John Jarrold has concluded a three-book World Rights deal for Scottish-based Finnish SF writer Hannu Rajaniemi. Hannu's debut novel (presently untitled) plus two further books were pre-empted by Simon Spanton of Gollancz for a high five-figure sum, on the basis of one chapter.
'I received this chapter from Hannu by e-mail in the morning (and loved it), mentioned it to Simon when we were talking about other matters, and three hours later I had a very strong pre-empt offer,' said John Jarrold. 'After fifteen years in an editor's chair I am very aware how unusual it is for an offer to be made for a debut novelist on only twenty-four double spaced pages – particularly at a time when many publishing executives are more interested in the opinions of their sales and marketing directors than those of their senior editors. So congratulations to Simon for his enthusiasm and the speed of his response, and much respect to those at Orion who trusted his judgement. I think everyone can judge the power of Hannu's writing from the way this deal was done. This chapter leaves me thirsting for more!'
Warner Bros. suprisely announced that they have moved back the release date of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from Nov. 11 to July 17, 2009.
Warner president Alan Horn said: "Like every other studio, we are still feeling the repercussions of the writers strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other films — changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of," he said. "We agreed the best strategy was to move 'Half-Blood Prince' to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tent pole release for mid-summer."
The studio still has a plan to release the first part of final book, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows', as planned on November 19, 2009.