Hello readers, writers, and lovers of books! It’s the most wonderful time of the year: our JABberwocky end-of-year wrap-up post. We love celebrating the hard work of our clients and our employees, and it was hard to narrow down this year to just the highlights. Buckle up: this year’s JAB Wrapped is a long one!
This year, we welcomed Jordan Hamessley and Arielle DeVito to the JABberwocky team! Jordan joins us as a literary agent with over 15 years of publishing experience both as an agent and an editor. She represents a fantastic list of children’s and YA authors — we’re thrilled to be working with her! Arielle is the new agency assistant, working directly with Joshua Bilmes, and is also handling film/tv rights for the agency. She came to JABberwocky with internships at Tor Books and Transatlantic Literary Agency under her belt and has truly hit the ground running.
In addition to new employees, we also moved offices in April! Which meant moving all of our books. Yes, all of them.
Speaking of lots of books, 2023 saw the release of Brandon Sanderson’s Secret Projects: Tress of the Emerald Sea, The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook to Surviving Medieval England, Yumi and the Nightmare Painter, and The Sunlit Man. While all of these have been much anticipated since their record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, Tress of the Emerald Sea in particular has been highly lauded — it was a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, an Amazon Editors’ Pick for Best SFF, and a Goodreads Choice Award finalist for Best Fantasy. In addition to the Secret Projects, the fourth and final Skyward book, Defiant, published at the end of the year, which Kirkus called “A grand finale, presented with a touch light enough to buoy all the self-actualization. Also: giant space worms!”
Grady Hendrix released his most successful book yet, How to Sell a Haunted House, in the beginning of the year; it hit #5 on the NYT Bestseller List and NPR called Grady a “contemporary horror master”, which is high praise indeed! Silvia Moreno-Garcia — aka “our lady of suspenseful horror” according to Shondaland — also returned to the horror genre with the critically acclaimed bestseller, Silver Nitrate. The novel was most recently showcased on the New York Times Best Horror Books of 2023, and also earned rave reviews from TIME, Washington Post, Publisher’s Weekly, Tor.com, and more! The NYT has loved our JAB clients this year; they praised Michael Mammay‘s Generation Ship as “propulsive and satisfying” in their review (which is only one of the many extremely positive reviews this novel received!).
We also have to give a special shout-out to Samantha Mills’ short story, “Rabbit Test”, which won the following awards: the Locus Award for Best Short Story, the Nebula Award for Best Short Story, the Hugo Award for Best Short Story, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. It published in Uncanny Magazine (run by co-editors and JABberwocky clients Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas) in late 2022 and continued to earn recognition well into this year. But if short stories aren’t your thing, don’t worry: Samantha’s debut novel, The Wings Upon Her Back, publishes next spring from Tachyon!
Four of our authors published their first book this year, and each of those books are certified bangers. If you’re a fan of SF survival missions with insurmountable stakes, dark academia fantasy with friends-to-enemies-to who knows what, a con artist exposing a powerful government secret, or a traitor among the stars, you’ll want to check these out.
In film news, JABberwocky books were all over the small screen at the beginning of the year: January saw the premiere of Wolf Pack on Paramount+, based on the books by Edo van Belkom and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as a lead actor and executive producer. The beloved HBO original series True Blood, based on the bestselling Southern Vampire Mysteries by longtime JABberwocky client Charlaine Harris, returned to cable TV this February for a full rerun.
We’re also thrilled about two new projects that have started production this year. In April, Legendary Entertainment (the studio behind Dune) acquired the rights to JABberwocky client Grady Hendrix’s How to Sell a Haunted House. Additionally, the bestselling Rivers of London series by UK author Ben Aaronovitch is getting an exciting new TV adaptation, and this November saw the 6-person writing team being brought together by lead writer John Jackson, who previously wrote for hit TV series Being Human and The Gentleman.
Our foreign rights team has also had a busy year, with over 185 translation rights sales and 50 audio rights sales made! Some significant five- and six-figure sales include translation rights to Brandon Sanderson’s Secret Projects (now available in twelve countries), French and UK rights to Beasts of the Briar #1-4 by Elizabeth Helen, and audio rights to the Sookie Stackhouse and Aurora Teagarden series by Charlaine Harris. In travel news, JABberwocky returned to the UK for the London Book Fair this year with president Joshua Bilmes, subsidiary rights director Susan Velazquez, and subsidiary rights associate Christina Zobel in attendance. Susan also attended the 2023 Frankfurt Book Fair.
Onwards and upwards to 2024! If this sample of forthcoming books gives us some idea, we think it will be a spectacular year!
And that is a wrap! 2023 has been filled with new and exciting transitions, and we’re grateful for all of the wonderful projects and people we’ve worked with along the way. Thank you to all you readers, writers, editors, publishing professionals, and generally lovely folks for your support of our hardworking clients and their work.
We’ll see you next year!
Client books published in 2023:
How to Sell A Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
Courting Dragons by Jeri Westerson
The Weight of Command by Michael Mammay (print edition)
The Dead of Night by Elaine Viets
Flowerheart by Catherine Bakewell
Dear Mothman by Robin Gow
Camp Quiltbag by A.J. Sass and Nicole Melleby
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson (Tor edition)
Grace Needs Space! by Ben Wilgus, illustrated by Rii Abrego
Wraithbound by Tim Akers
The Dead of Night by Elaine Viets
Not of this World by Simon R. Green
He Who Breaks the Earth by Caitlin Sangster
The Iron Children by Rebecca Fraimow
Death by Iced Coffee by Alex Erickson
For Love of Magic by Simon R. Green
Flat White Fatality by Emmeline Duncan
Say Anarcha by J.C. Hallman
Something Close to Magic by Emma Mills
The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson (Tor edition)
Ode to My First Car by Robin Gow
Implacable by Jack Campbell
Cult Classic by Stephen Blackmoore
Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Court War by Violette Malan
The Pattern of the World by J.T. Greathouse
Labyrinth’s Heart by M.A. Carrick
Barely Floating by Lilliam Rivera
All the Dead Shall Weep by Charlaine Harris
A Hundred Vicious Turns by Lee Paige O’Brien
Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (reissue)
Death by Peppermint Cappuccino by Alex Erickson
Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson (Tor edition)
A Fire Born of Exile by Aliette de Bodard
Let the Dead Bury the Dead by Allison Epstein
These Burning Stars by Bethany Jacobs
Generation Ship by Michael Mammay
Kakistocracy by Alex Shvartsman
All Souls Lost by Dan Moren
The Waking of Angantyr by Marie Brennan
A Disturbance in the Force by Steve Kozak
Refractions by MV Melcer
Defiant by Brandon Sanderson
(no new books — time to catch up on some reading!)
Previous: JABberwocky Wrapped 2022