Random House has struck what may be the biggest deal for a first novel this year, spending a rumored $750,000 for Big Stone Gap by veteran TV writer and documentary producer Adriana Trigiani. ”It’s Fried Green Tomatoes meets Lake Wobegon,” says Trigiani’s agent, Suzanne Gluck. Trigiani is in negotiations for a deal with the production house The Shooting Gallery that would allow her to write and direct the film version.
Publishers are betting that Latino singing sensation Ricky Martin will sell for them as well as Leonardo DiCaprio did last year: Dell Books for Young Readers just shipped 300,000 copies of Ricky Martin: A Scrapbook in Words and Pictures to bookstores, and St. Martin’s will have 60,000 paperback copies of the quickie bio Ricky Martin in stores June 1.
Another high note
The Sopranos — the hit HBO series about a New Jersey Mob family — may soon have a companion guide in time for its second season. Sources say HBO was close to a $250,000 deal with Dell for The Sopranos: Note by Note. But rights and other issues have yet to be worked out, and the book may even land elsewhere. The popular show has sparked more interest in the publishing world ”than any other commercial TV property since Seinfeld,” says one insider. ”So far we haven’t accepted any offers,” says a spokesperson for HBO.