I got a nice surprise out of the blue last week. I received a letter from O’Brien Press, my dead-tree book publishers from my time in Ireland, telling me that they had sold the rights of my Anna’s Secret Granny to Rageot in Paris. I’m especially flattered since Rageot, a well known publisher, makes quite a thing about mainly publishing works by French authors, only taking on 20-30% of its market from foreign authors. But I’m one of them! I wrote Anna in 2000 so it really is nice to give the book a new lease of life twelve years later.
The French-language version will be hitting the world later this year. It will mean a boost in royalties too (at least, I hope so!) and exposure to a new market. Rageot has only bought the text so the book will have a lively, fresh look for the French market. French books generally have rather quirky artwork. Rageot will be doing its own translation. I hope they pick up all the humour that’s there.
There are two types of foreign rights sales. One is like mine, where a foreign publisher buys and translates the work, and the other is where a foreign publisher distributes an English title in a country where the book’s original publisher cannot do so. They can consist of a one-off payment or royalties.
Generally, it’s said that France will buy literary fiction from foreign publishers, Italy will buy women’s fiction while Brazil goes for dog and inspirational books!
If the idea of selling rights to a foreign publisher for your book seems appealing, take a look at this interesting article.