Rights Roundup: Ten Titles Turning Deals Ahead of Frankfurter Buchmesse

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From mystery, history and political hot buttons to romance, memoir, and a children’s book, this rights roundup—on the run-up to Frankfurt—includes work from seven nations and selling into more than three times that many territories and/or languages.

Authors whose work is represented in this rights round up are, clockwise from upper left, Bob Woodward; Christina Rickardsson; Annette Hess (by Silvia Medina); Carmen Romero Dorr; Jamie McGuire; Esra Avgören; Patrick Senécal; Cilla and Rolf Börjlind; Danny Orbach; and Hendrick Groen.

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

On the Road to Frankfurt
In this edition of our rights roundups ahead of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, you’ll find they’re fiction and nonfiction, children’s and adult books, and they come from Sweden, Canada, The Netherlands, Turkey, Spain, Germany, and the United States, and they’re selling into markets as far-flung as South Korea, Japan, Hungary, Estonia, Greece, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia.

We’re starting with two books about which we’ve recently had stories, to bring you up to date on their foreign rights sales.

  • Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House reportedly had 11 international right sales shortly before its launch one week ago today, September 11,, and now has 24, per Simon & Schuster’s information to Publishing Perspectives.
  • And Christina Rickardsson’s Never Stop Walking, from its Swedish original Sluta aldrig gå, has five foreign sales to report at this point.

After updating you on those, we proceed to a group of eight titles that may be new to you, with details of their rights action to date. As in each roundup, we use the promotional copy supplied to us by agents and rights directors. We edit that sales copy to give you an idea about a book’s nature and tone.

If you’d like to submit a deal to Publishing Perspectives, see the instructions at the end of this article.


Fear: Trump in the White House

By Bob Woodward

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster, New York City
  • Rights contact: Marie Florio
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEWEST – Swedish: Modernista
  • English/UK:  Simon & Schuster UK
  • Arabic: All Prints
  • Catalan: Navona
  • Croatian: 24Sata
  • Czech: Bourdon
  • Dutch: Prometheus
  • Estonian: Tanapaev
  • French: Le Seuil
  • German: Rowohlt
  • Hebrew: Yedioth
  • Hungarian: Gabo
  • Italian: Solferino
  • Japanese: Nikkei
  • Korean: Ridi
  • Lithuanian: Baltos
  • Polish: Foksal
  • Portuguese/Brazil: Todavia
  • Portuguese/Portugal: Dom Quixote/LeYa
  • Romanian: Litera
  • Russian: Alpina
  • Serbian: Dereta
  • World Spanish: Roca
  • Ukrainian: Yakaboo

As we’ve reported, Fear: Trump in the White House has blown the doors off Simon & Schuster records, with more than 750,000 copies (in all formats and including pre-orders) on its release date, September 11. With nine printings already, there are more than 1.15 million copies out there in hardcover and that’s before you look at the No. 1 standings on Amazon for the books’ audiobook iterations (streaming and CD), and its Kindle edition.

In its second week, the hardcover remains at No. 1 in Amazon’s Top 100, And one of the things you don’t hear—as you did with Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury or Omarosa Manigault Newman’s Unhinged—is complaints about errors or ragged editing. One factor in that is the iconic stance that the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Woodward has in the world of investigative journalism across nine presidencies: he’s the real thing. Another factor is the timely appearance days before the release of the now-famous anonymous op-ed in The New York Times. 

And then there’s what some might say is “the president doth protest too much.” The bookseller-in-chief has done more than perhaps any other single person to raise the profile of this new title. The resistance of, rather than to, Donald Trump, it appears, can mean a lot to a profit-and-loss statement.


Never Stop Walking: A Memoir of Finding Home Across the World

By Christina Rickardsson

  • Publisher: Bonnier/Bokförlaget Forum, Stockholm
  • Rights contact: Amanda Bértolo Alderin, Bonnier Rights
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEW – Korean: Solbitkil
  • World English, German, French, Italian, Spanish: AmazonCrossing
  • Estonian: Sinisukk
  • Lithuanian: Balto
  • Russian: Eksmo-AST

As covered in our profile, Christina Rickardsson’s extraordinary childhood in caves and on streets of Brazil—followed by her new life in Sweden with adoptive parents—has led her to establish Coelho Growth, a charitable foundation for the benefit of children at risk in Brazil.

She’s at work on a novel now, expected out next year, again from Bonnier.


German House (Deutsches Haus)

By Annette Hess

  • Publisher: Ullstein Buchverlage GmbH, Berlin
  • Rights contact: Annemarie Blumenhagen
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEW – Brazil: Sextante
  • Catalan: Columna
  • France: Actes Sud
  • Greece: Psichogios
  • The Netherlands: Atlas Contact
  • Israel: Yedioth
  • Italy: Neri Pozza
  • Spain: Planeta
  • World English: HarperCollins/Harper One
  • Sweden: Albert Bonniers

Set in Frankfurt against the backdrop of the Auschwitz trials, 1963 to 1965, the young Eva is hired to translate the testimonies of witnesses. Listening to the shocking statements, she can’t help thinking of her own family and starts to question her past.

Described as being tightly plotted with strong characterizations, Deutsches Haus is said to poignantly illustrate post-war Germany and “the intricate, complex structure that is family,” as well as the narrow line that runs between guilt and forgiveness, remembering and denial.


Paulina Hoffman’s Last Gift (El último regalo de Paulina Hoffman)

By Carmen Romero Dorr

  • Publisher: Planeta de Libros, Madrid
  • Rights contact: Bernat Fiol, SalmaiaLit
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEW – The Netherlands: Ambo Anthos
  • German: Bastei Lübbe
  • French: Les Escales
  • Italian: Sperling & Kupfer
  • Polish, Rebis

A debut novel, Paulina Hoffman’s Last Gift is described as a family saga set in Berlin, Madrid, and Málaga. The book is about two women from the same family who despite all strokes of fate manage to find their ways to happiness.

Promoted as an author with a knack for understanding the female heart, Romero Dorr is said to generate empathy for her characters and make readers feel they’re “living the emotions of the protagonists.”


All the Little Lights

By Jamie McGuire

  • Publisher: Amazon Publishing/Montlake Romance
  • Rights contact: Alexandra Levenberg
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEW – Portuguese/Brazil: Verus
  • French: Michel Lafon
  • Italian: Garzanti
  • Romanian: Editura Trei
  • World Spanish: AmazonCrossing

From No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire, All the Little Lights is a tale of first love.

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Elliott and Catherine forge an easy friendship, but when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town. After he returns, Elliott becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy, and a secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.


Rookie Inspectors

By Esra Avgören

  • Publisher: Damla Publishing, Istanbul
  • Rights contact: Emra Can Petek
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEW – Indonesian: Kesaint Blanc
  • Mongolian: Nepko
  • English/US: Ishmael Tree
  • Russian: Foliant
  • Kazakh: Foliant

Jane and her new friend Ali Greywolf—the smartest kid in her class—investigate events taking place in school, list the suspects, and find the guilty parties to save the day.

This illustrated book and its sequel have received good reviews and high visibility, according to the publisher.


Seven Days of Retaliation (Les Sept Jours du talion)

ByPatrick Senécal

  • Publisher: Éditions Alire, Lévis, Canada
  • Rights contact: Louise Alain
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEW – World English: Simon & Schuster
  • French/European: Fleuve Éditions
  • German: Festa Verlag

Sounding like a kind of contemporary revenger’s tragedy, Seven Days of Retaliation is about surgeon Bruno Hamel whose 7-year-old daughter is raped and killed. Hamel kidnaps his daughter’s murderer and lets the police know that he will make the man suffer for seven days and then kill him before surrendering, himself.

The publisher is drawing parallels between the work of Patrick Senécal and that of Stephen King.


Gangrene (Kallbrand)

By Cilla and Rolf Börjlind

  • Publisher: Norstedts, Stockholm
  • Rights contact: Lena Stjernström, Grand Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEW – Finland: Schildts & Söderström
  • Belgium: AW Bruna
  • Denmark: Rosinante
  • Germany: btb
  • The Netherlands: AW Bruna
  • Norway: Gyldendal
  • Sweden: Norstedts

This is the fifth novel in the Börjlinds’ Spring Tide series, in which the protagonists Olivia Rönning and Tom Stilton make an odd team.

The ambitious police officer Rönning is assigned to a case in which a family has been blown to pieces in a car. At the same time, the chief of police sends the outsider and homeless Stilton to look for an evasive personality in Thailand.

The two factors are linked to each other in an unexpected and intriguing way.


The Plots Against Hitler

By Danny Orbach

  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (English/US)
  • Rights contact: Andrew Lownie, Lownie Literary Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEW – Thailand: Gypsy Group
  • Italy: Bollati Boringhieri
  • English/UK: Head of Zeus
  • Israel: Yediot
  • Romania: Rao Distributie SRL
  • Czech Republic: Albatros Media
  • Spain: Tusquets
  • Croatia: Profil Knjiga

Orbach’s work is presented as a new and definitive account of the anti-Nazi underground in Germany and its numerous efforts to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Promotional copy reminds us that in 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. A year later, all parties but the Nazis had been outlawed, freedom of the press was gone, and Hitler’s dominance seemed complete. “Yet over the next few years,” reads the background material, “an unlikely clutch of conspirators emerged–soldiers, schoolteachers, politicians, diplomats, theologians, even a carpenter–who would try repeatedly to end the Fuhrer’s genocidal reign.”

Orbach, formerly with Israeli intelligence, has studied at Harvard, in Tokyo and Tel Aviv, and here describes “secret midnight meetings, crises of conscience, fierce debates among old friends about whether and how to dismantle Nazism–and the various plots themselves being devised and executed.”


Live and Let Live (Leven en laten leven)

By Hendrick Groen

  • Publisher: Meulenhoff, Amsterdam
  • Rights contact: Marleen Seegers, 2 Seas Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEW – Slovakia: Albatross
  • Estonia: Eesti Raamat
  • Czech Republic: Albatros/XYZ
  • Germany: Piper
  • Poland: Albatros

In this standalone novel said to capitalize on the pseudonymous Hendrik Groen’s trademark wit, Arthur Ophof finds that life is not playing out as he’d imagined.

Instead of making spectacular trips to far-off places, he spends hours stuck in traffic. His jaded, childless marriage and car-free, family-friendly neighborhood aren’t exciting or impressive. And he’s approaching 50.

It’s a case in which a layoff is just what was needed.


Submit Rights Deals to Publishing Perspectives

Do you have rights deals to report? Agents and rights directors can use our rights deal submission form to send us the information we need. If you have questions, please send them to Porter@PublishingPerspectives.com

As you can see, it is of high importance in titles we choose to list that an image be made available to us, both of the book’s cover and of its author. In a sale listing, we also require not only the language/territory into which the title has been sold but the name of the publishing house.


More of Publishing Perspectives‘ rights roundups are here.

And our Summer Magazine is ready for your free download and is themed on politics and publishing.

It includes our extensive preview of Frankfurter Buchmesse. Download the magazine here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, at London's The Bookseller. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.

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