Rights Roundup: Finland, France, Brazil, Spain, and Norway, Pre-Frankfurt

In News by Porter Anderson

As we get closer to this year’s robust-looking Frankfurt, rights news is here from France, Finland, Spain, Brazil, and Norway.

At Frankfurter Buchmesse in 2018. This year’s trade show runs October 19 to 23. Image: FBM: Marc Jacquemin

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

See also: Frankfurter Buchmesse: Trade Visitor Tickets Now on Sale

If you’re just catching up with disturbing news of the stabbing attack today (August 12) on author Salman Rushdie, we have an updating story here.

The incident, which occurred onstage this morning just before 11 a.m. local time in upstate New York at Chautauqua, has shocked many in world publishing, of course, and has prompted a brief statement from Frankfurter Buchmesse as we await word on the condition of Rushdie in hospital: “We condemn this cowardly attack on Salman Rushdie and wish him well.” We continue to monitor developments in this disturbing news at our main story on the incident.

Rushdie, 75, has a new book planned for a February 7 release from Penguin Random House: Victory City is described by the publisher as “the epic tale of a woman who breathes a fantastical empire into existence, only to be consumed by it over the centuries.”

And meanwhile, our pre-Frankfurt Rights Roundup, one of several before we reach the trade show (October 19 to 23), has work from Finland, France, Norway, Spain, and Brazil

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.

The Black Book of Football

By Hannu Aaltonen and Tapio Keskitalo

  • Publisher: Otava, Helsinki, publishes in September
  • Rights contact: Elina Ahlbäck at Ahlback Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Estonia: Helios

“This timely title is about corruption and scandal in today’s football.

Hannu Aaltonen and Tapio Keskitalo

“Since the turn of the century, international football has become a pompous, money-driven business. ‘The Beautiful Game’ has developed into a playing field with its own laws, a place in which oligarchs, sheikhs, and American billionaires run amok.

“This startling book delves into the outrageously wealthy and powerful football clubs that don’t abide by football’s own economic rules. Influential football bosses and governing bodies have become bogged down in bribe scandals, while small football countries have to count pennies.

“The grotesque development culminates with the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where the authorities and organizers don’t care about costs or construction worker deaths.”

Aaltonen and Keskitalo are editors at STT, the Finnish news agency.

Manual de penteados para Crianças Negras
(Hairstyle Manual for Black Children)

By Joana Gabriela Mendes and Mari Santos
Illustrator: Flávia Borges

  • Publisher: Grupo Companhia das Letras, São Paulo
  • Rights contact: Stephanie Barrouillet, SB Rights Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

No reported rights sales as yet.

“A unique nonfiction manual combining practical information about basic care and history.

From left, Joana Mendez, Mari Santos, and Flávia Borges

“An afro is both a haircut and a hairstyle in which the hair stands tall and natural. Did you know that with the renewed sense of identity in the 1960s, there was an appreciation of Black beauty and aesthetics represented by the motto ‘Black is Beautiful’?

“Natural hair then became a powerful political symbol of Black pride.

“In addition to hairstyles, readers will find the origin of each one and curiosities about hair care throughout history, such as information about the Black Power movement, what Afrofuturism is, who the Black Panthers were, among many others.

“With careful illustrations full of color and details made by Flávia Borges, this manual is an invitation for children, teenagers, and adults to experience a moment of fashion, fun, and self-discovery.”

Avortée, une histoire intime de l’IVG
(Aborde, an Intimate Story of  Voluntary Pregnancy Interruption)

By Pauline Hermange

  • Publisher: Éditions Daronnes, Villejuif
  • Rights contact: Julie Finidori, Julie Finidori Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – English: Scribe
  • Spanish: Columna
  • German: Rowohlt

Pauline Hermange

“Pauline Harmange’s book  Aborted is an intimate and documented essay about her own abortion.

“While the right to abort is regularly questioned in France and all over the world, she presents here the emotions, the reflections, and the contradictions that one can have when one is a feminist and confronted in her flesh with abortion.

“It’s a resolutely political vision that the author presents: to give power back to all our experiences in order to make our society better.”

Hermange, a feminist activist, published Moi les hommes, je les déteste and published it in September 2020.

Fifteen Years

By Vigdis Hjorth

  • Publisher: Cappelen Damm Agency, Oslo, for publication later this year
  • Rights contact: Ingvild Haugland Blatt, Cappelen Damm Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales, pre-publication:

  • Newest – Sweden: Natur & Kultur
  • Denmark: Turbine
  • Hungary: Polar Egyesület

Vigdis Hjorth

“The summer she turns 15, Paula discovers the pile of letters her mother has written to Grandma.

“The life her mother describes in the letters is unrecognizable, describing events that didn’t happen. Her mother’s pretense is a shock to Paula, who now is surrounded by the lies of an adult’s making.

“How should she relate to her mother? Who can she be in the family now? Paula is on the edge of becoming a teenager, and the world is opening up before her as both a terrible and wonderful place. She doesn’t want to believe in the god her mother pretends she believes in. She doesn’t want to start lying about her life.”


By  Susanna Isern
Illustrated by Laura Proietti

  • Publisher: Editorial Flamboyant, Barcelona
  • Rights contact: Marina Huguet, Editorial Flamboyant
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Italian: Gallucci
  • Czech: Host
  • Galician: Triqueta Verde
  • German: Jumbo Medien
  • Korean: Jiyansa
  • Slovak: Ikar

Susanna Isern, left, and Laura Proietti

This is the opening title in aseries of novels for ‘early readers.'”

“Meet Mauverine, a brave 9-year-old girl eager to become a witch.

“She decides to take control of her fate and pays a visit to the three witches ruling over her town, feared for their terrifying spells. Willing to find an heiress, they train Mauverine to become one of them. Magic potions, steaming cauldrons, flying brooms and spooky spells.

The Clairvoyant of Étampes
(Le Voyant d’Étampes)

By Abel Quentin

  • Publisher: Editions de l’Obervatoire, Paris
  • Rights contact: Sandrine Paccher, Editions de l’Observatoire
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – German: Matthes und Seitz
  • Spanish: Libros del Asteroide
  • Italian: E/O
  • Japanese: Kadowaka
  • Latvia; Zvaigne ABC
  • Portuguese: Guerra & Paz
  • Slovak:Arthur

“’I was going to ward off the spell, the evil eye that had been sticking to my train for almost 30 years. Le Voyant d’Étampes would be my rebirth and the first day of my new life. I was going to rebuy one last time, to redo myself on a more confidential register, but less dangerous.’

Abel Quentin

“An alcoholic and freshly retired university student, Jean Roscoff embarked on writing a book to get back in the saddle: Le clairvoyant of Étampes, an essay on an unknown American poet who was killed at the wheel in Essonne, at the beginning of the 1990s.

“A priori, not enough to unleash criticism. But what if his subject was trapped?

“Abel Quentin recounts the fall of a romantic and cynical anti-hero, in the era of social networks and identity abuses. And draws up, with humor, the portrait of a generation.”

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.