Publishing Industry News: Nov. 27, 2019

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

• FX and Fox 21 have optioned Deepti Kapoor’s trilogy, Age of Vice, for a TV adaptation. The saga, set in New Delhi, focuses on the wealthy, powerful and corrupt Wadia family.

• HarperCollins Children’s Books’ new imprint, Heartdrum, will begin publishing in 2021, focusing on books by Native creators. Cynthia Leitich Smith, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation; and Rosemary Brosnan will lead Heartdrum.

• At Penguin Random House’s flagship imprint, Andy Ward has been promoted to publisher, and Knopf’s Robin Desser has been tapped as senior VP and editor-in-chief. Ward is replacing Susan Kamil, who died suddenly last month.

• Amazon has yet to release the first season of its Lord of the Rings series, but it has already ordered season two. This is pushing back production of season one as it works on the script of the next series.

• Canadian independent publisher ChiZine has been embroiled in a scandal. In September, several authors, including Ed Kurtz, made a complaint to the Horror Writers Association about long-overdue royalties from ChiZine. The complaint went public on Nov. 5. According to Kurtz, he had not been paid for almost two years’ worth of royalties. Other authors have also come forward, some saying they haven’t been paid in almost five years. ChiZine’s founders have decided to step down. Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America is warning authors to stay away from the publisher and is offering assistance and support as part of its monitoring process.

• The Brontë Society, founded in 1893, has won an auction for The Young Men’s Magazine, a book written by Charlotte Brontë when she was 14. The Brontë Society is in charge of the Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire – the Brontës’ old home – and the book will return to where it was written 189 years ago.

• Ian Williams is the winner of the 2019 Scotibank Giller Prize, Canada’s richest, most prestigious award for fiction. He received $100,000 Canadian dollars for his debut novel, Reproduction.

• On Nov. 15, freelance writers for Barnes & Noble’s teen and sci-fi & fantasy blogs tweeted the news that they had been let go. Young-adult (YA) novelist and former B&N teen blogger Sona Charaipotra said, “I think the diverse and critical discussion we created around YA books really expanded the conversation, and I’ll miss contributing to it.”

• Christopher Paolini, author of the popular The Inheritance Cycle series, has announced that he’ll be publishing his first science-fiction novel, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, in September 2020.

• Taylor Jenkins Reid’s hit book Daisy Jones and the Six is being adapted into an Amazon series. Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, Riley Keough, will play the lead role.

• On Nov. 20, the 2019 National Book Awards were broadcast live. Winners were Susan Choi for Trust Exercise, fiction; Sarah M. Broom for The Yellow House, nonfiction; Arthur Sze for Sight Lines, poetry; Ottilie Mulzet and László Krasznahorkai for Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, translated fiction; and Martin W. Sandler for 1919: The Year That Changed America, young people’s literature.

• Houghton Mifflin is the latest publisher to announce a new graphic-novel imprint: Etch. It will debut in September 2020.