26 Tips for Licensing International Rights
“Wide open and full of potential” is how Anne Landa, rights and exports manager for Sourcebooks Inc., characterizes the market for licensing international rights.
“It is simply about placing the right books with the right people and seeing the whole thing through,” Landa—who works out of her home office in San Diego, Calif.—says about selling licensing rights to publishers around the globe for Sourcebooks.
International licensing rights increased 20 percent last year at the Naperville, Ill.-based publisher. Sourcebooks, an independent publisher of more than 900 trade titles, has had books translated into 36 languages and published in 34 countries. Landa says she expects the upward trend to continue through this year.
One of Landa’s main objectives is to let international publishers know that Sourcebooks exists. She wants publishers to know which books are available and which books will be available soon. She says she seeks out publishers within similar publishing categories. She then combines mailings and e-mails with personal appointments at book fairs. She follows up with what she describes as a “dedicated systematic follow up.”
“We have a very strong client list and work with great agents to ensure that the publishers we work with are viable and the right fit for Sourcebooks,” Landa says.
“There are obvious geographical and practical difficulties, which can be overcome by good local agents and e-mail organization, with prompt communication.”
Each country’s population, economy, social and political issues are all factors that need to be considered when marketing and licensing international rights, says Jean Trumbull, associate publisher and international rights director at Impact Publishers Inc., an independent, professional publisher of 10 titles per year.
“There is so much variety and so many issues that come into play,” Trumbull says. “Publishers in Japan and Germany, for example, are able to pay more for an advance, while publishers in Eastern Europe have a tighter budget. Additionally, a topic of concern in one country may not even be addressed in another country.”