May 1-15, 2004 Edition

UK Minister Lands

£3.5m Deal for Book

Similar to Potter

LONDON/04/20/04—The Rev. Graham Taylor, a minister who self-published his first book for £3,500, has signed a £3.5m four-year publishing deal with Faber & Faber in the UK and Putnam (part of the Penguin Group) in America for his next six novels.

The Rev Mr. Taylor wrote the surprise hit, Shadowmancer, which was picked up by Faber last year, and stayed on the British bestseller list for 15 weeks. The rights for the book sold for £314,000, reportedly three times what J.K. Rowling earned for her first Harry Potter tale. Taylor’s first published work is a children’s book about the battle between good and evil.

Critiques had told Taylor that no one would buy Shadowmancer, a parable about Christianity and black magic in the 18th century. The self-published novel became popular among parishioners and friends, and eventually gained a steady following.

Taylor recently sold the film rights for Shadowmancer for £2.25m, pushing the minister’s total income to £6m.

The 43-year-old father of three only began writing in the last few years. His second book, Wormwood, will be released in June 12004. He will be in tour in the United States in June 2004.