Egmont Books signs World Rights for Monster acquisition

Egmont Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, is inviting children around the world to become monster hunters after acquiring world rights to Monster Hunting for Beginners by debut children’s author Ian Mark.

Lindsey Heaven, Fiction Publishing Director, Egmont Books, and Liz Bankes, Editorial Director at Egmont Books, secured world rights in three books from Sam Copeland at RCW. The ferociously funny middle grade series was captured in a heated six-publisher auction.

Heaven said “When Ian’s joyously funny debut landed in our inboxes, we knew we’d found something truly special and that we’d do anything to have it on the list – including fighting snot-dribbling monsters! It’s an astounding accomplishment for a debut writer to speak to their young readership in such a magical and hilarious way and we can’t wait to launch Monster Hunting for Beginners as the new shining star of children’s fiction.”

Monster Hunting for Beginners will launch as a lead title for Egmont in August 2021, with further books in the series to follow at nine month intervals to feed the monstrous appetite of the 8+ readership. The publisher is thrilled to welcome new comedy talent Mark to the list, renowned for its dominance of the funny young fiction market with bestselling brands such as Amelia Fang, Mr Gum, and Lemony Snicket.

Monster Hunting isn’t as easy as it looks. And Jack should know. Because an ogre has just appeared in his garden and tried to eat his aunt. After (sort of accidentally) defeating the aunt-eating ogre, Jack finds himself apprenticed to a grumpy, 200-year-old monster hunter called Stoop. And when the town of King’s Nooze is under attack from an army of ogres, it’s time for Jack’s monster-hunting adventure to begin.   

All Jack has are his wits, his catapult and a magical – sometimes unreliable – book called Monster Hunting for Beginners. But is he the hero they’ve all been waiting for?

Monster Hunting For Beginners is a hilarious magical adventure that gives a Shrek-style twist to familiar creatures from legends, myths and fairytales. Perfect for fans of How to Train Your Dragon, Charlie Changes into a Chicken and hypnotising three-headed bogeymen with an eyeball tied to a string of mouldy spaghetti.

The books will be illustrated throughout by exciting new talent, animator Louis Ghibault, who will be attempting to keep the ogres, hobgoblins and crusted hairy snot nibblers contained within the pages. And the books will also feature pages from the Monster Hunting guide – a book within a book – with profiles for the different monsters, allowing readers to collect monster facts as they go through the series.

Ian Mark said: “I wanted to be a writer from the time I wrote my first story in school. It was about how St Francis tamed a vicious wolf who was dining out on the locals in a nearby town. The teacher gave it a simple binding and made it into a book. That was me hooked. In a way, my own story has now come full circle – Monster Hunting for Beginners has been a part of my life for the longest time and it’s beyond exciting that it’s found the perfect home at Egmont. I couldn’t have asked for more for Jack and his merry – and sometimes not so merry – band of monsters. I can’t wait for readers to step into that world and discover it for themselves, and make it their own.”

Sam Copeland said: “As an agent, I couldn’t be happier to have discovered this exciting and brilliantly funny new voice in children’s fiction. As an author I am riven with jealousy at quite how funny he is.”

About the Author

Ian Mark is an author and part-time monster hunter living in Northern Ireland with his family and an indeterminate amount of cats. With his partner, he has written adult thrillers under the pen name Ingrid Black. Ian spends many hours staring into space, trying to decide whether the best book ever written is Virginia Woolf’s The Waves or Enid Blyton’s Book Of Brownies. His own work, he thinks, sits somewhere between those two poles. Monster Hunting for Beginners is his middle-grade debut.

About the Illustrator

Louis Ghibault is an animator and illustrator from Oudenaarde in Belgium, who studied animation at the Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema and Sound in Brussels. When he’s not doing art you will find him collecting books and botanical prints, or immersing himself in the sciences by studying astronomy, botany, history, zoology and, of course, monster hunting.  

Monster Hunting For Beginners publishes 5th August 2021, £6.99, for monster-hunting apprentices aged 8+

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