Rights Roundup: Sweden, Australia, Korea, Finland, Spain

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The works featured in this installment in our Rights Roundup series include the tale of a famous pearl and ‘Magic Candies’ from Korea.

Authors and illustrators whose work is featured in today’s Rights Roundup include, on the upper row from left, Magda Hellinger; Maya Lee; Carmen Posadas; and Jenny Jägerfeld. On the lower are, from left, Heena Baek; José Ovejero; Magdalena Hai; and Teemu Juhani

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

A Rights Event Reminder: French Week
As this is the last Rights Roundup we’ll have before it opens, we want to refer you to our coverage of the rights program French Week, running May 17 to 28, a project of BIEF, the Bureau International de L’Édition Français—the international outreach organization for France’s publishers.

As BIEF’s managing director Nicolas Roche tells us, the heart of the French Week program will be one-on-one meetings arranged through “a very easy-to-use scheduling tool.” The goal with these meetings “is in particular that the French can interact with publishers they haven’t seen regularly for a year, and can also discover new houses.”

Meetings will be available from May 17 to 28, and there will be category-themed video presentations streaming on May 17 to 21. In those targeted videos (in French with English subtitles), you’ll hear publishers and booksellers discuss various sectors of the French market, so you can get a better sense for how each of those sectors is looking, particularly during the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Here, to help you plan, are those themed video dates:

  • On May 17fiction will be the key category, and the BIEF reports that fiction has been relatively stable during the onslaught of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, despite a considerable drop in the number of new titles released.
  • On May 18nonfiction and the humanities are at the center of the action, a sector BIEF says has been acutely influenced in France by the public health emergency and related issues, as has occurred in so many world publishing markets.
  • On May 19children’s books will be in focus, and BIEF reminds us that close to 30 percent of rights action in terms of French work translated into other languages lies in the children’s sector.
  • On May 20graphic novels, a vibrant part of France’s literary life, takes center stage, a reminder that more than 25 percent of French titles translated into other languages are in comics. In 2020, BIEF says, this sector was up, not down, by 6 percent in value over 2019, and it represented some 18 percent of book sales in France.
  • And on May 21self-help/do-it-yourself and illustrated books are accentuated, an area in which BIEF reports seeing a shift in trends in recent months.

Registration for publishing professionals outside of France is free and open now. And many of us will be watching this project as we expect to see more publishers’ associations and organizations may be able to stage their own national-level rights and networking events of this kind. As of our story’s publication on April 23, at least 75 French publishing houses had signed on to participate in French Week.

And regarding today’s roundup, as in each instance of this series, 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.

The Nazis Knew My Name

By Magda Hellinger and Maya Lee

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia, Cammeray
  • Rights contact: Maud Sepult, Simon & Schuster UK
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Hungary: Nouvion
  • Romania: SC Contact Direct
  • Czech Republic: Albatros
  • Slovakia: Ikar
  • US/English: Atria
  • UK/English: Simon & Schuster UK
  • Poland: Dressler Dublin
  • Italy: Newton & Compton
  • Finland: Siltala
  • The Netherlands: Mozaiek

This is the life story of Magda Hellinger, an Australian-Slovakian survivor of Auschwitz “who was able to give hope to the thousands of women in her charge then – and to us now.”

In March 1942, 25-year-old kindergarten teacher Magda Hellinger and nearly 1,000 other young Slovakian women were deported to Poland on the second transportation of Jewish people sent to Auschwitz. The women were told they’d be working at a shoe factory. Helliger would eventually rise to camp leader, as one of the prisoners designated to handle day-to-day running of operations.

The Nazis Knew My Name is an insight into human nature under the most horrific conditions [looking at] the frailty of humanity under the pressure to survive, the power of resilience, and of the goodness that can shine through even in the worst of situations.”

Co-author Maya Lee is Hellinger’s daughter.

La leyenda de la Peregrina
(The Legend of ‘the Pilgrim’)

By Carmen Posadas

  • Publisher: Espasa, Madrid
  • Rights contact: Gabriela Ellena Castellotti,  Casanovas & Lynch
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Estonia: Hea Lugu
  • Italy: Rizzoli
  • Portugal: Casa das Letras
  • Albania: Living Publishing House

La leyenda de la Peregrina is an original historical novel about the one of the best known pearls.

“Found in the Caribbean, it was a Spanish Crown jewel for 200 hundred years (given to Felipe II) and moved from owner to owner in Europe until it reached its last owner: Liz Taylor, a gift from Richard Burton.

“Posadas brings to life the not-so-well-known queens, powerful but weak kings, courtiers, and their plots” that relate to the pearl over centuries, “a chance to read about the inner lives of contemporary courts where politicians, exiles, spies, and actors dwell and operate.”

My Royal Grand Golden Death

By Jenny Jägerfeld

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

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Italy: Iperborea
  • Germany: Urachhaus
  • Norway: Gyldendal
  • Russia: Albus Corvus

This is a sequel to Jenny Jägerfeld’s middle-grade My Royal Grand Golden Life.

“Why is it so hard to have new friends and not let your best friend down? Is that the price for being popular? Being someone you’re not?”

In this sequel, Jägerfeld balances seriousness and humor in her compassionate depiction of the 12-year-old Sigge and the eccentric characters surrounding him.

Magic Candies 

By Heena Baek

  • Publisher: Bear Books, Inc. Seoul
  • Rights contact: Chiara Tognetti, CT Rights
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Spanish and Catalan: Editorial Kókinos (an eight-book deal)
  • North America/English: Amazon Crossing Kids
  • Swedish: Bokförlaget Trasten
  • Russian: Popuri Ltd.

“When shy, lonely Dong-Dong he gets hold of some magic candies, he finds that he can hear how people, pets, and even objects around him feel.

“This imaginative story about empathy and love takes readers along on Dong-Dong’s journey as he goes from lonely to brave.”

Publishing Perspectives has an interview with Amazon Crossing Kids’ Marilyn Brigham in which she refers to this title.


By José Ovejero

  • Publisher: Galaxia Gutenberg, Barcelona
  • Rights contact: Carles Masdeu, Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Germany: Edition Nautilus
  • Italy: Voland

“From her squatter house in Lavapiés, Madrid, Ana decides to stand up to the demands of a society that gradually pushes out the weakest,” in this work of contemporary literary fiction.

“Ana’s parents try to persuade her to come home, as they try to avoid being torn apart by an increasingly ruthless job market.

“Insurrección shows some of the major tensions and fractures of our time, without resorting to ideological clichés or reassuring solutions.”

Little Shop of Nightmares 3: Sticky the Horrible Snowman

By Magdalena Hai
Illustrated by Teemu Juhani

  • Publisher: WSOY, Helsinki
  • Rights contact: Toomas Aasmäe, Elina Ahlback Literary Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales include series sales into 21 markets.
This title has sold into:

  • Newest – Hungary: Cerkabella
  • Albania: Muza
  • Bulgaria: Emas
  • Czech Republic: Euromedia
  • Denmark: Vild Maskine
  • Estonia: Postimees Publishing
  • Germany: Egmont Schneiderbuch
  • Greece: Dioptra
  • Italy: Terre di Mezzo
  • Korea: Gilbutschool
  • Latvia: Latvijas Mediji
  • Lithuania: Briedis
  • The Netherlands: De Vier Windstreken
  • Norway: Fontini
  • Russia: KompasGuide
  • Romania: Editura Univers
  • Serbia: Odiseja
  • Slovakia: Ikar
  • Sweden: Hegas
  • Turkey: Epsilon

In this installment of the broadly popular series “The Little Shop of Nightmares,” the titular emporium is getting buried in snow.

“Nina and Paddy are trying to find the cause of the snowstorm, but that’s easier said than done. A well-meaning but horribly clumsy snowman keeps getting in their way and stopping their every effort to stop the snowing inside.”

Author Magdalena Hai is an editor, herself, in a publishing cooperative called Osuuskumma.

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.

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.