McDermid Moves to Little Brown UK
Val McDermid has left HarperCollins after 17 years and gone to David
Shelley at Sphere/Little, Brown. The two-book deal, for an undisclosed
sum, ends the author’s long working relationship with the much-admired
Julia Wisdom, whom she followed from Gollancz to what was then Collins.
agent, Jane Gregory, emphasised to BookBrunch that she and McDermid had
no complaints about Wisdom, “who is fantastic”. But Gregory felt that
the HarperCollins structure was not always helpful in achieving the
best possible sales. She said that she had spoken to HC CEO Victoria
Barnsley about her views.
Observers have suggested that HC does not fully exploit Trade MD Amanda Ridout’s experience of running sales departments.
is a discussion we’ve been having for about three years,” Gregory
continued. “Val’s numbers aren’t where they should be – she’s always
winning prizes and she’s all over television.” It appears that HCUK
pushed to conclude a new contract in the early summer, but Gregory
delayed until its performance with McDermid’s latest novel, A Darker Domain,
could be assessed. Clearly that has disappointed, and in a move that
Gregory admits is “very hard for Val” she is leaving HCUK for pastures
new “[but] we feel that Little, Brown will make her the bestseller she
deserves to be.”
Ironically, McDermid left her US publisher St. Martin’s after many years to join up with HarperCollins, starting in February with the American publication of A DARKER DOMAIN. The new UK deal (for UK/Commonwealth) starts next year with a new Tony Hill/Carol Jordan novel.