26 Tips for Licensing International Rights
The Atascadero, Calif.-based publisher of psychology and self-improvement books has licensed 60 titles for translation and has titles published in 29 languages.
Trumbull promotes the titles by regularly sending out catalogs to a list of several hundred publishers and agents around the world. Impact Publishers also displays its titles at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The fair, held in Germany each October, is billed as the world’s largest book fair with more than 7,000 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, and as “the most important trading center in the world for rights and licences,” according to the show’s Web site, www.Buchmesse.de/en/portal.php.
Language and distance are the biggest hurdles to selling rights, Trumbull says. “Being able to communicate via e-mail is so nice and really speeds up the process. When things went via regular mail it would take months and months to conclude a transaction.”
Dorothy Smyk, director of foreign and subsidiary rights for New Harbinger Publications, Inc., has attended the Frankfurt Book Fair for the last 15 years.
“The foreign market has been quite lucrative for New Harbinger,” Smyk says. “Self-help and psychology books seem to be in great demand.” The Oakland, Calif.-based publishing company currently has book titles licensed in 25 countries.
“We continue to explore various languages and countries while in Frankfurt,” Smyk says. She is looking for opportunities to increase international licensing in countries where New Harbinger, which publishes 45 titles annually, already has a presence. She is also looking for countries where international licensing rights “have remained untapped for us,” Smyk says.
Cathy Calliotte, marketing and international rights director at Gryphon House Inc. in Beltsville, Md., has attended the Frankfurt Book Fair for the past 12 years. Gryphon House publishes about 20 titles each year for parents, teachers and children. Calliotte says she uses the programs provided by book fairs to find new publishers in Gryphon House’s niche market, which consists of early-childhood educational publishers.