Rights Roundup: Purpose-Driven Reads on the International Rights Market

In News by Porter Anderson

Our Rights Roundup today brings you eight titles written by seven women and one man from seven countries from Europe to North America and Asia—each book with a clear goal.

Authors represented in our Rights Roundup, clockwise from upper left, are Chanel Miller (image: Maria Tiffany); Karolina Ramqvist; Jenny Jägerfeld; Sosuke Natsukawa; Irene Olmo; Anne Mette Hancock; Nino Haratischwili; and Maria Peters (image: Mark Uyl)

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

Range and Reason
Eight titles of interest are here for you today (November 14), from seven markets: the United States, Sweden, Japan, Spain, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.

And it’s safe to say that women not only dominate our authors in this Rights Roundup (seven to one) but that they’re working across a broad span of genres and categories. Purely by coincidence, you’ll notice that there’s an interesting sense of purpose in each of these works, whether serious or more light-hearted.

These listings take you from a graphic novel to young readers’ material on deciding not to be a parent; from the dire realities of a high-profile sexual assault to the comforting fluff of a police procedural; from coming-of-age selfhood to mythic-historical fiction; from a family saga rooted in the Russian Revolution to the life story of “the world’s first successful female conductor” in Amsterdam.

Some of these titles may have caught your eye at Frankfurt, others will be new to you.

As in each roundup, we use some of the promotional copy supplied to us by agents and rights directors, editing that 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.

Know My Name

By Chanel Miller

  • Publisher: Viking
  • Rights contact: Szilvia Molnar, szilvia@sil.com
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Turkey: Auction ongoing
  • China: Horizon
  • Japan: Kawade Shobo
  • Shinsha Korea: Dongnyok
  • Norway: Strawberry
  • Russia: MIF
  • Vietnam: Hai Dang
  • Brazil: Intrinseca
  • Germany: Ullstein
  • Italy: Baldini & Castoldi
  • The Netherlands: Xander
  • Poland: Marginesy
  • Spain: Blackie Books
  • UK: Viking

A New York Times bestseller, Know My Name challenges our beliefs about sexual assault, about what is acceptable, and about speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing.

It also introduces readers to its author, Chanel Miller, who was known as Emily Doe in a 2016 Stanford University assault case that, as reported by Concepción de León at the Times, drew so brief a jail sentence for her convicted assailant, Brock Turner, that the judge, Aaron Persky, was recalled by voters in 2018. Miller combines pain, resilience, and humor in this modern memoir.

The Bear Woman (Björnkvinnan)

By Karolina Ramqvist

  • Publisher: Norstedts, Stockholm
  • Rights contact:  Kaisa Palo, Ahlander Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – France: Buchet/Chastel
  • Finland: Gummerus
  • Italy: Mondadori
  • Netherlands: Nijgh & Van Ditmar
  • Norway: Gyldendal
  • Romania: Trei/Pandora
  • Spain: Anagrama

In 1541, a young woman named Marguerite de La Rocque accompanies her male guardian on one of the first French colonial expeditions to the New World.

After a sexual scandal aboard the ship, she is punished and abandoned on a barren, uninhabited island in the North Atlantic, where she faces off against wild animals and the elements, incredibly surviving against all odds. Centuries later, our contemporary author has come across the legend of the Bear Woman.

My Royal Grand Golden Life (Mitt storslagna liv)

By Jenny Jägerfeld

  • Publisher: Rabén & Sjögren, Stockholm
  • Rights contact: Jenni Brunn, Grand Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Korea: Beautiful People
  • Finland: Otava
  • Germany: Urachhaus
  • Italy: Iperborea
  • Norway: Gyldendal
  • Russia: Albus Corvus

Sigge and his mother and siblings have moved from Stockholm to the small town Skärblacka, to grandmother and her boarding house.

Sigge thinks it’s great. Now he can reboot himself and become a new person.

The plan is to become immensely popular or at least be able to talk to people without them looking at him as if he is a freak. But how do you make friends? How to become popular? And above all: can you fix it in 59 days?

The Cat Who Loved To Protect Books

By Sosuke Natsukawa

  • Publisher:  Shogakukan, Tokyo
  • Rights contact: Emily Chuang, Emily Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Italian: Planeta Italy, in a pre-empt
  • Taiwan: Emily
  • China: China South Booky Culture Media
  • Korea: Book 21
  • Vietnam: Nha Nam
  • Turkey: Turkuvaz Kitap

A bestseller in Japan, this is a story for readers who love books and don’t want them to disappear.

High school student Natsuki is about to close the secondhand bookshop that he inherits from his grandfather’s when he meets Tiger, a speaking cat, who convinces him to go with him on an adventure to save books. Thus begins an amazing journey through different mazes and challenges to set books free. A story for book and cat lovers alike that nobody should miss.

No quiero ser mamá (I Don’t Want To Be a Mom)

By Irene Olmo

  • Publisher: Bang Ediciones, Barcelona
  • Rights contact: Stephanie Barouillet, SB Rights Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Spanish: Bang Ediciones

An autobiographical graphic novel about not having children by choice and about the situations and conflicts generated by making a decision that still is all but taboo in many societies today.

This personal and enlightening journey from childhood to adulthood is Irene Olmo’s first graphic novel.

Corpse Flower (Ligblomsten)

By Anne Mette Hancock

  • Publisher: Lindhardt & Ringhof, Copenhagen
  • Rights contact: Anna Franki, Nordin Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Finland: Bazar Kustannus
  • France: Albin Michel
  • Germany: S. Fischer Verlag
  • Iceland: Forlagið
  • The Netherlands: Prometheus
  • Norway: Vigmostad & Bjørke
  • Poland: Kobiece
  • Russia: Eksmo

Corpse Flower is a powerful suspense novel about revenge, justice and forgiveness. It’s the first book in a crime series written by Danish author Anne Mette Hancock.

In this story, we’re introduced to the journalist Heloise Kaldan and her brusk yet lovable sidekick officer Erik Schäfer.

The two friends solve cases that always seem to have personal connections to one or the other of the duo.

The Eighth Life

By Nino Haratischwili

  • Publisher: Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt
  • Rights contact: Nadya Hartmann, Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Norway: Aschehoug
  • Australia, United Kingdom, US: Scribe
  • Italy: Marsilio
  • Netherlands: Atlas Contact
  • Spain: Alfaguara
  • China: Xiron
  • Poland: Otwarte
  • Turkey: Aylak Adam
  • Bulgaria: Paradox
  • Catalonia: Navona
  • Czech Republic: Host
  • Georgia: Intelekti

The Eighth Life is an epic family saga beginning with the Russian revolution and swirling across a century, encompassing war, loss, love, ghosts, joy, massacres, tragedy–and hot chocolate.

The Conductor (De dirigent)

By Maria Peters

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

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Brazil: Planeta, in a pre-empt
  • Germany: Hoffmann & Campe, in a pre-empt
  • France: Leduc.s/Charleston, in a three-way auction
  • Italy: Longanesi, in a six-way auction
  • Spain: Duomo

The Conductor is based on the life story of Antonia Brico, described as the world’s first successful female conductor. The story is a tale of ambition, love and courage, set in early 20th-century Amsterdam, Berlin, and New York.

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 a link to the book on your site or a publisher’s site for the “read more here” reference.

And we need not only the language/territory into which the title has been sold but also the name of the publisher to which the title has been sold in that territory.

The correct format is:

  • Country: Publisher

We look forward to hearing from you.

More of Publishing Perspectives‘ rights roundups are here, and more on the Frankfurter Buchmesse Guest of Honor program is here.

A version of this story was printed in our Frankfurt Show Daily for Friday, October 18. Be sure to read our Publishing Perspectives Show Dailies from the 2019 Frankfurter Buchmesse. You can download free copies of them all in PDF here.

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.com, 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.