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Ninc Newsletter

December 2012   •  Vol. 23, No. 12   •  Download pdf version

Ninc 2012 Conference


Subsidiary Rights Workshop

Lauren Abramo (Dystel & Goderich Literary Management) and
                Elizabeth Jennings (Author)


The format of this workshop was that the speakers each gave a 10-minute presentation, then opened up the session to questions from the audience.

Author and translator Elizabeth Jennings says that living in Italy and being immersed in the local writing and reading culture of Europe has made her feel like an explorer who has discovered gold—a vast and still largely untapped market for American novels. The largest romance publisher in Europe sells books by 400 authors, and 380 of these authors are American. Although we may feel as though a huge curtain separates us from our European readers, this does not have to be the case.

Lauren Abramo, who handles foreign rights for Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, says that her job is to put the best foot forward for her agency’s clients by looking not just at how well a book sells in the U.S., but also whether the authors have ever lived abroad, if they speak a foreign language, or if they have relatives in a given country or visit there often. Therefore, any author working with a literary agent should be sure to let that agency’s foreign rights agent know of any such information that could be helpful. Many factors go into the viability of a book in a foreign market, including genre, trends, and cultural sensitivities. Success in foreign sales depends on a good knowledge of the markets, presentation, and ability to “cut through the noise” to reach the appropriate buyers.

Elizabeth explained that Europeans in France, Germany, Spain, and Italy are used to seeing American movies and are familiar with American cities, geography, and culture, which makes sales of American novels easier.

Over the past two years, a thriving community of bloggers has developed who read and review commercial fiction. The romance community is especially robust, and is attentive to American authors. Authors with a

Table of Contents

NINC 2012 Profitable Partnerships:
     NINCThink Roundtable: Going Indie or Traditional?
     Advanced Marketing Techniques
     Partnering for Quality
     NINCThink: Penny Wise, Pound Foolish
     Why Great Content Is More Important than Ever
     NINCThink: How to Work with Support Teams
President’s Voice: Transition-in-Progress
Not Your Usual Writing Advice: Number One
Writing Is Taxing: The Butterfly Effect
The Mad Scribbler: Confessions of a Bibliophile

release scheduled in one of these countries should ask their foreign publisher for a contact in their “press office,” which handles reader relations. The author can then volunteer to send a guest blog or an interview, or write a letter to readers that can be translated and posted on the publisher’s social media or passed along to the bloggers. They will more than likely be enthusiastic and delighted to hear from you, as their reader base is not used to having direct contact with American authors.

Lauren explained that foreign-rights agents in the U.S. generally work with                Continued on page 5    

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