Rights Roundup: Coming to a Trading Platform Near You

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

As Frankfurt Rights goes online, these titles are available for international rights deals from the UK, Norway, Germany, Sweden, and Spain.

Authors and illustrators whose work is represented in today’s Rights Roundup are, top row from left, Shannon Weber, Jade Orlando, Silje O. Ulstein, Tessa Randau. On the lower row from left are Olga Merino (image by Marta Calvo); Alicia Acosta Unas; Luis Amavisca; and Clara Eliasson (image by Stefan Tell)

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Frankfurt Rights and International Trading
Three debuts are among the titles in our bonus edition of Rights Roundup today, timed to this week’s opening of Frankfurt Rights.

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, Frankfurt Rights is the new online platform for international rights and licensing trading, and digital exhibitors with Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 14 to 18) have access to a free version of the platform.

Today, we’re again highlighting some titles that haven’t yet drawn stacks of deals because they’re being newly offered as the trade show nears.

There are three debuts among them, and two works for younger readers. One of today’s listings helps children understand social activism. Another, very much for adults, has a title that matches our own sentiments, just with less violent outcomes–I Don’t Like Mondays. (Congratulations if you recall the actual event from which that title is drawn.)

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.

Activists Assemble: We Are All Equal!

By Shannon Weber
Illustrated by Jade Orlando

  • Publisher: Macmillan’s Children’s Books, London
  • Rights contact: Isabel Miller, Pan Macmillan
  • Book info: Read more here

No rights sales reported as yet.

Described by Isabel Miller at Pan Mac as “a beautifully designed and highly accessible call to action for young people,” Activists Assemble: We Are All Equal! is said in promotional materials to “explain what it is to be a citizen; how important it is to treat, and be treated, as equal within the society; and how you can use your voice to champion equality.”

Shannon Weber’s text and Jade Orlando’s illustrations looks at activism from a historical perspective and includes a 16-page “activity section” with discussion questions and space for readers to write their own ideas and observations.

Reptile Memoirs

By Silje O. Ulstein

  • Publisher: Aschehoug, Oslo
  • Rights contact: Annette Orre, Oslo Literary Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Italy: Marsilio Editori, in a preempt
  • France: Actes Sud, at auction
  • The Netherlands: AW Bruna, in a preempt
  • Denmark: Gutkind, in a preempt
  • Sweden: Wahlström & Widstrand, in a preempt
  • Turkey: Eksik Parca
  • Bulgaria: Emas

Silje O. Ulstein’s debut novel is a dark thriller that asks whether it’s possible to shed one’s skin and become someone else entirely.

The story shifts between two time frames: The early 2000’s, when three flat mates in their 20s decide to get a baby tiger python as pet, and 2017, when an 11-year old girl is missing.

The Forest, Four Questions, Life, and I

By Tessa Randau

  • Publisher: dtv Verlagsgesellschaft, Munich
  • Rights contact: Andrea Seibert, dtv Verlagsgesellschaft
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • The Netherlands: Kosmos

In Tessa Randau’s debut, the young woman has all she could dream of but is, nonetheless, increasingly discontent.

One day, while walking through the woods, she encounters an old woman, who shares with her the four questions of life that can change everything.

The old woman doesn’t have any easy answers, much to the young mother’s disappointment. Instead, she offers to reveal the final question to her. This one has the greatest power to prompt far-reaching change. Is she ready for this?

The book is being compared to John Strelecky’s The Why Café.

The Stranger
(La forastera)

By Olga Merino

  • Publisher: Penguin Random House/Alfaguara, Madrid
  • Rights contact: Laura Palomares, Agencia Carmen Balcells
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – France: Éditions Dalva
  • Simplified Chinese: Dook Books
  • Arabic: Sefsafa
  • Greek: Patakis

The Stranger is described as a contemporary western set in the rugged, unforgiving territory of rural Spain.

For the locals, Angie is the village crazy lady. She lives isolated and alone in the country.

One morning, Angie discovers the lifeless body of the local landowner, hanging from a branch of a walnut tree. This news endangers her own land and the future of the entire village. Her discovery of secrets buried in the land leads her to know “once you lose everything, they can’t take anything from you, and you’re invincible.”

I Don’t Like Mondays
(Swedish title: Mot San Francisco)

By Clara Eliasson

  • Publisher: Bonnierförlagen/Romanus & Selling, Stockholm
  • Rights contact: Elisabet Brännström, Bonnier Rights
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – The Netherlands: Orlando
  • Denmark: Gutkind

A debut novel, I Don’t Like Mondays is based loosely on the school shooter Brenda Ann Spencer who killed an elementary school principal and custodian and injured eight children and a police officer in an attack in January 1979 in San Diego. Asked why she’d committed such an awful crime, Spencer replied, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.”

In Clara Eliasson’s book, the story moves to 2019, and a prison break.

The book tells a tale about the obsession of first love, the despair of feeling doomed from the start, and of the freedom of running wild in feverish nights among the flowering citrus trees of southern California.

I Love My Colorful Nails

By Alicia Acosta Unas and Luis Amavisca
Illustrated by Gusti

  • Publisher: NubeOcho Ediciones, Madrid
  • Rights contact: Stephanie Barrouillet, SB Rights Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • NewestKorea: Daekyo
  • Brazil: Livros de Raposa Vermelha
  • UK and USA: NubeOcho Ediciones
  • Italy: NubeOcho Edizioni

Ben loves to paint his nails. But when his schoolmates start laughing at him, his dad decides to show his support by painting his own nails too.

An empowering story about acceptance, tolerance, freedom, and gender inspired by true events.

From ‘I Love My Colorful Nails.’ Image: NubeOcho Edicione

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 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.