Brian Tibbetts

May 14, 2015

2015 Foreign Rights Trends & Market Roundup


Publishing & Technology: 2015 Foreign Rights Trends & Market Round-up

BRT-Headshot Brian Tibbetts is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Wednesday, Brian posts about trends in the publishing industry and developments in technology that impact the industry. You can find him on Twitter @BRIANRTIBBETTS

This week in Publishing & Technology we’ll be highlighting some of the developments and trends in foreign rights as reported by the Publishing Perspectives team of the Frankfurt Book Fair in their 2015 Global Perspectives on Book Rights and Licensing white paper. For the full white paper click follow the link on this page.
“Translation can be your biggest market.”

According to Samar Hammam of London-based Rocking Chair Books a book that might sell three to ten thousand copies domestically could conceivably sell ten times that amount in a single overseas market. Furthermore, according to another industry source “authors are achieving cult status” in foreign countries.

The majority of translation deals are still made face-to-face despite the proliferation of digital listing services.

Although many of the big houses have converted their internal systems to digital, or at least are in the middle of transitioning, lack of industry-wide definitions about rights, contracts, and royalties, among other logistical concerns, continues to impede the drive to a true digital marketplace for foreign rights and licensing.

Market Round-up:

Moving from fiction “toward nonfiction and children’s books…especially in China”

Russia, Greece, Italy, and Spain, as well as The Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries remain cautious. France and Germany “remain strong,” while the Polish and Czech markets are growing.

Reports from Brazil are mixed, while the remainder of Latin America has begun to garner special attention as the “ongoing publishing crisis in Spain” has driven many agents and rights directors to “split rights among various Spanish-language territories and regions.”

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