Between the Lines
— WHO’S THE BOSS NOW? Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, the twentysomething authors of the word-of-mouth best-seller The Nanny Diaries, have moved from St. Martin’s Press to Random House for what insiders are describing as a two-book deal for $3 million. That’s considerably better than what the authors received their first time around, when St. Martin’s forked over a mere $25,000 for an allegedly very rough first draft. Diaries now has 880,000 copies in print after seven months on the hardcover best-seller list, but McLaughlin and Kraus, according to editors who were considering the new novel, still wanted a fancier address in the publishing world, i.e., Random House. (The authors have also recently traded in their agent, Molly Friedrich, for William Morris honcho Suzanne Gluck, who is their third agent in three years.) Some of those editors describe the 15-page first chapter of the duo’s next effort, Citizen Girl — about a twentysomething underling ruled by a tyrannical boss — as extremely rough as well. ”The good news is they’re clearly capable of turning around a book,” says one editor who nevertheless decided to pass. Random House senior editor Lee Boudreaux, who made the acquisition for publication next fall, isn’t worried: ”I think they’re going to have the same type of character [as Nanny] — enormously likable and funny and able to skewer what’s going on around her.” Boudreaux adds that a second novel about Nanny will follow.
— MARKET RESEARCH British import and Vogue writer Plum Sykes has sold her first novel, Bergdorf Blondes, for enough money to keep her in Versace and Manolos for, well, at least a month or so. Miramax Books paid $625,000 for the novel, which editor in chief Jonathan Burnham describes as ”a hilarious satire on the world of Park Avenue princesses, but beyond that, it’s going to be a touching love story.” And as for Sykes’ good looks? ”She’s the word promotable in the flesh.”