The Global Book Agency is a full-service literary
agency founded to bridge the gap between literary property
owners and foreign-language publishers. By understanding the
intricacies of the foreign-language marketplace and through
close personal contacts with publishers around the world, TGBA
enables its clients to retain complete control over their
intellectual property while taking advantage of a vast and
virtually untapped literary market. TGBA is committed to
complete fiduciary integrity, transparency and the business
ethics for our clients.
TGBA foreign publication rights are handled by a network of
skilled subsidiary rights agents across the world. The
principals of the Global Book Agency have successfully
assisted with licensing rights in China, Germany, Australia,
and Italy, to name just a few.
For more information please email ForeignRights@TheGlobalBookAgency.com
Exports Crichton to China; Acquires More Local Titles
By Rachel Deahl
HarperCollins is bringing Michael Crichton to readers in
China. The publisher has teamed with the Jilin Publishing
Group to release a number of Chinese-language editions of
Crichton's books, the first of which, Next, is being
released in trade paperback there this month. Following Next
Jilin and HC will release Chinese- language editions of The
Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery and Airframe.
HC president worldwide, Brian Murray, who made the Crichton
announcement this morning in Beijing, also said the publisher
is acquiring two titles in a series from local bestseller,
Hongying Yang. (The publisher bought world rights to eight
books by the author at the Beijing Book Fair in 2007.) The
series, Diary of a Smiling Cat for readers 7-9, was acquired
from Tomorrow Publishing House and will be published by HC
simultaneously in English worldwide. According to HC, the
books, which follow a talking cat that communicates with its
owner and were published in China in 2006, have already sold
over 3 million copies in the country. HC will begin publishing
Yang's Ho's Mischief series in spring 2008.
The moves are part of the house's growing expansion into
China, which began back in 2006.
Author John Penberthy of Boulder, Colorado, US,
created Panorama Press to publish his allegory about the
search for God entitled "To Bee or Not To Bee".
He expected that the book, published in 2006, would sell
easily on the Internet, but he quickly learned how difficult
that could be. Rather than waste time waiting for sales to
come in via his Web site, he shifted his efforts. To draw
attention to the book, he began marketing it by giving it away
and marketing it in every forum he could find that would give
attention to the book.
Since then, he’s found a conventional publisher for the
book. Sterling bought the worldwide English language rights
and is scheduled to publish it in December as a hardback. (It
was initially a paperback when published by Panorama.) In
addition, he’s successfully sold foreign rights in Korean,
Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovenian and Chinese (both
complicated and simplified) for $40,000. His agents are still
seeking to sell other foreign rights.
To Bee or Not To Bee is a clever allegory featuring Buzz
Bee, who doesn’t quite fit into the conventional thinking in
the hive. He can’t understand why the other bees work all
the time, when the hive is adequately provisioned. Nor does he
understand why the bees look down on the ants as a lower form
of life, or why they are willing to sacrifice their lives to
attack a hungry bear when it would be easier to relocate the
hive to a safer place. But most of all, Buzz yearns to
understand God, a quest in which he is helped along by an
older and wiser Bert Bee, who is something of a mystic.
How did he attract agents to sell the foreign rights for
$40,000? According to an interview he did with Penny
Sansevieri, he e-mailed a number of agents. “I wrote a brief
two-paragraph letter with a link to my 60-second trailer,”
he said. “So they could tell very quickly if it was
something they might be interested in. At the end of the
trailer was a link to my site, where I offered the e-book
version for free as a way of generating buzz. Interested
agents could then read a few chapters to see if they wanted to
request a hard copy.”
As part of his research, Penberthy located 15 Web sites
that list well over 100 foreign rights agents around the world
along with their e-mail addresses. That made the job of
tracking down agents much easier.
Once he got an e-mail reply from an interested agent, he
would send two things – a copy of the book and a detailed
cover letter explaining the book, its uniqueness and market
appeal and its track record.
His first deal, for Korean rights, was signed within a
month after he sent the agent the book, and the Korean edition
was published three months after that. His second deal, for
Italian rights, took about two months because the agent took
it to the Frankfurt Book Fair soon after she received the
book. The Spanish and Portuguese rights took about six months
to sell, again at a book fair.
If you’re interested in who sold specific rights, Korean
rights were sold by the Best Agency; Italian, Spanish and
Portuguese rights by Guillermo Schavelzon & Associates;
China rights by Vantage Copyright Agency; and rights in Taiwan
by Jia Xi Books.
Can authors expect to be reliably paid for foreign rights?
“For the advance you've got leverage because you don't email
the manuscript file until you get the advance,” Penberthy
told Sansevieri. “But for royalties, once the advance is
paid back it can be dicey, depending upon the quality of the
agents and size of the publishers you're working with. My
Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese contracts were
secured by established agencies with large publishers. They
provide computerized sales reports and are very legit.
Publishers in Asia and Eastern Europe can be more problematic,
depending on their size and reputation. Many of these
countries have only recently signed the international
copyright agreements and some of the more marginal publishers
still don't feel they need to comply with them.“