Rights Roundup: Becoming Conscious of Consciousness

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Our Rights Roundup has material originating in French, Arabic, English, Finnish, and Italian, altogether selling into at least 30 territories and/or languages.

Authors and illustrators whose work is represented in this Rights Roundup are, upper row from left, Laurent Pinabel; Mark Solms; Christiana Moreau; and Sara Medberg. On the lower row from left are Noora Kunnas; Teemu Juhani; Hassan Blasim; and Carlo Petrini

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

In related licensing news, see also: Welbeck Publishing Group is licensed by FA to publish the first official history of the England national football team

Audies 2021 Deadlines Approach
Now in their fourth year here at Publishing Perspectives–they date to July 2017–our Rights Roundups remain some of our best-read content and we can thank the many literary agents and rights directors who so frequently answer our calls to share some of their best titles with us for consideration in this series.

Today, before we start off with a book designed to help readers become more conscious of consciousness from neuropsychologist Mark Solms, we have a quick note that if you work in audio rights, you’ll want to be aware that the deadline for submitting titles for the 2021 Audie Awards is July 15 for titles first made available for sale in the States from November 1, 2020, to August 31 this year.

A second deadline, October 7, is for titles that went on sale in the States, September 1 of this year until October 31.

More details are here in case you or an associate would like to see a good recording put into this influential competition.

And as always, our submission tool is here for your use, and we look forward to hearing from you. Guidance on offering titles to us for consideration are at the end of this article. 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.

The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness

By Mark Solms

  • Publisher: Profile Books, London
  • Rights contact: Georgina Le Grice, United Agents
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – German: Klett-Cotta
  • Chinese (simplified): Ginkgo
  • Dutch: Athenaeum
  • Italian: Adelphi
  • Japanese: Seidosha
  • Romanian: Polirom

“Best known for identifying the brain mechanisms of dreaming and for bringing psychoanalytic insights into modern neuroscience, Mark Solms is director of neuropsychology in the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town, honorary lecturer in neurosurgery at the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine, and an honorary fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists.

The Hidden Spring expands an article Solms wrote with computational neuroscientist Karl Friston, “How and Why Consciousness Arises: Some Considerations from Physics and Physiology.”

Questions treated in the book include “How does the mind connect to the body? Why does it feel like something to be us?” Solms “shows how misguided fears and suppositions have concealed the true nature” of consciousness.

The Clay Lady
(La Dame d’argile)

By Christiana Moreau

  • Publisher: Préludes Editions, Paris
  • Rights contact: Marleen Seegers, 2 Seas Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Italy: Casa Editrice Nord

“Sabrina, a young art restorer at the Fine Arts Museum in Brussels, inherits a remarkably beautiful clay bust of a woman from her grandmother.

“Her curiosity piqued, she starts to see more of Pierre—an Italian renaissance specialist and former lover—for help in identifying the sculpture’s provenance and the identity of the mysterious artist who made it.”

Christiana Moreau is a self-taught Belgian artist, painter and sculptor. She lives in Seraing, in the province of Liège, Belgium. La Dame d’argile is her third novel, after La Sonate oubliée (The Forgotten Sonata) and Cachemire rouge (Red Cashmere).

The Maasai Warrior
(Le guerrier Massaï)

By Laurent Pinabel

  • Publisher: Les éditions Les 400 coups, Montréal
  • Rights contact: Simon de Jocas, Les éditions Les 400 coups
  • Book info: Read more here (PDF)

No reported rights sales as yet.

“A boy, lulled by his father’s many travel stories, leads a quiet life by the sea. In the hall of his house sits a fascinating travel memory: the statue of a Maasai warrior. The latter seems to watch over the household.

“One night, the warrior wakes up, changing the boy’s life forever.”

Laurent Pinabel is the illustrator of Les 400 coups’ Branchez-vous! and other quirky poems and La langue aux chats and other poems not stupid, and now is both author and illustrator in a “very personal album” on the theme of travel and self-quest.

Charming Duke

By Sara Medberg

  • Publisher: Otava, Helsinki
  • Rights contact: Ebba Erolin, Ahlback Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Sweden: Norstedts

Bridgerton meets Jane Austen in 19th-century Sweden.

“The lady of Blackthorn Castle, beautiful Arabella, has been widowed and fallen into poverty. Amid such adversity, she is encouraged by Jane Austen’s literary heroines. However, shadows of the past won’t leave Arabella alone.

“She encounters a dazzling English duke who claims to know a fatal secret about Arabella’s late spouse.

“The novel takes place in the social circles of Helsinki and in the court of Stockholm in 1816.”

Mabel Merryweather (series)

By Noora Kunnas
Illustrated by Teemu Juhani

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

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Poland: Znak Emotikon
  • Denmark: ABC Forlag
  • Germany: Mixtvision
  • Hungary: Pagony
  • The Netherlands: Veltman Uitgevers
  • Russia: Eksmo

“Nick and Lily are spending their summer with uncle Jim, who doesn’t like children.

“Luckily his neighbor, Mabel Merryweather, can guarantee their summer will be filled with adventures, mysteries and hilarious encounters, when they start to figure out who is sabotaging the yearly flower arrangement competition.”


By Hassan Blasim

  • Publisher: WSOY, Helsinki
  • Rights contact: Tabatha Leggett, Bonnier Rights
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Danish: Forlaget Vandkunsten
  • Dutch: Uitgeverij Jurgen Maas
  • English: Comma Press
  • German: Antje Kunstmann
  • Italian: Utopia Editore
  • Swedish: Albert Bonniers

“An exploration of the conditions of exile in a boundlessly foolish world, this is a debut novel from Hassan Blasim.

“Hassan Owl has arrived in Finland. A writer and a refugee of the Iraqi civil war, he spends his days working as a vet while trying to get his work published in the Arab world.

“He starts a blog aiming to capture Europe’s so-called ‘refugee crisis’, interviewing 99 individuals whose lives have been disrupted by war, persecution, and poverty.”

The Future Earth: A Conversation with Pope Francis about Integral Ecology

By Carlo Petrini

  • Publisher: Giunti Editore / Slow Food Editore, Milan
  • Rights contact: Valentina Mazza, Giunti Editore
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Polish: Gaudium
  • World French: Éditions Seuil
  • World Spanish: Obelisco
  • Portuguese (Portugal): Casa das Letras/Leya
  • Switzerland/World German: Rotpunktverlag
  • Romanian: Rao
  • Korean: Sungadang
  • Latvian Aminori
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Senac

“Pope Francis has been inspired by many on the topic of sustainability, in particular by Carlo Petrini, who is the founder of the international Slow Food movement dedicated to sustaining local food cultures and traditions.

Petrini, author of Good, Clean, and Fair, has collaborated with the pontiff on TerraFutura in three important dialogues on five core themes: biodiversity, economy, community, migration, and education.

“Their dialogues encourage readers to find models of environmental coexistence.”

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

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.