Rights Roundup: A New Look at Southern Italy’s Ancient Paestum

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

News from publishers and agents today comes from England, Norway, Italy, Germany, and Finland–where Max Seeck rules in rights sales.

A detail from the underside of the top slab of a grave discovered in Paestum and referred to as the tomb of the diver. Believed to date to 470 BC, the tomb is thought to have been built for a man who died young. ‘Paestum’ is the title and subject of a book in our Rights Roundup. Image, April 27 – Getty iStockphoto: Peuceta

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

Rights in the Heat Wave
As we get this edition of Rights Roundup ready, we’re pleased to start with something we don’t get frequently enough: A well-researched, deeply informed look at the place that Paestum, on the southern west coast of Italy, holds not only in archaeology but also in ancient cultural diversity.

The German-Italian researcher and Gabriel Zuchtriegel–now Rome’s director of the Pompeii site–studied at Humboldt in Berlin and the University of Bonn, and excavated at Selinunte and Eraclea before being made director of the sprawling Paestum site.

So today (June 17), we start with Zuchtreigel–whose Paestum from Carocci Editore of course, has references of the “tomb of the diver” discovered there, a cooling thought in a hot early June.

Then we look at several titles both for adults and children before wrapping up with that Finnish rights powerhouse Max Seeck, once again arriving with an enviable list of international rights sales, for his 2020 release, The Ice Coven–another cooling thought.

A quick note, also to say that if you recall our listing in November 2021 of Pirko Saisio’s Autofictional Trilogy being listed by Urte Liepuoniute at Helsinki Literary Agency, she has let us know that Tom Kraushaar’s Klett-Cotta Verlag in Stuttgart has bought the rights for Saisio’s book in what turns out to be the third consecutive pre-empt for the book, an exploration of sexual identity and the vocation of a writer from an iconic figure in Finnish culture. Kraushaar is one of Germany’s leading independent publishers who was featured in our focus on independents at Frankfurter Buchmesse in October.

More on the Saisio book and its progress is here.

And, as in each roundup, we use some of the sales copy supplied to us by agents and rights directors, editing that copy to give you an idea about a book’s nature and tone, but limiting the promotional elements. If you’d like to submit a deal to Publishing Perspectives, see the instructions at the end of this article.


By Gabriel Zuchtriegel

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

Published February 24, no rights sales reported to date.

“An exciting account of the astonishing diversity that distinguishes the cultures of the past, as well as the present.

Gabriel Zuchtriegel

“Gabriel Zuchtriegel focuses on Paestum on the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy, where many discoveries have been made–including novel findings about ritual and daily activities in the classic era.

“Paestum is an exemplary site for exploring a world very distant from ours.

“The early Mediterranean provides a rich scenario, especially if we acknowledges the indeterminate nature of what we traditionally think we know about ancient Greece and Rome.”

The German-Italian Zuchtriegel was last year appointed by Rome to succeed Massimo Osanna as the director of the excavations at Pompeii, a role he had held previously at Paestum, where he directed the national archeological museum and the archeological park. In his writings, Zuchtriegel has proposed thinking of the work of Plato and Aristotle as part of a context in which such thinkers lived as a colonizing society.

Who can resist one more look at Paestum? This is the Temple of Hera II at the huge archeological site near Salerno, the Campania. Image, November 24, 2021 – Getty iStockphoto: Michele Rinaldi

Daddy, Is 10 a Lot?
(Du Papa, ist zehn viel?)

By Sabine Bohlmann
Illustrated by Emilia Dziuback

  • Publisher: ArsEdition GmbH
  • Rights contact: Mathilde Deroubaix, arsEdition GmbH
  • Book info: Read more here

Author Sabine Bohlemann, left (image: Christian Hartmann), and illustrator Emilia Dziubak (image: Piotr Dziubak)

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Korea: BookNBean
  • Finland: Aurinko Kustannus
  • France: Kimane Édition
  • Lithuania: Nieko Rimto
  • Poland: Nasza Księgarnia
  • Romania: Editura Univers
  • Russia: Popuri
  • Slovakia: Stonozka

“While wandering in the forest, the little wolf asks question after question of his dad. Is 10 a lot? Is the little wolf strong? Big? Fluffy? Smart? ‘It depends on many things”, the father always answers.'”

“‘Am I big, daddy?’ asks the little wolf.”
“‘Well it depends.'”
“‘Depends on what?'”
“‘If you compare yourself to the giraffe, you are teeny tiny. But compare yourself to the frog, and you’re a giant.'”
“Many questions follow until little wolf finally dares to ask: ‘Daddy you love me, right? What does it depend on?'”

(A Long Row Home)

By Sigri Sandberg

  • Publisher: Det Norske Samlaget, Oslo
  • Rights contact: Winje Agency AS
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • The Netherlands: Uitgeverij Oevers

“Nature writer Sigri Sandberg is a restless mother of two who lives in several places.

Sigri Sandberg. Image: Steinar Rorgemoen

“Her restlessness is compounded by loved ones’ deaths and illness, as well as by upsetting reports about the state of the planet. She longs for peace of mind.”

“She wonders about what home really is, and what it means to belong somewhere.

“Last summer, Sigri rowed the Sognefjord in an old wooden rowboat and has written a beautiful story about Norway’s longest fjord – and about her attempt to find home.”


By Priya Hein

  • Publisher: Indigo Press, London
  • Rights contact: Anna Soler-Pont,  Pontas Literary & Film Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Catalan: Sembra Llibres
  • Country: French: Éditions Globe

“Riambel is a novel about life in the Mauritian slums. It’s written in the form of vignettes from the perspective of descendants of former slaves.

“This is the story of Noemi, a teenage girl living with her single mother who works as a maid for a rich white Mauritian family called De Grandbourg.

“Priya Hein shows us a world of natural enchantment contrasted with violence and the abuse of power. This seemingly simple tale of servitude, seduction, and abandonment blisters with a fierce sense of injustice.”

If I Were Prime Minister

By Trygve Skaug

  • Publisher: Cappelen Damm, Oslo
  • Rights contact: Ingvild Haugland Blatt, Cappelen Damm Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Author Trygve Skaug and illustrator Ella Okstad

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Korean: Woongjin ThinkBig
  • Denmark: Turbine
  • Sweden: Bokförlaget Opal
  • Italy: Mondadori Editore
  • The Netherlands: De vier windstreken Uitgeverij
  • English: Lantana Books

“Trygve Skaug has enjoyed huge success in recent years with both books and music.

“He has now written his first children’s book, the picture book If I Were Prime Minister, with colorful illustrations by Ella Okstad.

“This is an uplifting, inspiring and socially critical book in which Trygve’s poetic voice evokes a child’s perspective on several things the grownups running the country could have done better.”

The Ice Coven

By Max Seeck

  • Publisher: Tammi, Helsinki
  • Rights contact: Elsa Lindström at Elina Ahlback Literary Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Italian: Piemme
  • Albania: Muza
  • Bulgaria: Emas
  • Czech Republic: Grada
  • Denmark: Gutkind
  • Estonia: Pegasus
  • France: Michel Lafon
  • Germany: Bastei Lübbe GmbH & Co. KG
  • Greece: Livanis
  • Hungary: Animus
  • Latvia: Latvijas Mediji
  • The Netherlands and Belgium: A.W. Bruna
  • Northern Macedonia: Matica Makedonska
  • Norway: Aschehoug
  • Poland: Sonia Draga
  • Portugal: Bertrand Editora Lda
  • Romania: Litera
  • Serbia: Vulkan
  • Slovakia: Motýľ
  • Slovakia: Didakta
  • Sweden: Albert Bonniers Förlag
  • UK: Welbeck Publishing
  • English, United States and Canada: Penguin Random House / Berkley
  • World Arabic: Arab Scientific

Max Seeck

The Ice Coven is a standalone sequel to another of Max Seeck’s rights-selling juggernauts, The Witch Hunter, which was part of our Rights Roundup on November 20, 2020.

In this one, “Jessica Niemi has another mystery on her hands: Two famous Instagram bloggers go missing, and a strange picture is uploaded on both of their accounts. It’s a picture of an old lighthouse on a rocky island.

“Underneath, there’s a poem which describes their deaths…Jessica starts to investigate the disappearances and soon finds out the two bloggers have been sharing a secret that got them involved in something very mystical and dark.”

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.