Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

New acquisitions for Affirm, Black Inc. and Pantera

Affirm Press has acquired Australian writer Christian White’s award-winning debut novel Decay Theory—‘a page-turner about a small-town mystery dealing with trauma, cult and memory’—to be published in 2018. White’s novel won this year’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, an award that has launched the careers of bestselling Australian authors Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project), Jane Harper (The Dry) and Maxine Beneba Clarke (Foreign Soil). White’s novel tells the story of a Melbourne woman who gets caught up in the investigation of a decades-old kidnapping in Kentucky.

Black Inc. has acquired world rights to Moreno Giovannoni’s book of linked tales about a Tuscan village and the lives of its occupants, Tales of San Ginese, to be published in 2018. Giovannoni was the inaugural winner of the Deborah Cass Prize for emerging Australian writers from migrant backgrounds. Publisher Chris Feik described the book as a ‘series of linked stories, on the border of fiction and nonfiction, about an Italian village through the course of the twentieth century’, which follow the lives of the village people, many of whom migrated to America and Australia to work.

Pantera Press has acquired Australian and New Zealand rights to a ‘commercial literary fiction title’ from Sulari Gentill (pictured), author of the award-winning ‘Rowland Sinclair’ historical crime-fiction series. Gentill’s meta-fictional Crossing the Lines, which will be published in August this year, examines the relationship between writers and their protagonists, and what happens when the lines between reality and imagination blur. The publisher has also acquired Australian writer M J Tjia’s debut novel from Legend Press in the UK. She Be Damned is the first book in a murder-mystery series set in 1860s London, which ‘has an inventive and contemporary twist—inserting racially hybridised characters into the action’. The manuscript was longlisted for the 2015 Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger.


Wavesound has acquired world audio rights from Hardie Grant Books to Miller and Max: George Miller and the Making of Film Legend by Luke Buckmaster—an insight into the iconic Mad Max movies and director George Miller. The audiobook will be released in November to coincide with the print release of the book in the UK and US, and promises to ‘translate beautifully in audio as the book is packed with verbatim accounts from cast, crew, family, friends and collaborators’.

Film and TV

Australian actor Toni Collette’s production company Vocab Films has acquired film rights to Graeme Simsion’s 2016 novel The Best of Adam Sharp, published by Text Publishing. The novel tells the story of a middle-aged married man who is given the opportunity to reunite with a former girlfriend. Simsion’s debut novel The Rosie Project has been sold into more than 40 territories and optioned for film by Sony Pictures.

Recent rights sales of Australian titles include:


  • HarperCollins has sold Turkish rights to the sci-fi thriller The Gene Thieves by Maria Quinn to Pegasus Yayinevi.
  • Fremantle Press has sold US and UK English-language rights to The Hope Fault by Tracy Farr—a novel about an extended family and its faultlines—to Gallic Books imprint Aardvark Bureau.
  • Giramondo has sold US rights to two new books from Australian award-winning author Gerald Murnane—the novel Border Districts and the short-fiction collection Stream System—to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for publication in April 2018.
  • Hachette has sold rights to Sophie Green’s The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club—about a women’s book club set in rural Australia during the 1970s and 1980s—in the following territories: UK and Commonwealth (ex ANZ) rights to Sphere; Dutch rights to De Kern; and Norwegian rights to Cappelen Damm.


  • HarperCollins has sold Spanish rights to Fresh and Light by bestselling Australian cookbook author Donna Hay to Ediciones B; and Italian rights to The Secret of Happy Children (Steve Biddulph) to Tascabili degli Editori Associati.
  • Text has sold Italian and Japanese rights to Stuart Kells’ forthcoming book The Library—an exploration of ‘bookish places, real and imagined’—to Mondadori and Hayakawa Publishing, respectively.
  • Black Inc. has sold world English rights (ex ANZ) to Woman of Substances: A Journey into Addiction and Treatment (Jenny Valentish) to Head of Zeus.

For the latest Australian rights sales and acquisitions news, click here.


Category: Think Australian newsletter Rights sales