Publishing Industry News: Jan. 3, 2020

Curious about what’s happening in the world of books and publishing? Catch up on the biggest acquisitions, news, adaptations and more here!

• Neal Shusterman’s yet-to-be-released novel Game Changer is set to be adapted into a Netflix series. Netflix preemptively bought the rights to the novel, which is set to be released in September 2020. Little is known about Shusterman’s newest novel, but the series is being described as a “present-day teen Quantum Leap.”

• The shortlist for the 2020 Tournament of Books has been announced. Similar to the popular March Madness, the Tournament of Books takes place in March and pits titles from the previous year against each other. In each round, a judge is assigned two books, advancing one. Their decisions for choosing the book are published daily on the Tournament of Books website. The shortlist includes All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg; Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Akner; Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo; Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli; Mary Toft; or, the Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer; Normal People by Sally Rooney; Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson; On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong; Optic Nerve by María Gainza; Overthrow by Caleb Crain; Saudade by Suneeta Peres da Costa; The Testaments by Margaret Atwood; Trust Exercise by Susan Choi; The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha; Golden State by Ben H. Winters; Oval by Elvia Wilk; and We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

• Hair Love has made the shortlist for the 92nd Academy Awards in the Animated Short Film category. The short film is based on the book of the same name by Matthew A. Cherry.

• Pearson has sold its remaining shares in Penguin Random House to Bertelsmann, making the German company the sole owner of the world’s largest trade publisher.

• Employment contracts with the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency have a requirement that any book published by the employee must be submitted prepublication for review. For obvious reasons Edward Snowden did not comply with that before publishing his memoir Permanent Record. A judge has now ruled that the U.S. government is entitled to all proceeds from the book.

• BookScan has reported that E.L. James book, Fifty Shades of Grey, is the top selling book of the decade. Between 2010 and 2019, 15.2 million copies were sold. The story was originally written as Twilight fanfiction before being published as a novel in 2011.

• Sasha Quinton, who moved to Barnes & Noble in March as VP and general merchandise manager, will take over as president of Scholastic’s book fair business on Jan. 1.

• Dav Pilkey has been named Publishers Weekly’s Person of the Year. Pilkey has published more than 60 books, including the popular series Dog Man and Captain Underpants.

• FX will be adapting Stephen King’s Carrie into a limited series. Little is known about the new adaptation, but sources say that “Carrie White will likely be played by either a trans performer or an actress of color…”