Literary Agent Q&A: Frauke Jung-Lindemann, Germany

In News by Hannah Johnson

As part of our ongoing series of Q&A’s with the world’s leading literary agents, scouts and rights managers, Publishing Perspectives talks to Frauke Jung-Lindemann, who founded the Berlin Agency in Germany.
Dr. Frauke Jung-Lindemann, literary agent and founder of The Berlin Agency

Dr. Frauke Jung-Lindemann, literary agent and founder of The Berlin Agency

What has been your biggest success over the past few years?

My biggest success was the sale of the Klemperer Diaries to the USA in 1998. I sold them to Random House for $550,000 (only American rights), which still seems to be the biggest German license sale to the USA. (In comparison, I sold British rights to Weidenfeld & Co. for 30,000 pounds.) The biggest success in the last few years was the sale of Ai WeiWei’s blog which was a license of the MIT Press (USA) to Galiani/Kiepenheuer & Witsch in Germany in 2011.

What is the greatest challenge you face in selling rights?

The biggest challenge is to really address the right publisher, i.e. to pinpoint the right place for the title I want to sell.

Over the course of the last five to ten years, how has the digital revolution changed the rights business?

I sell more and more ebooks – and I really earn money with them although I had not expected to do so.

Do you see more opportunities in more cross-platform rights deals — whether for digital mediums, books to film, etc.?

For the last few years, I have visited the ‘European Film Market’ at the Berlinale (Berlin Film Festival), which is a platform to sell film rights. The result is that I sell more film rights.

Dr. Frauke Jung-Lindemann studied Romance Languages and Translation Studies at the Universities of Heidelberg, Hamburg and Madrid. From 1990 to 1997 she worked on press, rights, and licenses for various German publishers. Since 1998, she has been an independent literary agent in Berlin, a speaker at the Hanns Eisler College and a lecturer at the Free University of Berlin. She founded The Berlin Agency in 2001.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson

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Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.