphan Black? Last year, Barton told Publishing Perspectives about new funding from Michel Pratte’s Boat Rocker Media, which was involved in the Orphan Black series. At the time of the investment, Pratte was quoted, saying, “We see a big opportunity for Serial Box to be a top tier publishing studio of original serial entertainment and look forward to collaborating with their team as they continue to build their platform for readers and listeners.” In other words, once a show has had its seasons on the networks, try spinning off “continuation” content–in the same serial mode in which television originally rolled out the show.

More coming properties from Serial Box include Dark Heights, created and written by OD Miller, and The Understudy, a series being promoted as being “reminiscent of Agatha Christie with a dash of Dance Moms.

Amazon USA’s 2019 ‘Best Books So Far’

In an industry that frequently likes to gripe that Amazon favors titles produced by its own trade house, Amazon Publishing, some might want to notice that not one of the “Best Books of 2019 So Far” just enumerated on Tuesday (June 18) are from Amazon Publishing.

Presented as a summer-reading prompt, the list is put together by Amazon editors led by Sarah Gelman, the editorial director of Amazon Books. She’s quoted, saying, “We’ve read so many great books this year–a heart-wrenching memoir of loss, an intoxicating novel of a ’70s rock band, a psychological thriller worthy of Agatha Christie comparisons, and so much more. But one book stood out for us, Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls.

“It has so many elements that make reading fun–the sparkle of youth, indiscretions, sassy characters, and freedom in a city that doesn’t sleep–perfect summer reading in our book.”

Here’s the list:

  • City of Girls: A Novel by Elizabeth Gilbert (Riverhead Books)
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Celadon Books)
  • Once More We Saw Stars: A Memoir by Jayson Greene (Knopf)
  • Mrs. Everything: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner (Atria Books)
  • The Night Tiger: A Novel by Yangsze Choo (Flatiron Books)
  • Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine Books)
  • Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After by Julie Yip-Williams (Random House)
  • Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl (Random House)
  • Cari Mora: A Novel by Thomas Harris (Grand Central Publishing)

In addition, media messaging from Seattle lists a top pick in children’s reading, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart (Henry Holt and Co.)

More from Publishing Perspectives on serialization is here. More from us on Amazon is here, and more of our Industry Notes series is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.