Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Sara Foster’s suspense thrillers sold into US, UK

Curtis Brown Australia has sold North American and UK and Commonwealth rights (ex ANZ and Canada) to two novels by bestselling psychological suspense author Sara Foster—The Hidden Hours and her latest novel You Don’t Know Me (both Simon & Schuster Australia)—to Blackstone Publishing and Legend Press respectively. Blackstone Publishing also acquired the rights to an as yet untitled work. ‘Psychological suspense continues to be a favourite for readers in North America, and Sara is an outstanding voice in the genre,’ said Blackstone’s vice president of sales Anne Fonteneau. The Hidden Hours is currently under option with an Australian production company.

US and UK rights to J P Pomare’s forthcoming small-town thriller In the Clearing (Hachette) have been sold in a two-book deal to global Hachette imprints Mulholland Books US and Hodder UK.  Mulholland Books editor Emily Giglierano said: ‘It only took three words for me to pick up In the Clearing: “female cult leader”. But it was the flawless storytelling—the voices of the two narrators, and the inexorable ticking clock counting down to disaster—that compelled me to read it in one sitting.’

Allen & Unwin has sold North American and UK and Commonwealth rights (ex ANZ and Canada) to Australian journalist Gabrielle Jackson’s nonfiction book Pain and Prejudice—an exploration of how the medical profession treats the pain and suffering of women—to Greystone Books and Piatkus respectively. Jennifer Croll at Greystone Books described the book as an ‘essential, timely critique of how the medical system fails to take women’s health seriously’.

Thames & Hudson Australia has sold foreign-language rights to Chromatopia: An illustrated history of colour by David Coles to several publishers. They include: Hungarian-language rights to Corvina Könyvkiadó; German-language rights to Haupt Verlag; French-language rights to Eyrolles; Japanese-language rights to Graphic Sha; Korean-language rights to Youngjin; and simplified Chinese-language rights to Huazhong University of Science and Technology Press.

Murdoch Books has sold French- and Dutch-language rights to The Fit Foodie Meal Prep Plan—a ‘practical guide to food prepping for weeks of healthy meals’ by Sally O’Neil, aka The Fit Foodie—to Marabout Publishing and Forte Uitgevers respectively.


Hachette has acquired ANZ rights to Claire Thomas’ second novel The Performance in a five-way auction via Curtis Brown Australia. Weidenfeld & Nicolson also acquired UK rights as part of the deal. Set during a hot summer night in Melbourne, the novel follows three women as they ‘each grapple with their anxieties and loves, their truths and pretensions’ while watching a play in a theatre.

Picador has acquired ANZ rights in a ‘heated auction’ to a work of nonfiction by author Anna Spargo-Ryan, inspired by her prize-winning essay ‘The Suicide Gene’. The as yet untitled book will investigate intergenerational suicide and mental health through a blend of memoir and analysis. Spargo-Ryan’s novels The Paper House and The Gulf were also published by Picador.

Scribe has acquired world rights to City on Fire, a book on the Hong Kong protest movement by Australian writer and lawyer Antony Dapiran, who has lived in Hong Kong for the past 20 years. Scribe publisher Henry Rosenbloom said, ‘Antony has unique credentials to write this important book, and City on Fire will provide an essential guide to understanding the current events and their context.’

Screen adaptations

Bruce Pascoe’s bestselling, award-winning nonfiction book Dark Emu (Magabala Books) is being adapted into a TV documentary series by Australian production company Blackfella Films. Screen Australia’s head of Indigenous Penny Smallacombe said the adaptation ‘promises to be one of the most important documentary series the Indigenous Department has funded’.

Filmmaker Partho Sen-Gupta has optioned the film rights to Joshua Mostafa’s cli-fi thriller Offshore (Seizure). Set in a very near future Sydney, Offshore follows an academic who pays people smugglers to help him escape overseas when the city begins to collapse into chaos.

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


Category: Think Australian newsletter Rights sales