Year-End Rights Roundup: Deals Reported From Sweden, Poland, Brazil, Spain

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

A couple of auspicious debuts are included in our latest rights update, as well as historical fiction, a children’s entry, serial work and noir.

Among authors featured in this rights roundup, clockwise from upper left are: Niklas Natt och Dag, Sara Lövestam, Camilla Läckberg, Johannes Anyuru, Anne Swärd, and Johanna Holmström

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Selling Rights Into the New Year
As a year-ending follow-up to our Rights Edition‘s rights roundup of last week, we have more rights deals to report to you, involving many international markets.

Many thanks to agents and rights directors who have provided us with their deals information in 2017. We look forward to hearing from you in 2018, and instructions on how to let us know your news is at the end of this article.

Here’s a selection of interesting deals to look over during the holidays. As usual, commentary on the books is provided by the agents and rights directors reporting them to us.

Camilla Läckberg

As Yet Untitled Thriller by Camilla Läckberg
Agency: Nordin Agency, Stockholm
Literary agent: Steve White
Reported rights sales:

  • Sweden: Forum
  • UK & Commonwealth: HarperCollins
  • Germany: Ullstein
  • France: Actes Sud
  • Italy: Marsilio
  • Spain: Maeva
  • Catalan: Ara Llibres
  • Norway: Gyldendal Norsk
  • Netherlands: House of Books
  • Denmark: People’s Press
  • Finland: Otava

To be published in two parts and exploring the theme of female revenge through a new protagonist, Faye, this new work is Läckberg’s first departure from her internationally bestselling Fjällbacka series, now published in more than 40 languages with more than 22 million copies sold worldwide.

Vera by Anne Swärd
Agency: Nordin Agency, Stockholm
Literary agent: Steve White
Reported rights sales:

  • Denmark: Gyldendal
  • Estonia: Varrak
  • Finland: Otava
  • Italy: Rizzoli Libri
  • Lithuania: Alma Littera
  • Norway: Gyldendal

The latest novel by August Prize-shortlisted author Anne Swärd, Vera, published by Albert Bonniers Förlag in Sweden, is a book about mothers and daughters and a guilt that can be inherited through generations.

Quer ler um livro comigo? (Will You Read a Book With Me? 2015) by Lawrence Schimel
Illustrations by Thiago Lopes
Publisher: Callis Editora, São Paulo
Foreign Rights Manager: Claudia Stein
Reported rights sales:

  • Singapore (English): Epigram
  • Latin America: Panamericana
  • Spain (Galician): Alvarellos
  • Korea: BF Books
  • France: Circonflexe

Commended by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) for its inclusion of characters with disabilities (in a story that’s not about disabilities), Will You Read a Book With Me? is about Antonio, who can read but prefers to do so with someone else.

De kommer att drunkna i sina mödrars tårar (The Rabbit Yard) by Johannes Anyuru
Publisher: Norstedts Förlagsgrupp AB, Stockholm
Rights Manager: Catherine Mörk
Reported rights sales:

  • Germany: Luchterhand
  • Denmark: Gyldendal
  • France: Actes Sud
  • Finland: Schildts & Söderströms
  • The Netherlands: De Geus
  • Norway: Press
  • Poland: Prószynski

A film deal is pending as are further rights deals expected to close quickly for this winner in November of the August Prize for Fiction, which is conferred by the Swedish Publishers’ Association on leading work not only in fiction but also in nonfiction, children’s, and young readers’ literature.

In naming Anyuru’s book this year’s winner, the August jury wrote, “With an unconventional and fateful dramatic composition, Johannes Anyuru depicts the chain of events in a contemporary and future Sweden, where the tapestry of society collapses, leaving the field open for terror and repression to take over.

“Anyuru shows the vulnerability of the individual in a world of shrinking life opportunities and urgently examines the effects of human actions.”

The Katharina Code by Jørn Lier Horst
Agency: Salomonsson Agency, Stockholm
Literary agent: Julia Angelin
Reported rights sales:

  • Denmark, Modtryk
  • Germany, Piper
  • Poland, Smak Slowa
  • Sweden, Wahlström & Widstrand
  • UK, Michael Joseph

The first installment in Horst’s Cold Case Quartet series, The Katharina Code follows William Wisting’s investigation of a 24-year-old unsolved disappearance case. Wisting must team up with a younger investigator to make progress on the mystery, suddenly intensified by the disappearance of the original victim’s husband.

The Kouplan Series by Sara Lövestrom
Shown here is Book 1: Sanning Med Modifikation (Truth is a Personal Matter)
Agency: Pontas Agency, Barcelona
Literary agent: Maria Cardona
Reported rights sales:

  • English (World): Minotaur/St Martin’s Press
  • Sweden: Piratförlaget (original language)
  • Denmark: Aronsen Forlaget
  • Netherlands: Stortebeeker
  • France: Robert Laffont
  • Germany: Rowohlt
  • Greece: Oceanida/Niki Ekdotiki

The Kouplan Series stories are noir, with an Iranian homeless refugee as a main character. Lövestam’s work, dealing with issues of homelessness, asylum, and gender exploration, has won prizes including the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière 2017; De Goulden Vleermuis 2017; and Best Debut Crime Novel of 2015 from the Swedish Crime Writers Association.

1793 by Niklas Natt och Dag
Agency: Salomonsson Agency, Stockholm
Literary agent: Federico Ambrosini
Reported rights sales:

  • Brazil: Intrínseca
  • Catalonia: Empúries
  • China: Beijing Mediatime
  • Croatia: Fraktura
  • Czech Republic: Argo
  • Denmark: Rosinante
  • Estonia: Eesti Raamat
  • Finland: Johnny Kniga
  • France: Sonatine
  • Germany: Piper
  • Greece: Metaixmio
  • Hungary: Alexandra
  • Iceland: Forlagid
  • Italy: Einaudi
  • Japan: Shogakukan
  • Korea: Sejong
  • Latvia: Zvaigzne ABC
  • Netherlands: Prometheus
  • Norway: Cappelen Damm
  • Poland: Sonia Draga
  • Portugal: Penguin Random House
  • Romania: Litera
  • Russia: Ripol
  • Serbia: Samizdat
  • Spain: Salamandra
  • Sweden: Forum
  • Turkey: Dogan Egmont
  • UK: John Murray
  • US: Atria (includes Canada)

In a highly successful debut, Niklas Natt och Dag depicts life in late 18th-century Stockholm using four narrators “to reveal the frightful yet fascinating reality hidden beyond the dry facts of history texts.” The book is termed “realistic historical noir for its crossover elements of literary and suspense fiction.

Själarnas (Island of Souls) by Johanna Holmström
Agency: Salomonsson Agency, Stockholm
Literary agent: Federico Ambrosini
Reported rights sales:

  • Croatia: VBZ
  • Finland (Swedish): Förlaget
  • Finland (Finnish): Otava
  • Germany: Ullstein
  • Italy: Neri Pozza
  • Poland: Sonia Draga
  • Sweden: Norstedts

Johanna Holmström’s Island of Souls is based in stories of a real-life asylum on Själö and is about motherhood, evil, good, and the utterly ordinary. While it’s also about the price that three women must pay for their weakness, longing, love, sorrow and friendship, it’s also a book about madness and how its definition has shifted as it has been used on women throughout time.

Polish cover

Bornholm, Bornholm (2011) by Hubert Klimko-Dobrzaniecki
Agency: Syndikat Autorow, Warsaw
Literary agent: Monika Regulska
Reported rights sales:

Switzerland (French): Éditions Noir sur Blanc
Croatia: Hena
Italy: Keller Editore

An award winner from Klimko-Dobrzaniecki, the story follows a German soldier at a military base on the Danish Baltic Sea island of Bornholm, captured and occupied by Germany in the early stages of World War II.

Polish cover

Magik (Magician, 2014) by Magdalena Parys
Agency: Syndikat Autorow, Warsaw
Literary agent: Monika Regulska
Reported rights sales:

  • Slovenia: Goga Zalozba
  • Germany: Freiraum
  • France:Agullo-Éditions
  • Bulgaria: Paradox PG
  • Macedonia: Antolog
  • Serbia: Heliks
  • Italy: Mim Edizioni
  • Croatia: Fraktura
  • Albania: Fan Noli
  • Hungary: Kossuth

A political fiction, Parys’ novel is a winner of the European Prize for Literature.

An illustration by Thiago Lopes for Lawrence Schimel’s ‘Quer ler um livro comigo?’ (Will You Read a Book With Me?).

Do you have rights deals to report? Agents and rights directors, send an email to including the following information:

  • Name of Book (with a link to its page on your agency’s or publishers’ site)
  • Name of Author
  • Name of agent or rights director
  • Name of agency or publisher and in what city it’s located
  • Territory/Language/Country into which you’ve sold rights
  • Publisher(s) to which you’ve sold those rights
  • Previously sold rights, if any (territory and publisher)
  • Cover image, if available, of the book
  • Author image, if available
  • Descriptive copy about the book from your listings
About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.