Won at least 22 million children’s books before publication

Rich Night: Britain’s Annabelle Steadman, 28, has the biggest children’s book lead in the UK.

Annebel Steadman, 28, is the lawyer who wrote a children’s book that grossed at least 22 million crowns before it was even published. “Skandar and the Unicorn Thief” is now released simultaneously in 29 countries.

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It’s Gildendale’s biggest investment in a children’s book in at least the five years I’ve worked here. Gyldendal’s editor Pål Stokka says it’s the translated book we’ve been waiting for the most for many years.

He secured the Norwegian rights to a so-called pre-tendering (pre-tendering cutting off a potential tender) before it was even known how much the English publisher had put on the table.

Sometimes you realize there is something more here. I received the text at the same time as the English editor – and I was so confused by what I was reading that I threw myself away.

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That was already in 2020. Only now will the book be released when it is released simultaneously in 29 countries next week. In many of these countries, there were big auctions, and in the home of early writer Annabelle Steadman, those auctions took off:

She got seven pound figures, or at least a million pounds, or the equivalent of more than 11 million crowns, for the rights to the book.

It is the UK’s highest-grossing children’s book. This is the industry’s search for a new phenomenon, and there’s a huge appetite to create the next big thing – and publishers are willing to spend big when it comes to something that stands out. , says publisher Pål Stokka.

According to the publisher, writer Annabelle Steadman also received a seven-figure sterling payout when Sony bought the film rights to the book. This amounts to a total of at least 22 million crowns.

– The height of the falls can be great?

– Yes, he is always there when you have such sales and leads in advance. For Gyldendal, it’s mostly about the fact that we have bought the rights to a book that is very interesting to work with and that we hope many children will discover and enjoy. Then we’ll see if it’s the phenomenon the industry thinks it could be, Stokka says.

In “Skandar and the Unicorn Thief”, we meet 13-year-old Skander Smith who wants to become a unicorn rider.

Expensive children’s book: British publisher Simon & Schuster paid a seven-figure sum in sterling for this book.

The only thing Skander wants is for you to become one of the lucky few to hatch rhinos, bond with that rhino for life, fight for glory together, and become a hero. But then it gets dangerous: a dark enemy has stolen the most powerful rhino, and Skander discovers a secret that could change the world forever.

Behind this story is a 28-year-old lawyer, Annabelle Steadman, from Canterbury, England. for Guardian She said she was “completely insane” after the publisher seized a large chunk of the rights.

“I just: it’s not happening, it can’t happen, it’s not real,” she told the Guardian.

Already in 2013, she wrote the idea for the book about Skander, but put it aside to work as a lawyer.

There was no room in my mind for anything but work and the problems that arose. Then I finally thought I didn’t want to do this forever, so I quit, she told the newspaper.

The amount the Norwegian publisher had to pay for the Norwegian rights to three books on Skander was a far cry from the English amount.

“We don’t comment on those things, but we got away with less than the seven-figure sum, yes,” Stokka said.

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