Rights Roundup: ‘Petr Pan’ Flies Again

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This time our Rights Roundup titles are from Slovakia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Norway, and the United States, and they include fiction, nonfiction, children’s work, and a revisitation of ‘Peter Pan.’

Authors and illustrators represented in today’s Rights Roundup are, clockwise from upper left, Ayesha Harruna Attah (image: Itunu Kuku); Vigdis Hjorth; Julia Hobsbawm; Glendy Vanderah; Petr Uchnár; Matt Jardine; Vanina Starkoff; and Otávio Júnior

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

Simplicity and Buddhist Millionaires
As you peer out from behind your face shield, you might enjoy, as we have, the phrase from Kogan Page’s description of a book it’s presenting in this Rights Roundup: “For anyone who feels that life can be too much.”

Who could possibly feel that way these days?

The book is called The Simplicity Principle and because Julia Hobsbawm’s recommendation to “keep it simple” is pretty challenging when the cords of your face mask are tangled up with your headphones and glasses, we’ve also included Matt Jardine’s How To Be a Buddhist Millionaire. Which at this point seems easier than keeping it simple.

We make it fun for you at the end with a recently illustrated (2015) edition of James Barrie’s Neverland romp, from Bratislava. Call it Petr Pan.

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.

A note on submissions: If we’ve featured a book in roundups here in the past, please don’t re-submit it without telling us why you’re doing so. Many books are still awaiting their first outing here and we’d like to give them a chance before we repeat material.


The Deep Blue Between

By Ayesha Harruna Attah

  • Publisher: Pushkin Press, London
  • Rights contact: Maria Cardona, Pontas Literary & Film Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – German: Penguin Random House/Diana Verlag
  • Italian: Marcos y Marcos
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Editora Globo

This is an #ownvoices novel–the was term coined by Corinne Duyvis–which means it refers to an author who writes about her or his experience in an underrepresented part of society.

“The Deep Blue Between is about twin sisters Hassana and Husseina in the late 1800s, in Ghana, Nigeria, and Brazil, as they follow up a raid on their home with lives that develop in unfamiliar cities and cultures.

“Shared dreams of water keep them connected in what’s called a sweeping adventure with evocative historical settings.”


Is Mother Dead?
(Er mor død)

By Vigdis Hjorth

  • Publisher: Cappelen Damm,  Oslo
  • Rights contact: Marius Hjeldnes, Cappelen Damm Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – World English: Verso
  • Italy: Fazi Editore
  • Sweden: Natur & Kultur Denmark Turbine
  • Finland: Schildts & Söderströms

“Johanna, an artist, has spent the last three decades living in the United States with her husband and their son. After her husband dies, Johanna returns to her native Norway. There, a gallery has invited her to create a retrospective exhibition, with a new, commissioned work as its centerpiece.

“What remains of the life Johanna left behind in Norway several decades ago? What is she expecting to find upon her return?

“And what if that something should choose not to appear?”


The Simplicity Principle

By Julia Hobsbawm

  • Publisher: Kogan Page, London
  • Rights contact: Amy Joyhner, Kogan Page Ltd.
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Portuguese: Ubook
  • Turkish: Yakamoz Yayincilik Hizm, TIC, LTD, STI
  • Chinese (Simplified): Zhejiang People’s Publishing House
  • Korean: Tornado Media Group

“The Simplicity Principle challenges the assumption that all things that are complex have to stay that way. It helps keep things as lean, simple and focused as possible.

“For anyone who feels that life can be too much, The Simplicity Principle will help you break free of the endless choices and complexities that we face in the world today. It’s time to gain control of your focus and productivity, and most importantly, keep it simple.”


Where the Forest Meets the Stars

By Glendy Vanderah

  • Publisher: Amazon Publishing/Lake Union
  • Rights contact: Alex Levenberg at Amazon Publishing and Carly Watters at P.S. Literary Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Arabic: Dar Al Khayal (at auction)
  • Albanian: Living Publishing House
  • Chinese (Complex): Marco Polo (at auction)
  • Chinese (Simplified): Guomai (in a pre-empt)
  • Croatia: Stilus (in a pre-empt)
  • Czech: Mlada Fronta
  • Estonian: Rahva Raamat
  • Hungarian: Konyvmolykepzo (at auction)
  • Korean: Woongjin Think Big
  • Lithuanian: Balto
  • Macedonian: ARS Lamina
  • Portuguese (Portugal): LeYa
  • Romanian: Editura Trei
  • Russian: Arkadia
  • Serbian: Vulkan
  • Slovak: Tatran
  • Spanish: Urano
  • Thai: B2S Publishing
  • Turkish: Peta Kitap
  • Ukrainian: Vivat
  • Vietnamese: 1980 Books

Hugely successful in international rights, the success of this book set in rural Illinois–and released in March 2019–starts with an effort by its protagonist to rise above the loss of her mother and a battle with breast cancer. And that’s before the arrival of an otherworldly child and hints of magical realism. Clearly, it’s striking a chord with a widening world of readers.

“In this debut, a child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again.

“Joanna Teale’s routine is disrupted when a mysterious girl shows up at her cabin. The girl claims to have been sent from the stars. Jo enlists the help of her neighbor to solve the mystery. And although the three form an incredible bond, they know that difficult choices must be made.

“A bestseller on lists including the Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, Where the Forest Meets the Stars is also a Goodreads Choice Award finalist.”


From My Window
(Da minha janela)

By Otávio Júnior
Illustrated by Vanina Starkoff

  • Publisher: Companhias das Letrinhas, São Paulo
  • Rights contact: Stephanie Barrouillet, SB Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – World English: Barefoot Books, Cambridge, Massachusetts

“Isn’t it interesting that we see a different landscape from each window in the world?

“Written by Otávio Júnior, the actor and storyteller responsible for opening the first libraries in the shantytowns, or favelas, of Complexo da Penha and Complexo do Alemão (his birthplace), From My Window is a poetic book presenting the setting of a poor district in Rio de Janeiro from the positive perspective of a child.

“This book invites everyone to rethink and analyze their own perspectives with renewed excitement.”


How To Be a Buddhist Millionaire

By Matt Jardine

  • Publisher: Short Books, London
  • Rights contact: Renata Kasprzak, Red Rock Literary Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Portuguese, Brazil: Grupo Editorial Record
  • World Spanish: Ediciones Urano

In this book, curiously published without an ebook edition, “Matt Jardine brings together Buddhist teachings, spiritual lessons, and the advice and experience of a variety of experts and professionals, including a Paralympic Games athlete, a West End musical star, and a city banker.

“He presents nine practical lessons to help us all discover our passion and make it pay.

“With a light touch, he dispels the deep-rooted fears and limiting beliefs that hold us back,” according to the book’s promotional material, “and forces us to question the very foundations of our lives and what really matters.”

Jardine is a martial artist, an entrepreneur, a  public speaker, a podcaster and the founder of Jardine Karate School. His previous books include Mo and Lucy: Choices, and The Hardest Path, inspired by his 88-temple pilgrimage of Japan.


Peter Pan

James Barrie’s book with illustrations by Petr Uchnár

  • Publisher: Slovart, Bratislava
  • Rights contact: Tereza Fitzeková, Slovart
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Russian and Kazakh: Foliant Publishing House
  • German: Ellermann
  • Ukrainian: Znannia Publishing House
  • Chinese (simplified): Shandong Education Press

A Slovakian reader will find her- or himself on the way to Krajina-Nekrajina, and Peter’s fairy friend is named Cililing (but she looks like Tinkerbell). Captain Hák is here, too, in this hardcover art-book edition of the timeless tale.

Uchnár’s illustrations at times fall somewhere between a New Yorker cartoon and something Maxfield Parrish would enjoy.

You can have a look at several pages of the book’s interior here (Issuu).

A promotional Issuu display of illustrations by Petr Uchnár for Slovart’s publication of a designed edition of JM Barrie’s classic ‘Peter Pan.’ Image: Slovart


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

Titles we choose to list must have both cover images and author images available. If there’s an illustrator or translator, we’d like that person’s photo as well. We prefer color.

In supplying these assets to us, please don’t use WeTransfer or other similar links—they may expire before we can process a submission.

In a sale listing, we require 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, Language or Territory: Publisher

If we have used a submission from you in the past, please do not submit that same title again to us without an explanation of why you think it deserves another look.

We look forward to hearing from you.


More of Publishing Perspectives‘ rights roundups are here, and more from us on international rights trading is here. More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here and at the CORONAVIRUS tab at the top of each page of our site.

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 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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