Publishing Industry News: Sept. 20-27

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

• Webtoon, a digital publishing and self-publishing platform for webcomics, is preparing to launch of series of nine online adaptations of young-adult (YA) books and has worked with the publishers to obtain rights. Announced adaptations include The Fever King by Victoria Lee (out now), I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells (spring 2020), The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf (fall 2019), and Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (fall 2019).

• Production house A24 and producer Jennifer Fox will adapt Ursula K. LeGuin’s popular fantasy series Earthsea into a TV series.

• Japanese horror writer Junji Ito will see his popular manga Uzumaki adapted into a four-part series for Toonami/Adult Swim. The Beat describes the story as an “obsessive, disturbing and terrifying story about madness spread through spiral shapes.”

• Translator Edith Grossman has earned the 2019 Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature from the translation-advocacy organization Words Without Borders.

• YA author Julia Watts was disinvited from participating in the teen literary festival LitUp after the organizers learned she had also published lesbian erotica. Watts is now scheduled to participate in the Nashville Festival of the Book that same weekend, and the Kansas Library Association wants to book her as a keynote speaker for its annual conference in 2020.

• Author/illustrator David Kirk, best known for his Miss Spider book series, has launched his own company, Pipweasel Publishing, which debuted in May with My Hugging Rules, a picture book by Kirk.

• Oasis Family Media is launching Paperback Classics, a new audiobook imprint that will feature pulp-fiction paperbacks from the 1930s to the 1970s: works of gothic romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery and more. Dark Shadows is the first full series to be released.

• In a world-rights acquisition, Alessandra Bastagli at Dey Street bought reporter Julie K. Brown’s currently untitled book about the Jeffrey Epstein case. 

• Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has sold world rights to her memoir to St. Martin’s Press.

• After experimenting with various time frames for BookExpo, Reed Exhibitions is returning to an event that features a full day of educational programming followed by two days of exhibits.

• At Sourcebooks, unit sales rose 24 percent during the first six months of 2019 over the comparable period in 2018, while revenue increased 26 percent, according to company founder and CEO Dominique Raccah.

• Crunchyroll – the streaming, publishing and distribution platform offering online global access to anime, manga and other Asian pop content – has acquired a majority interest in Viz Media Europe Group, a key distributor of manga and anime in Europe. 

• Bestselling author Rick Riordan has welcomed critically acclaimed indigenous fantasy writer Rebecca Roanhorse to his imprint with Race to the Sun!, a thrilling adventure about a Navajo girl who discovers she’s a monster slayer.

• Audible will put its Captions program on a full stop while the Association of American Publishers’ lawsuit over the program remains unresolved. Audible will test the program with public-domain books for a select group of high school students.