Rights Roundup: A Monstrous 31 Rights Sales for a Trilogy in Finland

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Titles in this Rights Roundup come from Finland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy, and they include a single entry with 31 rights sales.

This Rights Roundup features work from authors and illustrators including, upper row from left, Belén López Peiró; Tamara Goranson; John D. Barrow; and Juan Ángel Asensio. On the lower row, from left, Tuutikki Tolonen; Pasi Pitkänen; Sam Sedgman; and Sam Brewster

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

Christian Laforce Heads Québec’s Copibec
As we get started with our Rights Roundup here, we have news today (July 23) from Québec, where the copyright-management agency for French-language Canada is called Copibec. It’s the counterpart to the English-language agency named Access Copyright, and the full French name of Copibec is La société québécoise de gestion collective des droits de reproduction.

Christian Laforce

Remembering that Guest of Honor Canada has its planning well underway now for they physical Frankfurter Buchmesse this year (October 20 to 24), we’ve learned that Christian Laforce has been announced as Copibec’s new executive director. He’s been in cultural work for more than 20 years and walks into a potentially busy situation in his new role, with issues including “the revision of the country’s copyright act; negotiations for the renewal of agreements with Québec’s post-secondary institutions, and the implementation of a new strategic plan” according to the media messaging the agency has released.

“It’s with great enthusiasm that I accepted the position of executive director at Copibec,” Laforce says in a prepared statement. “For me, its mission is more than essential today, and I believe that we must all, as a society, contribute to the respect of the rights of our creators.”

Until April, Laforce was the head of the office of culture for the city of Longueuil, a post he held for more than six years.

And it’s worth noting what while Access Copyright, authors, and publishers, have been struggling for years with the problems of the Canadian Copyright Modernization Act of 2012–a battle still unresolved–the French-language agency and educational institutions have largely managed to work together.

On to the Rights Roundup, then, and as in each one, 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.

Por qué volvías cada verano
(Why Did You Come Back Every Summer?”)

By Belén López Peiró

  • Publisher: Las Afueras, Barcelona
  • Rights contact: Laura Palomares, Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – World English: Charco Press
  • French: Globe
  • Italian: La Nuova Frontiera
  • Portuguese: Brazil: Elefante
  • Spanish (Spain): Las Afueras
  • Spanish (Chile): Hueders
  • Spanish (México): Palíndroma
  • Catalan: Pol·len Edicions

“Por qué volvías cada verano describes the abuse the author was subjected to during her adolescence by a relative who was on the police force, as well as the consequences that this case had for her family and social environment.

“Using harsh, direct language, Belén López Peiró criticizes the system, the network of silence that was intended to gag her, and herself. And she does so, not only to denounce those events, but also to condemn the context that made them possible.”

The Voyage of Freydis

By Tamara Goranson

  • Publisher: HarperCollins UK
  • Rights contact: Meg Wheeler, Westwood Creative Arts
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – World Italian: Mondadori
  • World English: HarperCollins

“History set her fate in stone. Murdere, mercenary, temptress, trickster, traitor, thief.

“But under a hammer that falls like thunder, stone will always shatter. So with her voice, she lights the forge. The Voyage of Freydis sings the silenced tale of Freydis Eiriksdottir, the first and only woman to lead a Viking voyage across the Atlantic, in this retelling of the Vinland Sagas set at the dawn of the 11th century.”

1+1 = 2 Usually: A Mathematics Lesson

By John D. Barrow

  • Publisher: Società editrice il Mulino, Bologna
  • Rights contact: Paola Pecchioli, Società editrice il Mulino
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Korean: Gimm-Young Publishers
  • Romanian: Humanitas SA
  • World Spanish: Alianza Editorial

John D. Barrow (1952-2020) was an English mathematician, a theoretical physicist, and a cosmologist and taught geometry at Gresham College between 2008 and 2011. He wrote popular science and stage plays.

“In this whimsical overview–encompassing early humanity’s efforts to use fingers to count, ancient number systems, the logic of computer science, Cantor’s transfinite arithmetic, and Gödel’s incompleteness theorems–the late John D. Barrow offers his readers a mathematics lesson.

“He raises many questions and supplies many answers, without ever losing sight of the deceptive, unreasonable effectiveness of this basic equation.”

An English version is available.

Antología poética de la especie humana
(A Poetic Anthology of the Human Species)

By Juan Ángel Asensio

  • Publisher: Ediciones Franz
  • Rights contact: Christel Penella de Silva, Ediciones Franz
  • Book info: Read more here

No reported rights sales to date.

In the conceit of this anthology, “A cosmic being has found some vestiges of poetry from different eras of the already extinguished humanity–from the caverns to the last spaceship vessel–and tries to make sense of the complex beings who wrote it.

“It sounds as ambitious as it is. Every poem shows the features of some culture and times and the whole forms an essay of comparative literature.”

The Monster Nanny Trilogy

By Tuutikki Tolonen
Illustrated by Pasi Pitkänen

  • Publisher: Tammi, Helsinki
  • Rights contact: Eleni Ahlback, Ahlback Literary Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – South Korea: Seosawan
  • Australia: Allen & Unwin
  • Bosnia; Šahinpašić
  • Brazil: DarkSide Books
  • China: Beijing Children’s Publishing House
  • Czech Republic: Portál
  • Denmark: Turbine
  • Estonia: Tiritamm
  • France: Editions Robert Laffont
  • Germany: Carl Hanser Verlag
  • Hungary: Tessloff Babilon
  • Italy: Salani/Mauri Spagnol
  • Korea: Seosawon
  • Latvia: Zvaigzne
  • Lithuania: Nieko Rimto
  • The Netherlands: Luitingh-Sijthoff
  • New Zealand: Allen & Unwin
  • Norway: Gyldendal Norsk
  • Oceania: Allen & Unwin
  • Poland: Vesper
  • Portugal: Asa Editiones/Leya
  • Russia: Rosman
  • Slovenia: Mladinska knjiga
  • Spain (Spanish): La Galera
  • Spain: (Catalan): La Galera
  • Sweden: Rabén & Sjögren
  • Turkey: SEV Redhouse Kidz
  • Ukraine: School Publishing House
  • Vietnam: Nha Nam
  • World English: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Film rights: Scott Free Productions

Published in 2015, the Monster Nanny books have had years to gather their many rights sales, yes, but this is nevertheless an extremely imposing list of international transactions. Those 31 rights sales are up from 20 when we last looked at the three-book series, which includes:

  • Monster Nanny
  • Monster Route
  • Monster Message

The winner of the 2015 Arvid Lydecken Prize, the book is described as “Mary Poppins meets Where the Wild Things Are,” the basic blurb copy reads, “The Hellman children must make do with a nanny while their mother is away at a spa.

“The only problem? Their nanny is a monster.

“Grah is hairy, dusty, and doesn’t talk. When the siblings discover that other neighborhood kids have been left with similar creatures, they start to wonder where the monsters came from. With the parents away, the kids work together (between bickering) to figure out the mystery of the monsters.”

Epic Adventures

By Sam Sedgman
Illustrated by Sam Brewster

  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan, London
  • Rights contact: Marianne Fournier, Pan Mac
  • Book info: Read more here

This book’s publication date is February 3. Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Russian: AST
  • Chinese, Simple and Complex: Beijing Yutian Hanfeng Books Co., Ltd.
  • Czech: Omega/Dobrovsky

We last saw trainman Sam Sedgman in a May 2020 Rights Roundup, with one of his books written with MG Leonard and illustrated by Elisa Paganelli. Since then, he’s won one of The Bookseller’s British Book Awards for this year (for The Highland Falcon Thief with Leonard and Pagnelli), and he’s working with illustrator Sam Brewster.

In this book, the reader “explores the world in 12 train journeys,” and it’s Sedgman’s first nonfiction outing.

“Climb onboard and travel across six continents, 34 countries, and numerous cities via 12 of the world’s train journeys … including the Orient Express (Paris to Istanbul), the first Transcontinental Railroad (Chicago to San Francisco) and the Rejuvenation Express (Beijing to Hong Kong).

“Each locomotive adventure reveals some of the rich history, culture, landscape and wildlife of the countries traveled. Take in the safari sights of Southern Africa, wrap up warm in the Arctic Circle, celebrate Chinese New Year and taste some tea in India whilst on a toy train – there’s a whole world to discover when traveling by train.”

Submitting 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

Getting images to us. Please don’t send us images by Google Drive if the system will require us to ask your permission to retrieve those images. (It can take too long for our deadlines before that permission request reaches you.) Likewise, please don’t send us images by WeTransfer or a similar service. (Those expire, often before we can download your material.) If for some reason you cannot get images into our submission form, feel free to just drop them to us in an email (Porter@PublishingPerspectives.com) or in a Dropbox folder (non-expiring access) and send us a link to that folder in the submission form.

Categories. We get more submissions in children’s books than in others, and while we enjoy children’s books in the industry as much as anyone–please do keep sending them–we’d also like to see more of the following to help us balance our roundups:

  • Adult Fiction
  • Adult Nonfiction – particularly narrative nonfiction, political, historical, biographical, memoir, and philosophical categories
  • Young Adult

Repeat submissions. We receive great submissions from many parts of the world and once we’ve carried a title, we’d like to give other work a chance to be featured rather than repeating that title–unless there’s major news developing around that previously used title that makes it a good candidate for a second listing. If one of your titles has previously appeared in our Rights Roundups but there’s a good reason you think it should be listed again, please be sure to drop us an email and let us know (Porter@PublishingPerspectives.com).

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.