Pocket pockets ‘Marriage Bargain’

Simon & Schuster imprint nabs rights to hot e-book; film deal expected soon

Entangled Publishing has sold rights for the “Married to a Billionaire” trilogy — which kicks off with “The Marriage Bargain,” the e-book sensation nearing a movie deal — to Simon & Schuster imprint Pocket Books in a seven-figure deal.

Auction, which closed Thursday, took place over several days. Bidding was heated for the book that spent several weeks in the Top 10 of the New York Times’ combined e-book and print bestseller list.

Entangled will actually print the first 170,000 copies of “Bargain” beginning Sept. 4, with Pocket taking over thereafter, including the entire run of followup titles. Entangled also retained film rights, for which Gersh is expected to make a studio deal soon; disposition of the publishing pact was believed to be delaying movement on that front.

Written by Jennifer Probst, “Bargain” moved more than a half-million copies in just six months, and is still selling strong at around 5,000-units-per-week. Story follows an impulsive bookstore owner who gets wrapped up in the plans of a billionaire who, though he doesn’t believe in marriage, must tie the knot to inherit his father’s corporation.

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The second title, “The Marriage Trap,” will be released Oct. 4 in print and e-book, with the final installment coming in November.