Rights Roundup: From Global Population Issues to Fascism—and Some Welcome ‘Finesse’

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A pair of co-authors and an author-illustrator duo are included in our group of writers whose work is found in the titles you’ll find here in our rights roundup, brought to us by literary agents and rights directors.

Authors represented in this roundup include, clockwise from upper left: Angelika Schrobsdorff; Darrell Bricker; John Ibbitson; Johannes Anyuru; Maya Lunde; illustrator Lisa Asiato; Lamberto Maffei; Henrik Fexeus; JS Scott; and Julia Boyd

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

Nonfiction and More
Our look at several books selling foreign rights today draws on work from Germany, the UK, Norway, Canada, the United States, Sweden, and Italy.

We’ve mixed in a bit more nonfiction than in some collections, not least because the sector is rising in many world markets while, of course, fiction is in many cases struggling. Nevertheless, we’ve got a children’s book for you here—and a holiday themed one, at that—as well as a romance, historical fiction, and some fully contemporary fiction from Johannes Anyuru, set in “the ugly theater of terror and fascism.”

We could all use a little Finesse, right? That’s here, too.

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.


Travelers in the Third Reich

By Julia Boyd

  • Publisher: Elliott & Thompson (UK)
  • Rights contact: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEWEST – Spain: Elliott & Thompson
  • Czech Republic: Argo
  • China: Peking University Press
  • Russia: Eksmo

Travellers in the Third Reich “tells us what happened in Germany between the wars, according to the book’s descriptive information.

“Based on first-hand accounts written by foreigners, it creates a sense of what it was really like, both physically and emotionally, to travel in Hitler’s Germany. Scores of previously unpublished diaries and letters have been tracked down to present a vivid new picture of Nazi Germany that will enhance—even challenge—the reader’s current perceptions.”


Du bist nicht so wie andre Mütter (You Are Not Like Other Mothers)

By Angelika Schrobsdorff

  • Publisher: dtv Verlagsgesellschaft (Germany)
  • Rights contact: Andrea Seibert, dtv Verlagsgesellschaft
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEWEST – Slovakia: ARThur, s.r.o.
  • Netherlands: Uitgerverij Nieuw Amsterdam BV
  • Portugal: Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial Unipessoal
  • Spain (Catalan): Edicions la Campana
  • Spain (Spanish): Editorial Periferica & Errata Naturae Editores
  • Italy: e/o Edizioni
  • World English: Europa Editions

Originally published in 1994, this is a title some of the rights of which are again becoming available.

In promotional copt, we read, “Everything started out well for the wealthy Jewish family in Berlin at the beginning of the century. Else Kirschner, with sparkling charm, dark curls, and shiny eyes, loved her parents, who were always full of care for her, and she loved life, which blessed her with many years of prosperity filled with shows and concerts, holidays in a house at a lake and great passions.

“The Nazis put an end to all that. Else, who has in the meantime married the Prussian squire Erich Schrobsdorff, flees to Bulgaria with her two daughters.”


No Ordinary Billionaire

By JS Scott

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

Reported rights sales:

  • NEWEST – Croatian: 24 Sata
  • Indonesian: PT Elexmedia Komputindo
  • Italian: AmazonCrossing
  • Norwegian: Bladkompaniet
  • Serbian: Laguna
  • Spanish: AmazonCrossing

From promotional copy for this title: “Dante Sinclair never cared about his family’s money. All the ultra-sexy billionaire ever wanted was to be a cop; and now that he’s a homicide detective in Los Angeles, he’s a damned good one.

“When he’s injured and loses his partner, he returns to his vacation home in Amesport, Maine, to recover. Sarah Baxter, a brilliant young doctor, has recently moved to Amesport to escape her past. When Sarah is assigned to Dante’s case, there’s an instant heat between them.”


Empty Planet

By Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson

  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (Canada)
  • Rights contact: Carolyn Forde, Westwood Creative Artists
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEWEST – Spanish: Ediciones B
  • English, US: Crown Publishing
  • English, UK: Little, Brown

From promotional copy: “A provocative argument: the global population will soon decline, and immigration will be the key to prospering in this new social, political, and economic landscape.

“Visiting São Paolo, Seoul, Paris, Nairobi, Brussels, and more, the authors sat down with focus groups of various demographics to try to understand future population trends.

“Rigorously researched and deeply compelling, Empty Planet offers a vision of a future that we can no longer prevent–but one that we can shape, if we choose.”


De kommer att drunkna i sina mödrars tårar (The Rabbit Yard)

By Johannes Anyuru

  • Publisher: Norstedts (Sweden)
  • Rights contact: Norstedts Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEWEST – World Spanish: Temas de Hoy, via Marina Penalva at Casanova & Lynch Lit Agency
  • Bulgaria: Matcom
  • Denmark: Gyldendal
  • Estonia: Eesti Raamat
  • Finland: Schildts & Söderströms
  • France: Actes Sud
  • Germany: Luchterhand
  • Macedonia: Begemot
  • The Netherlands: De Geus
  • Norway: Press
  • Poland: Proszynski
  • Serbia: Dereta
  • World English (USA): Two Lines Press

From the publisher: “A winter night in Göteborg. Three individuals, who have sworn allegiance to the crumbling terror state Daesh, enter a local book store where a controversial comic artist has been invited to talk about freedom of expression and blasphemy. His appearance is disrupted by gunshot, panic breaks out and everyone in the store is taken hostage. One of the attackers, a young woman, is tasked to film the violence and put it up on a live feed on internet.

“But as the situation escalates, she turns to one of the others and whispers: ‘Everything is wrong. We shouldn’t be here. We should leave.’

“An intense story filled with sorrow over the state of the world today. It’s about hope and hopelessness, about friendship and betrayal, and about the ugly theater of terror and fascism.”


Elogio della parola (In Praise of Speech)

By Lamberto Maffei

  • Publisher: Scoietà editrice il Mulino (Italy)
  • Rights contact: Paola Pecchioli, Società editrice il Mulino
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • World Spanish: Alianza editorial (Grupo Anaya)

“What makes us human? What distinguishes us from other animals, especially those closest to us, for example primates, considered «non-human»? Humans have developed a distinctive language, a wealth of words used to communicate with others and with themselves. The uniqueness of humans and human civilization is expressed in “a string of words that reason threads together into the necklace of history.”

“Technological progress and the advent of the digital age have undoubtedly benefitted humanity, but not without side effects, including a flight from speech and conversation. This book’s author accompanies readers on a journey to the center of our humanity, highlighting opportunities and risks associated with a completely new world transformed by smartphones, social networks, the Internet, and new digital media.”


Finesse: Superior Social Skills 

By Henrik Fexeus

  • Publisher: Forum (Sweden)
  • Rights contact: Umberto Ghidoni, Grand Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEWEST – World English: St. Martin’s Press
  • Brazil: Verus/Grupo Record
  • China: Beijing Han Tang Yang Guang Media/CITIC
  • Czech Republic: Grada
  • Denmark: People’s Press
  • Estonia: Tänapäev
  • Finland: Atena
  • Germany: Mosaik bei Goldmann/Random House
  • Italia: Vallardi
  • Japan: Daiwa Shobo
  • Korea: Tis Map Publishing
  • Latvia: Zvaigzne ABC Publishers
  • Lithuania: Alma littera
  • Poland: Studio EMKA
  • Rumania: Editura Trei
  • Russia: AST
  • Serbia: Vulkan
  • Slovakia: BRA(i)NGY
  • Sweden: Forum
  • Taiwan: Euroasian Press
  • Thailand: Bee Media Group
  • Turkey: Diyojen Publishing
  • USA: St. Martin’s Press (WER)

From the publisher: “In Finesse: Superior Social Skills HenrikFexeus  teaches a type of social skill reserved for a privileged few – until now. People with social finesse are more often appointed leaders, gets promoted faster and can quickly create meaningful and deep relationships with others. They are masters in guiding other people to where they need to be and can solve a conflict before it gets heated.

“Our social training and empathic skill is on a downslide. We’ve never misunderstood other people as much as we do today. At the same time, research shows that the only necessary ingredient for happiness is to have close and intimate relationships. The techniques described in Finesse will enhance your social ability and give you the tools to create the meaningful life you deserve.”


The Snow Sister

By Maja Lunde, illustrated by Lisa Asiato

  • Publisher: Kagge (Norway)
  • Rights contact: Evy Tillman. Oslo Literary Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NEWEST – Polish: Wydawnictwo Literackie
  • Korean: Hangilsa (in auction)
  • Croatian: Ljevak
  • Danish: Turbine
  • German: btb Random House
  • Hungarian: Cser Kft.
  • Russian: AST

From the publisher: “The author and illustrator behind The History of Bees have created a story here, in 24 chapters.

“Christmas Eve is approaching. It’s also the day Christian will turn 11 years old. Usually it’s the best day of the year, filled with the fantastic aroma of gingersnaps and tangerines. But this year nothing is as usual. Christian and his family mourn the death of his big sister, and Christian feels that Christmas has just been cancelled.

“Then one day Christian meets the happy and Christmas-loving Hedwig and he begins to believe that perhaps there will be Christmas after all. But there’s something strange about Hedwig’s house, and who is the old man who is lurking around the house all the time?”


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.

And please look at how things are listed here and in other rights roundups, and adhere to our form. For example, do not write your titles in all-caps. We will not display them that way because shouting your titles at our readers lacks … finesse.


More of Publishing Perspectives‘ rights roundups are 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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