Doubleday Publisher Pays Seven Figures For New Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Beats Out Former Protégé at Auction

Doubleday has acquired North American rights to bestselling Shadow of the Wind-author Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s new book, following an intense seven figure auction that came to a head when Doubleday’s publisher, Steve Rubin, found himself facing off against Deb Futter, the new editor-in-chief of Grand Central Publishing’s adult division whom Mr. Rubin trained in the ways of the business when she worked for him. Both Mr. Rubin and Ms. Futter were apparently in the auction– conducted by Tom Colchie on behalf of Spanish-based literary agent Antonia Kerrigan– until the very end.

Ms. Futter and had been working at Doubleday for many years, and serving as deputy editorial director there when she left for her new job. She started at Grand Central in January.

Alison Rich, the executive director of publicity at Doubleday, confirmed that Mr. Rubin had acquired the book, and that Doubleday editor-in-chief Bill Thomas will edit. Ms. Rich would not comment on the size of the advance. It is tentatively scheduled for publication in summer 2009, with a paperback from Broadway paperback to follow a year later. Mr. Zafon’s first novel was published in the United States by the Penguin Press.