More than Talk

Miramax mag signs Amis to big deal

NEW YORK — With the premiere issue of Talk six weeks from newsstands, the Miramax magazine’s synergy machine went into high gear Thursday, with the signing of writer Martin Amis to a multipart deal that includes three books, several articles and the acclaimed novelist’s first screenplay.

Amis, whose was repped by uber-agent Andrew Wylie, called the deal “a step into the future, into a new way of doing things.”

Talk Media chairman Tina Brown, who first met Amis 25 years ago when he was a contributor to her U.K. magazine Tatler, said the agreement was as unique as the author it brings into the Talk fold.

Although financial details weren’t disclosed, Wylie presumably signed up Amis for a half-decade’s work, thus limiting the fees he could have received for signing separate deals for each piece of work.

When asked about the agent community’s concern over such deals, Brown praised Wylie for being “a visionary who knows what works best for his client.”

She also called resistance to cutting deals no greater at Talk than it had been at Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, Brown’s previous editorial homes.

The Talk team added that the inclusion of magazine and film deals had made Talk Miramax more enticing to some authors.

Said Miramax co-chair Harvey Weinstein, “I have long been a fan of Martin Amis, and we’re very proud to sign this unique deal.”

Amis’ complicated deal, which includes film and performance rights for all three books, took over a month to iron out.

“Each deal is tailored to the specific author,” Brown told Daily Variety. “Not everybody has a client we’re offering this kind of deal to.”

Package deal

So far all of Talk Miramax’s book deals include performance and serial rights.

Other recent Talk Miramax book signings include historian Simon Schama’s “Britannia,” Frances Park’s novel, “When My Sister Was Cleopatra Moon” and tyro novelist Christopher Rice’s “Density of Souls.”

Amis’ book deal with Talk Miramax ends his 13-year, eight-book relationship with Crown imprint Harmony Books. His past books include “Money,” “London Fields,” “The Information” and “Heavy Water.”

According to a Crown insider, who said the company gave a competitive offer for the three books, it was the magazine and film attachment that lured Amis away. “A traditional publishing house can’t offer that,” said the insider.

Wylie did not return calls late Thursday.

Talk Miramax was repped in the deal by Talk Media veep and general counsel Devereux Chatillion. Miramax Films was repped by Charles Layton, Miramax Films exec VP, office of the co-chairman.