Hello from NYC, where I am one of eight delegates attending the Australia Council’s New York Publishers Program. Before you get jealous, I’m also bussing back and forth between the New York Rights Fair and New York BookExpo with a big bunch of Fremantle Press books. Needless to say, I’ve got my running shoes on!
Before I left Australia I participated in the Australia Council’s Visiting International Publishers program, where I had some excellent meetings with publishers, scouts and agents, mainly from the US and Europe. I also presented at the VIP industry forum, where I gained further insights into international markets from my fellow presenters. My key take-home was that small publishers’ stories around the world are similar to ours in that there is no magic recipe for what books work best in translation; but everyone agreed you always need strong characters. In advance of this trip it was also good to learn more about the blurring of upmarket fiction and literary fiction, and of the difficulty we face selling foreign memoir to the US, where there is already a glut of political memoir and non-fiction.
It’s way too early to talk about any results from the program as yet but I do have a couple of other exciting rights announcements to make instead. The Slovenian language rights to Dropping In by Geoff Havel and Saving Jazz by Kate McCaffrey have been taken by Miš založba in Slovenia while Chinese-language rights to The Hole Story by Kelly Canby have been sold to Shanghai Juvenile & Children’s Publishing House.
Happy June, everyone!