May 11, 2015

More grown-up coloring books in the works


Johanna Basford has inked a two-coloring-book deal with PRH. © Mehmet Cetin / via Shutterstock

Johanna Basford has inked a two-coloring-book deal with PRH.
© Mehmet Cetin / via Shutterstock

Last month, we reported at Moby Lives about the smash success that Johanna Basford had with two coloring books she created for adults: Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest. American publishers have taken note of the bestselling Scottish illustrator, and now, Caroline Goldstein reports for Bustle, she’s landed a deal for two new coloring books with Penguin Random House.

Having landed at the top of the Amazon bestseller list with her pervious books, Basford has clearly tapped into something—whether nostalgia, relaxation, creativity, or something else—that adults enjoy about coloring books. The “ink evangelist” has sold 1.4 million copies of her 2013 book, Secret Garden, and her next title, Lost Ocean: An Underwater Adventure and Coloring Book, will be published in October.

Meg Leder, executive editor at Penguin Books, will serve as editor for the books in the US. A press release from Penguin says about Lost Ocean: “Through intricate pen and ink illustrations to complete, color, and embellish. Readers will meet shoals of exotic fish, curious octopi, and delicately penned seahorses. Visit coral reefs and barnacle-studded shipwrecks; discover intricate shells and pirate treasure.”

Goldstein is particularly effusive about the upcoming books, raving, “Yay for continuing to reclaim our lost youths!” and saying that the upcoming underwater edition “sounds just as wildly delightful as we could have hoped.” Clare Swanson writes for Publishers Weekly that Basford’s next two titles will be co-published by Ebury Publishing, a UK division of Penguin Random House. Lost Ocean will go on sale on October 27; there’s no word yet as to the theme or pub date of the follow-up.


Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.