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UK Paperback Rights to Two New Tree Books Sold in Six Figure Preempt


Tuesday, August 18, 2020—Greystone Books is delighted to announce the sale, in a six-figure preempt, of UK paperback rights to two forthcoming nonfiction titles by Peter Wohlleben (the world-famous German forester and author of multiple international bestsellers, including The Hidden Life of Trees) to Myles Archibald at William Collins—an imprint of HarperCollins UK. 

Working in partnership, Greystone Books will publish the hardcover editions of the two books in Canada, the US, and the UK, starting with The Heartbeat of Trees in 2021. The second book (still untitled) will follow two years later.

Rob Sanders, Publisher of Greystone Books said: “We are thrilled to announce this unique publishing partnership with William Collins. Peter Wohlleben’s many fans in the UK will be excited about these next two books in his oeuvre, which mark Peter’s return to a favorite subject of his and his readers: trees.”

Myles Archibald, Publishing Director at William Collins said: “Peter Wohlleben has such a wonderful scientific and emotional understanding of trees. We are delighted that he is back writing about them and that the next two books will be published by this unique partnership of Greystone and William Collins. I am sure that the combination of Peter’s words and the combination of Greystone and William Collins will see his return to the bestseller lists.”

Called “a veritable tree whisperer” by The Wall Street Journal, Wohlleben has become a globally renowned advocate, educator, and speaker on the topic of trees and nature since the release of The Hidden Life of Trees, which explored how trees communicate in the hidden social network of the forest. The book became an instant New York Times bestseller when published by Greystone in the fall of 2016. The original publisher, Penguin Random House Germany, sold rights to the book to more than forty countries; it became a bestseller in more than seven of those countries. The Hidden Life of Trees has gone on to sell more than three million copies worldwide.

William Collins partnered with Greystone Books on paperback rights for The Hidden Life of Trees in the UK. The book was selected as a Waterstones Book of the Month and was propelled onto the Sunday Times Bestseller List. Wohlleben’s follow-up books, The Inner Life of Animals and The Secret Wisdom of Nature, were published by Penguin Random House in the UK. 

Wohlleben’s first children’s book in English, Can You Hear the Trees Talking? launched the Greystone Kids imprint in the UK this spring and will be followed by Peter and the Tree Children in September 2020. Both books received multiple starred reviews, including from Kirkus and School Library Journal, who said Wohlleben offered an “outstanding introduction to the world of trees” for young readers. 

In addition to his literary success, Wohlleben founded and runs a Forest Academy in Germany’s Eifel Mountains. There, he leads workshops for youth and adults, offers support for organizations and initiatives that protect ancient forests, and funds scientific research including—most recently—research into whether trees feel pain. In 2020, a documentary film about Wohlleben’s work with trees, also called The Hidden Life of Trees, premiered in Germany to become one of the most successful documentaries of recent years.

The Heartbeat of Trees marks Wohlleben’s return to writing about trees in more than four years. Publishing in spring 2021, the book explores the powerful, ancient connection between humans and nature, and contains new, fascinating science about the forest—and the plants and creatures that live beneath its canopy. Richard Louv praised the book, saying: “As human beings, we’re desperate to feel that we’re not alone in the universe. And yet we are surrounded by an ongoing conversation that we can sense if, as Peter Wohlleben so movingly prescribes, we listen to the heartbeat of all life.”


For more information about Greystone Books and Peter Wohlleben, please contact:

Fiona Brownlee

UK Publicity Director

Greystone Books


Megan Jones

Marketing Manager

Greystone Books


For more information about William Collins, please contact: 

Katherine Patrick

Publicity Director

William Collins

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