How to Sell Foreign Rights – Promotion

To maximize discoverability and eventually, profits, it is necessary to allow two different strands of promotion to run simultaneously – one focused on book sales and the other on foreign rights sales.

Increase in general sales revenue


The importance of selling foreign rights resides in the fact that it constitutes an important revenue stream for publishers and authors. It also achieves international acclaim which in turn reinforces the credibility and discoverability of literary works.

Some genres lend themselves more to the foreign rights market than others, such as non-fiction titles in areas of business and personal development. However, there are many great initiatives taking place all over the world in translation and literary centres to support the translation and adaptation of literary works; fiction and poetry.

Translation and Adaptation

Many cultural institutions offer grants to cover translation costs and when this is the not the case, translation costs are traditionally covered by the foreign publisher.


In April 2013, I attended what was to be one of the last public readings from Irish poet Seamus Heaney – an event which marked the opening of The Centre for Literary Translation in Trinity College, Dublin. Heaney was joined by 9 translators, each of whom had translated a selection of his poems into their native languages, which were then published in their respective countries. I was immediately instilled with a sense of pride stemming from that fact that poetry set in Ireland could be understood and enjoyed in different languages all over the world. It is an honour for me to be involved in the work our agency carries out to ensure the promotion of North American titles overseas.


Lost in content

Certain tools can be used online to make sure the right information is received in the right way and at the right time. I personally find that Facebook Interest Lists are an excellent way to stay up to date on what various publishers are up to all over the world. The more conventional RSS feeds for the bigger blogs seem to do the trick and Pinterest is definitely starting to make its mark in the world of book marketing.

The reason it’s important to examine these possibilities and find out which one is most suitable for your needs is that the internet is a vast place where content gets lost very quickly – never to resurface.

Promotional materials

The content you share on these mediums is also very important. With increased content, publishers do not have time to read long texts copied and pasted from various sources. Industry professionals know what they want! Information needs to be conveyed in a concise, accurate and visually stimulating manner in order to filter out titles that may not be of interest to a particular publisher.

promo1The promotional material we produce is constantly developing and we collaborate on promotional documents, each contributing important components; content, design, marketing ideas, selling points etc. These documents are then distributed  by our network of agents who ensure that all prospective foreign publishers receive a copy.

International Book Fairs

In addition to this ongoing promotion online, we cannot stress how important it is to participate in International Book Fairs. The fairs place a special importance on the exchange of foreign rights, with International Rights Directors Meetings and halls and conferences dedicated to promoting new partnerships between publishers worldwide.

For more information on how you can benefit from our promotional services, CONTACT ME >>

To participate in International Book Fairs, register your interest HERE >>