Rights Roundup: Sales Into Galician, Catalan, Portuguese, Korean, and More

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Our last Rights Roundup of the year features work selling into Galician, Catalan, Portuguese, Danish, Korean, Dutch, Greek, Slovak, and more.

Two sales reported so far: Les Éditions du Panseur is using this feline image to promote Isabelle Aupy’s ‘The Man Who Didn’t Like Cats Anymore,’ one of the books in today’s Rights Roundup. Image: Les Éditions du Panseur

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

Also today:
Rights Edition: Italian Publishers Host an Airy Rights Center in Rome
Rights Edition: At Guadalajara, Spanish-Language Publishers Eye the US Market
Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle Is Stepping Down at the End of the Year

Wishing You All the Best, Both in Easy and Difficult Sales

As we watch the end of a very long 2022 arrive, much of the world book publishing industry is braced for deepening economic challenges. In the United Kingdom, Q4 is expected to be a second consecutive month of economic contraction, technically the signal of the start of a recession. European markets, the United States, and other regions also face inflationary and possibly recessionary headwinds.

Rights trading, of course, is an old and effective form of diversification, a way to hedge against falling consumer sentiment when discretionary household budgets may tighten. Rights directors, literary rights agents, and scouts, of course, know this better than anyone.

They also know that some books, even those most needed in a world beset with challenges, can be the hardest—and yet the best—for which to sell rights. Sometimes the slower sellers are among the most satisfying.

As we reported in July, Juliette Kayyem’s The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning To Live in an Age of Disasters (Hachette Book Group/Public Affairs), is one of the most relevant releases of the year. And it’s one of the most internationally fluent works you’ll find about our exploding contemporary crises. It’s not “the feel-good hit of the year,” but what it tells readers is central to our debates of the moment–precisely the kind of book that demonstrates why the world book industry is indispensable.

Juliette Kayyem

Kayyem, a former assistant secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama administration, writes about both international and domestic issues, events, analysis. The audiobook is a fine example of an author who knows how to read her own work, too.

But who can sell the rights to a book about the disasters we fear most? It turns out that Rebecca Gardner, Nora Gonzalez, and their colleagues at The Gernert Company can. They’ve just sold the Korean rights to the largest general trade publisher in South Korea: Seoul’s Minumsa.

Compared to stacks of rights sales for some books, that deal might not seem the cue to form the conga line. But those of us who watch these things carefully know that once a book is up on its feet and walking, it can gather speed and interest. And what the compassionate Kayyem is telling her readers is how to understand, prepare for, and react (better) to the shocks and tremors and catastrophes we know are gaining power. The climate crisis, political upheaval, war in Europe, hate crime, terrorism, gun violence, pandemics.

Many books—maybe every book—has something that requires a smart agent, a persistent rights director, an innovative scout to get those rights sold. It’s a lot of work and it lies at the very heart of the internationalism of the book business, especially as we support it here at Publishing Perspectives.

Thanks to all of you for being part of another year of Rights Roundups. We applaud all rights sales shared with us this year, and look forward to highlighting more in 2023. And when the going gets especially rough, it’s good to see the tougher deals closing.

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.

How Winston Delivered Christmas
By Alex T. Smith

  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan Children’s Books, London
  • Rights contact: Asia Mabboni, Pan Macmillan’s Children’s Books
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Slovak: Verbarium
  • Bulgarian: BG Kniga
  • German: Ars Edition
  • Greek: Psichogios
  • Hungarian: Manó Könyvek
  • Italian: Feltrinelli
  • Japanese: Ushio Publishing Co., Ltd.
  • Lithuanian: Nieko Rimto
  • Romanian: Grup Media Litera
  • Russian: Eksmo
  • Ukraine: Zhorzh PH
  • United States: Readerlink

Alex T. Smith

In How Winston Delivered Christmas: An Advent Story in 24-and-a-Half Chapters, “Winston the mouse is on a very important mission. On Christmas Eve, he finds a letter that has gotten lost on its way to Father Christmas. So with no time to lose, he sets out to deliver it himself in time for Christmas Day.

“Each chapter includes its very own festive activity for the family to enjoy together, including writing a letter to Father Christmas, making mince pies, designing one’s own Christmas cards, making presents, and creating decorations.”

The Man Who Didn’t Like Cats Anymore
By Isabelle Aupy

  • Publisher: Les Éditions du Panseur, Jassans-Riottier
  • Rights contact: Magalie Delobelle and Elsa Misson, So Far So Good
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Italian: Nord Editore, in a pre-empt
  • French pocket rights: Gallimard / Folio

Isabelle Aupy

“On an island far from the mainland, an old man recalls his island and its inhabitants as they were before.

“Before? Before the day when suddenly all the cats disappeared with no explanation and were replaced by dogs.

“Such dogs people were asked to call ‘cats.'”

The Fire
By Daniela Krien

  • Publisher: Diogenes, Zurich
  • Rights contact: Susanne Bauknecht, Diogenes
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Swedish: LB Förlag
  • Croatian: Fraktura
  • English/UK: MacLehose
  • French: Albin Michel
  • Italian: Garzanti
  • Norwegian: Press
  • Polish: Sonia Draga
  • Romanian: Humanitas Fiction
  • Russian: Foliant
  • Serbian: Booka
  • World Spanish: Vegueta

Daniela Krien

“Rahel and Peter have been married for almost 30 years. They have settled into their lives, appreciate and respect each other, and have raised two children.

“Quietly and imperceptibly at first, then with a loud bang, the love has taken its leave from their marriage.

“They embark on a summer vacation, intended to salvage what still remains between them, and to answer the question of how and with whom they want to spend their later years.”

Second Wind

By Sofie Saranbrant

  • Publisher: Cappelen Damm, Oslo
  • Rights contact: Elin Rydner, Rights and Brands
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Estonia: Kirjastus Pegasus OÜ
  • Finnish: Werner Söderström
  • Danish: People’s Press
  • Norwegian: Cappelen Damm
  • German ebook/audiobook: BookBeat
  • Polish ebook/audiobook: BookBeat
  • World English ebook/audiobook: BookBeat

Sofie Saranbrant

“The luxurious Japanese spa Yasuragi just outside of Stockholm is a haven for the stressed-out inhabitants of the capital city.

“But when four people are found dead around the resort, the serenity is broken, and there’s no denying that there must be a connection.

“The headstrong and fearless police detective, Emma Sköld, is put on the case and she soon realizes that this is no ordinary investigation. Will she be able to find the murderer before he gets another victim?”

The Bathysphere Book: Effects of the Luminous Ocean Depths 

By Brad Fox

  • Publisher: Astra House, New York City
  • Rights contact: Marleen Seegers, 2 Seas Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Italy: Ponte all Grazie, in a pre-empt
  • English, United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, excluding Canada: Pushkin Press
  • Germany: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft
  • The Netherlands: Thomas Rap, in a preempt
  • South Korea: CocoonBooks, at auction

Brad Fox

“A wide-ranging, philosophical, and sensual account of early deep sea exploration and its afterlives, The Bathysphere Book begins with the first voyage to the deep ocean in 1930 and expands to explore the adventures and entanglements of its all-too-human participants at a time when the world still felt entirely new.”

The book is called an “assemblage of brief chapters along with more than 50 full-color images, records from the original bathysphere logbooks, and the moving story of surreptitious romance between researchers William Beebe and Gloria Hollister that anchors their exploration.

“Brad Fox blurs the line between poetry and research, unearthing and rendering a visionary meeting with the unknown.”

Penélope’s Dilemma

By Jorge Zepeda Patterson

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

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Danish: DreamLitt
  • Portuguese, Brazil: Planeta
  • Portuguese, Portugal: Planeta

Jorge Zepeda Patterson

“Penélope hasn’t had it easy, but just when she’s presented with the chance to head a help center for gang members in Los Angeles, a series of attacks attributed to the Hispanic community put her at risk.

“Through her attempt to escape from a plot that involves the upper echelons of American politics, the novel explores the mechanisms of political far-right mafias in the present-day United States, behind the guise of fake news, social media, and the overall rise of anti-Latinx sentiment and other extremisms.”


By Helga Flatland

  • Publisher: H. Aschehoug, Oslo
  • Rights contact: Even Råkil, Oslo Literary Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Danish: Turbine Forlaget
  • German: HarperCollins / Ecco

Helga Flatland

“Mathilde is forced to leave her teaching position after having an affair with an 18-year-old student, and she moves to the picturesque Norwegian countryside.

“Her life becomes involved with the locals, music, and folklore.

“But underneath the friendly and pastoral surface on the farm, darker and less harmonic tones vibrate, and with Mathilde’s strong presence, cracks start appearing.”

Nika, Lotte, Mangold (series)

By Thomas Wellman

  • Publisher: Rotopol Press,
  • Rights contact: Stephanie Barrouillet, SB Agency
  • Book info: Read more here

Reported rights sales:

  • Newest – Galician: O Papagaio
  • French: Sarbacane
  • Catalan: Meraki

Thomas Wellman

“Nika is into metal, video games, and action. Lotte is super-athletic, super-accurate, and super-smart. Mangold likes to drag around stuff, has the best taste in clothes, and makes the best cannonballs.

“The three dwell in Dackeltal, where Karl dates nasty Berta, Becker’s fat cat feels misunderstood, a new tree house is built, and wild snowball battles take place in winter.

“Sometimes silly, sometimes thoughtful, and always with lots of humor, the three friends face the bigger and the smaller adventures in their lives together.”

Thomas Wellman is a comics artist and storyteller from Germany, working as a designer in animation, a story artist, and a concept artist.

Panels from comics artist and writer Thomas Wellman’s series ‘Nita, Lotte, Mangold.’ Image: Rotopol

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

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.

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.