Simon & Schuster is entering as yet uncharted waters for a big-six publisher: it is acquiring the print rights to an ebook hit and leaving the ebook rights with the author.
“This is a modern twist on the old paperback license, but in this case Simon & Schuster will be publishing the hardcover and paperback editions simultaneously. We’re thrilled to be able to help Wool achieve greater distribution at retail and bring this talented writer to a larger audience,” said Julia Prosser, assistant director of publicity for Simon & Schuster.
The Bookseller is reporting that in the UK Century has acquired both the print and ebook rights for the title.
Wool Author Hugh Howey and his agent Kristin Nelson will be presenting at Digital Book World 2013.
Howey announced the deal on YouTube:
Simon & Schuster to publish bestselling e-book phenomenon WOOL by Hugh Howey
The New York Times and USA Today ebook bestseller WOOL by Hugh Howey will be published in hardcover and paperback from Simon & Schuster in March 2013. Karyn Marcus, Senior Editor, acquired the North American rights from Kristin Nelson at the Nelson Literary Agency.
Originally a self-published short story, WOOL was first released in July 2011. Within months, word of mouth turned this small piece, never marketed, into an ebook sensation. Reviews poured in and readers demanded more, inspiring Howey to continue the story. Howey published the next four sections of the book in installments, growing his fan base with each new release. WOOL has gone on to sell over 300,000 ebooks and is now being translated into over eighteen languages. Century Fox recently acquired film rights to the book with Ridley Scott’s production company partnering with Steve Zaillian for this option.
Deadline.com has described the book as “the sci-fi version of Fifty Shades of Grey,” referring to the lightning speed at which this self-published phenomenon found an audience. WOOL is the thrilling story of a post-apocalyptic world in which a community lives in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. Inside, men and women live within a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them from the toxic outside world. But a new sheriff is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how deeply her world is broken. The silo’s inhabitants are about to face what their history has only hinted about and never dared to whisper: Uprising.
“It doesn’t surprise me that WOOL attracted such a wide readership so quickly,” says Karyn Marcus. “This is the kind of book that you burn through: a world more fascinating with each new reveal and characters who stay with you long after the last page. Hugh Howey is the real deal.”
Author Hugh Howey adds, “Partnering with Simon and Schuster on the print edition of WOOL is an absolute dream. I can’t wait to make this story available to an even wider audience. To think that this novel was conceived and written while working in a bookstore, I view it as a homecoming of sorts. And with the same house that publishes heroes of mine like Ray Bradbury, no less.”
Hugh Howey, a former bookseller, achieved his childhood dream of writing for a living with the bestseller, WOOL. He now lives in Jupiter, Florida, with his wife, Amber, and their dog, Bella. For more information: www.hughhowey.com
Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at www.simonandschuster.com.