This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
by Anna Bell
When I dreamt of being published I naively assumed that seeing your book on the shelf was where the story ended. I’ve been really pleasantly surprised to learn this isn’t the case. This week Don’t Tell the Groom – or Non Ditelo allo Sposo – was released in Italy, which makes me wonder, are rights deals the gift that keeps on giving?
When my agent was negotiating my first deal I felt like I was given a crash course in publishing rights. I sold World English rights to my publisher, the audiobook/large print rights to a specialist publisher and kept my foreign rights for my literary agency to sell. It meant I took a lower offer with my publisher than I would have done if I’d accepted world rights, but it was a gamble in the hope that my agency would get foreign deals. I’m lucky so far that I’ve been able to get Italian and Dutch deals.
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It’s strange seeing Don’t Tell the Groom released again two years on from its original publication. The UK paperback is winding down, selling at the bargain price of £2 on Amazon, but with it coming out in Italy, it feels to me as if it has been given a new lease of life. It’s strange seeing my book in a language I can’t understand, but it did give me goose pimples trying to read the dedication to my husband as it made it sound more heart-felt and romantic. And it’s a hardback edition – my very first hardback!
It has also been strange revisiting PR questions for the book. I’ve had to remember what happened and not to add too many spoilers from the rest of the series. I’ve been really excited to see my interviews and reviews of my book in eminent publications like Italian Cosmopolitan and the Metro and websites like Style.IT (part of Vanity Fair).It’s funny as although I’m just about to release my third book in the UK, there seems to have been a lot more interest from my friends and family in my translated versions. I showed a neighbour the Italian copy of my book and she was really impressed by it. It was as if I’d somehow been validated as an author now that I’ve been published in other countries. It’s a view that seems to have been echoed on my personal Facebook page, with my friends and family thinking that it was a great achievement.
For authors, foreign rights can be a great way to increase your earnings without having to do any extra work. After all, you’ve already finished the manuscript and it gets sent away for your translator to deal with. I’m hoping the publishers in Italy and Holland that bought Don’t Tell the Groom will go on to buy the next two books in the series. I can also dare to dream that it gets published in other countries like France and Germany too!
So, if you’re in a position to negotiate a rights deal for your book, don’t sign everything away in desperation. Make sure you know what you’re signing and trust the advice of your agent during the negotiations.
Have you had a foreign rights deal? Or did you find your publisher did a good job of getting you foreign rights deals? Were you published abroad before you were published in the UK?