Tom Ryan has kindly allowed me to share this wonderful bit of news.
The William Morrow Company, an imprint of HarperCollins, has won a bidding ward for the rights to publish "Following Atticus." Tom asked that the final figure not be published but he was wise to turn down three earlier offers with the highest being $200,000.
I learned a great deal about the publishing world through Tom's frequent emails. He provided blow-by-blow accounts on the writing, editing and finally selling of the ultimate buddy story. I now know what pre-empts are (those were the three earlier offers I mentioned.) Publishing houses offer them upfront to pre-empt a bidding war. Tom rolled the dice again and won.
At the end, four publishing houses fought over the proposal, which had been on the market for less than a week.
The book should be out in about 18 months.
I still have no idea what "an imprint of HarperCollins" means, but I get the significance of the signing. William Morrow handled the publishing of Marley & Me. No doubt, some movie talk will follow. And long ago I predicted some Oprah time. I'm sure that's coming.
I appreciate Tom letting me spread the news. I've known him for more than a decade although we never spent much time together in the city. I only covered City Hall for six or so months while he was writing The Undertoad. Then I left for nine years. When I finally returned to Newburyport he packed up, sold the magazine and moved to the mountains. Yet he's been a friend to the blog and to me since my return.
So let's take a moment to congratulate Tom and Atticus and to salute the pursuit and achievement of a dream.
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