On occasion I get a sneak peak into the world of books-to-be-published (next year). Publishing briefs, like little snippet press-releases, while not always exciting to read can reveal potential good reads and sometimes give you a glimpse at a possible (future) collectible. Although it's by no means a crystal ball, you can gauge whether or not the publishers think they may have a hit on their hands by how aggressively they try to acquire the publishing rights.
When reading the briefs, you often come across language like: "In a world-rights auction, so-and-so publishing acquired so-and-so's book for 6-figures." Or "In an English-rights pre-empt, John Jehoshaphat acquired Soon-to-be-big Name's book."
Basically, when the rights to the book are "auctioned," it's what it sounds like—the rights to publish go to the highest bidder. (Sometimes the briefs will mention if it was a "6-figure" or "7-figure" deal—their way of letting us know they think they have a hit on their hands.) If something is "pre-empted," it means that a publisher wanted the rights to the book badly enough that they made an aggressive offer for the book prior to auction.
Of course, the books may or may not make the final cut and get published (because sh*t happens), and only the publisher will know what the first run will look like. And even then, the public-at-large may not be as keen on the book as the publisher was. So there are a lot of variables at play, but these are the briefs that caught my eye (some of which were pre-empted):
The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn
(auctioned to Bloomsbury, no publication date)
Synopsis: "The novel is a work of speculative fiction about the only known pregnancy and birth during a time when most of the world’s population has vanished."
There's an interesting article published in Pleiades, a journal of new writing: — a conversation she and her husband (an ethicist) had from Symposium on Moral Fiction.
Luster of Lost Things by Sophia Chen Keller
(Putnam, no publication date) This was acquired by a pre-empt in Germany by Ullstein. Putnam won the world rights (except for Germany).
Synopsis: "Luster follows a 12-year-old boy who, with his chubby golden retriever in tow, journeys into a fantastical version of New York City’s underbelly. The boy, who has a knack for finding lost items, sets out 'to save his mother’s magical bakery—the only place he’s ever called home.'”
All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis
(Harlequin Teen, fall 2017)
Synopsis: "The premise: copyright law has spun out of control and one girl swears herself to silence rather than pay a penny to the Rights Holders for the privilege of speaking."
The Space Between Stars by Anne Corlett
(Berkeley/Penguin Random House, June 2017) Berkeley won world-rights for six-figures.
Synopsis: "[A] dystopian novel is set in a world where humans have colonized other planets and a pandemic has wiped out huge swaths of the civilization. Against this backdrop, the publisher explained, the heroine begins a “journey to return home to Earth in hopes of finding her estranged boyfriend."
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
(world rights preempt by Flatiron Books, Fall 2017)
Synopsis: "[A] 'feminist reimagining of the Snow White fairy tale,' follows both of the central female characters from the original story: the young princess and her stepmother."
Labels: 2017 releases, upcoming YA books, Young Adult Novels