Learning about Foreign Language Rights

After lunch I decided that I needed focus. I had too much to do at work, and I couldn’t keep wallowing in guilt. The rest of the day was spent on Skype and email with Paris discussing the projects I’m helping with while Loraine is away.

This is what I’ve learned:

The Italian book market is crazy for Tartan Noir (that’s slang for the plethora of ‘gritty’ crime fiction coming out ofScotland).

The foreign lanugage deal is for a first time crime fiction author, whose sales aren’t too bad in the UK. He’s been picked up by a US publisher, and the next step is foreign language rights. So Paris is testing out foreign response in Italy. If Italy goes well, the next step will be France and Germany. However, Paris is starting with a pitch to Italy because she says it’s a fairly easy sell due to the fact that they’re mad for Tartain Noir. 

Paris and Loraine were in the researching phase for the deal, so I’m helping with that just now. Once we’ve got a solid list (many of which Paris will know from past deals), then she’ll start the pitches.

Also, if you’re selling to a foreign language market it’s best to have a book trailer. It’s the norm for a publisher to organise a book trailer, but often the trailer you want for selling to a foreign market is different than that of your home market. Paris is having me look at other book trailers that were aimed at Italy, and compare them to the home trailer. It’s not like I’ll be making the book trailer for this sale, but she wants me to familiarise myself with the cultural differences in book sales, so that when we write up the pitch I’ll be on target. She’ll handle organising the foreign rights book trailer.

Speaking of the pitch, we’ll be including a single paragraph, and letter explaining the book, the market appeal at home as well as sales, and potential market appeal broad. The original pitch can be used as a starting point, but she wants me to have a stab at adjusting it. Then she’ll go over my work and correct what’s necessary.

Also, when dealing with foreign rights, the royalties aren’t always as high as domestic, but you can get a pretty nice amount on a non-refundable advance, which is good for the Agency in the short term – especially as we need money now.

Learning so much. I feel like I’m still in my placement.

PS-On the way back to the office from lunch, I passed by a charity shop and in the window there was a silver bikini wrap thing: two triangles for the top and material wrapped around the waist into a little silver sarong. So, it’s not really la bikini, but there’s hardly any material so that’s the only way to explain it. Anyway, I bought it for a sexy futurism Skype session, but I don’t know if I’m brave enough to ware it. Watch this space.

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