Wednesday, October 30, 2013
New Ventures and Partners: Filmmakers Publish Mezrich, Random Buys Figment
RatPac Entertainment, run by media mogul/heir James Packer and film director/producer Brett Ratner, is creating a book imprint, RatPac Press, designed "to bring more Hollywood related projects to market in both non-fiction and fiction genres."
Their first announced project is author of Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House Ben Mezrich's new novel SEVEN WONDERS. They will publish in a joint venture with Running Press in late spring 2014, the first title under their joint publishing agreement. Ratner says in the announcement, "We are very excited at RatPac Press to be in business with Running Press and Perseus. Their years of experience in publishing and distribution enables us to publish commercial books for a worldwide audience that we can also potentially turn into blockbuster films. Ben Mezrich's book does exactly that. Seven Wonders is a very commercial and global book that will definitely translate to the big screen."
Movie rights to SEVEN WONDERS were sold to 20th Century Fox, with RatPac Entertainment and Beau Flynn at FlynnPictureCo producing. About the seven wonders of the world, the project is conceived of as a trilogy and planned as "a big summer action / adventure film."
Random House Children's Books announced it has acquired online teen community for writers and readers Figment.com. That partnership makes sense given that Figment co-founder (with Dana Goodyear) and former ceo Jacob Lewis joined Random House this summer as publishing director of Crown, Broadway and Hogarth.
RH Children's president and publisher Barbara Marcus says in the announcement the company's "new relationship with Figment supports our ongoing strategy and increasingly important efforts to communicate and engage directly with our readers. The team that founded Figment created a dynamic community that we will continue to grow and expand, and we are so pleased to have the opportunity to continue the conversations with this audience of teens who love young adult books." Lewis says, "It validates our optimism about how important it is to give young readers a place to talk, share, and write. With their incredible digital curiosity and expertise, Random House is the perfect home."
In a modest bit of irony, Random House now owns the remnants of the teen writing website created by Harpercollins in 2009, Inkpop. Figment acquired Inkpop from Harper in early 2012. At the time, HarperCollins Children's publisher Susan Katz told the WSJ, "we're really a business focused on readers, and there are many more readers out there than there are writers."