Rights Deals Highlighted by London Book Fair’s Organizers

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From a sold-out rights center of more than 500 tables and across the fair, London Book Fair organizers report highlighted rights deals.

The entrance to the ground-floor part of the International Rights Center at the 2024 London Book Fair. An overflow area was installed on first floor above this section to accommodate a reported 500+ tables sold. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also:
London Book Fair Closes, Citing 30,000 Attendees
At London Book Fair: The PublisHer Excellence Awards Shortlists

Rights Deals of the Week
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, one tradition of London Book Fair (March 12 to 14) is a show-closing list of “top deals” struck during the course of the trade show.

This year’s International Rights Center is said by organizers to have sold out, with more than 500 tables, and those tables were configured in a “lower” and “upper” area on ground floor at first floor at Olympia London, which continues to face space constraints under the complex’s redevelopment.

Here are the deals reported from the three days by LBF organizers. All information here is from the London Book Fair and has not been verified by Publishing Perspectives.

2024 LBF Day One Deals
  • Headline Publishing Group, more specifically, nonfiction publisher Martin Redfern has acquired world all-language rights to Murder in the Gulag: The Life and Death of Alexei Navalny by veteran journalist and documentary maker John Sweeney
  • Gollancz has acquired The Unmagical Life of Briar Jones by author Lex Croucher, striking a reported six-figure deal for the novel and the author’s second standalone title.
  • DK has acquired the new cookbook, Flavour, from chef and Darjeeling Express Owner Asma Khan
  • John Murray has acquired Sir David Attenborough and Colin Butfield’s book about the ocean in a five-way auction.
  • HQ has acquired Birthing, Davina McCall’s “positive guide” to conception, pregnancy and birth.
  • Viking has acquired The Quest for Strange: Why the Future Will Be Far Better and Far Weirder Than We Can Imagine, the debut book from Adam Mastroianni, experimental psychologist.
  • Hodder & Stoughton has acquired the debut novel of Scottish journalist Emma Cowding, The Show Woman.
  • In a seven-way auction, publisher Michelle Kane of Fourth Estate has acquired the memoir Inconceivable by Rebecca Coxon.
  • Sphere has acquired debut the novel The Retirement Plan by Sue Hincenberg.
  • Pan Macmillan has acquired World Heptathlon Champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s “inspirational” memoir-manifesto Unbroken.
  • Penguin’s Michael Joseph has acquired Death at the White Hart, debut novel of Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall.
  • Hodder & Stoughton has acquired two veteran financial journalists’ examination of underground financial deals in Formula One, Caroline Reid and Christian Sylt’s book Fast Money: The Backroom Deals, Corporate Espionage, and Legendary Power Struggles that Drive Formula One
  • Publishing director Sarah Braybooke from Ithika Press, has bought world-English language rights to the book The Eighth House: A murder, a mother, a haunting, a part true crime, part memoir title from historical researcher Linda Segtnan.
  • Profile Books has acquired What Does Israel fear from Palestine?, the new book by 2023 National Book Award finalist and human rights campaigner Raja Shehadeh.
  • Hot Key Books has acquired YA fantasy Damien Ike and the Fallen House of Draven by artist and musician David Arlo and Glow Up, Lara Bloom author Dee Benson.
  • The Borough Press has acquired Deep Cuts by Holly Bricklet, billed as Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow meets Daisy Jones and the Six.
  • Magic Cat has acquired She Speaks: The Women of Greek Myths, a feminist Greek myth reimagining title by “the new Mary Beard,” classicist Honor Cargill-Martin.
  • Scribner has signed with two-time National Book Award Winner Jesmyn Ward; the first book is an essay collection, On Witness and Respair, which is to be published in 2025.
  • Summit Book has acquired Rob Franklin’s Great Black Hope, a debut novel about “race, class, addiction and love in all its complicated forms.”
  • Europa Editions has acquired Amanda by H.S Cross, set to be published in 2025.
  • Ingrid Gnerlich at Princeton University Press has acquired world rights to An Exploration of Time by BBC host an author Jim Al-Khalili.
  • Atria has acquired Life and Death in the Loop by Chicago Reader reporter Katie Prout.
  • Bantam has acquired North American rights to two untitled crime fiction novels by prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, intended to be a series.
2024 LBF Day Two Deals
  • Headline Review has a.cquired The Moonlit Maze, the debut adult novel from YA author Zoe Marriot
  • Sceptre has acquired the first historical novel from Australian author Emily Maguire, Rapture.
  • Harper Collins has pre-empted a literary horror debut novel from Emma Cleary, All those Strangers.
  • HarperCollins is to publish The Collected Poems of JRR Tolkien by Christina Scull and Wayne G Hammond in September 2024.
  • Canongate has acquired author and creative writing tutor Cathy Rentzenbrink’s book The Agatha Curve.
  • Head of Zeus has acquired former foreign correspondent Alan Philips’ The Kremlin: Behind the Walls of Moscow’s Citadel.
  • Quarto Kids has acquired a “heartwarming tribute to love…,” My Bright Shining Star by Olympic medallist and javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread.
  • Eriu has acquired champion Irish jockey Davy Russell’s autobiography, My Autobiography
  • Hamish Hamilton has signed a graphic novel project with bestselling nature writer Robert Macfarlane, actor-musician Johnny Flynn, and artist Dave McKean to retell the Epic of Gilgamesh.
  • The Bridge Street Press has acquired world rights to Ben Wilson’s Coastlines: A Four-Billion Year Journey Along the World’s Seashores, for release in September 2026.
  • Hodder Fiction has acquired Party of Liars, a thriller set from debut author Kelsey Cox.
  • HarperNorth has acquired Bad Girls of Ancient Greece by debut author Lizzy Tiffin.
  • Faber & Faber has acquired Diaries of Note by Letters of Note founder Shaun Usher.
  • One More Chapter has landed a four-book deal with British Book Awards-shortlisted author Evie Woods, whose The Lost Bookshop was a digital-first hit that also turned into a print bestseller
  • Penguin Michael Joseph has acquired You Yeong-Gwang’s “uplifting and transportive novel,” The Rainfall Market.
  • Quercus Fiction has acquired the rights to Emma Pei Yin’s debut When Sleeping Women Wake and one other novel.
2024 LBF Day Three Deals
  • Walker Books has acquired a trio of books by Flavia Z Drago, the Illustrator of the Fair at the 2024 London Book Fair.
  • Manilla has pre-empted Niamh Ni Mhaoileoin’s debut, Ordinary Saints,  exploring “family grief, queer identity and the legacy of the Catholic Church in Ireland.”
  • Penguin’s Michael Joseph has acquired publishing director Leodora Darlington’s debut thriller The Exes.
  • John Murray has acquired Broken Country by Clare Leslie, a “love triangle with the pulse of a thriller.”
  • Bloomsbury Publishing has acquired Jo Harkin’s move to historical fiction with her novel The Pretender.
  • Del Rey UK and US have acquired Silvercloak, the first romantic fantasy from award-winning YA author Lauren Steven.
  • Canongate has signed up Simon Garfield’s “lively, idiosyncratic and global’ history of The Pen.
  • Yellow Kite has signed with self-development coach, inspirational speaker, and manifesting expert Roxie Nafousi. The as-yet-untitled new book will be published in spring 2025.
  • HarperCollins has pre-empted Lime Juice Money by debut author Jo Morey.
  • Granta has acquired Dr. Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi’s The Ghost of the Mountains: Unravelling the Secrets of the World’s Most Elusive Big Cat.
  • Irish indie Little Island Books has signed a two-book deal with Leon Diop, co-author of Black&Irish: Legends, Trailblazers and Everyday Heroes, which won the teen and YA award at the 2023 An Post Irish Book Awards.
  • William Collins has acquired the first book by Patrick Grant, fashion designer, tailor and judge on the BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee.

More on the United Kingdom’s publishing market is here, more on the international book publishing industry’s trade shows and book fairs is here, more on literary publication and translation rights is here, and more on London Book Fair is here.

More of our coverage of the 2024 London Book Fair:

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.com, 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.

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