The five days of the Frankfurt Book Fair are always a busy time for us, but this year seemed especially full to me. Not only did we have our good friend Wes staying with us Wed-Sat, but we also met up with Lauren Oliver, Ka-Yam and Kathrin, scoped out the fair for Apocalypsies books, showered our foreign agent Hannah with German chocolate, and even had a few business appointments.
This is the year I finally learned what international sales reps do when I met up with Kim from Usborne. She explained to me that her job is to sell copies of books in English - including my book LEVEL TWO - into foreign markets. She told me many territories prefer to buy books that are also being published in the local language, so it helps international sales of your book into a territory if translation rights have been sold into that territory. Also at Usborne, I saw copies of Susanne Winnacker's THE OTHER LIFE (which I am currently reading) and a nice poster of it.
I also got to chat with a sub-rights agent at Penguin as part of an interview I'm doing for the SCBWI bulletin. Sub-rights agents present a publisher's list to foreign publishers hoping to sell rights in other territories. If a US publisher holds World rights to a title, their sub-rights agents handle the foreign rights. However, many times an author will only sell North American or US rights and his/her agency will handle foreign rights. These books usually won't be at a publisher's stand in Frankfurt, even if they are lead titles in the US, and interested foreign publishers will be directed to contact the agency in question about acquiring rights.
Look what books I saw on Penguin's shelf! BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood and finished copies of LEGEND by Marie Lu.
Publishers will often put together rights guides or international highlights brochures in order to give an overview of what titles have sold in which territories already. Here's the selection at Random House, including the Children's titles brochure with Lissa Price's STARTERS on the cover.
HarperCollins doesn't bring galleys of teen titles with them to the fair, but this year they had several electronic boards that displayed a revolving set of covers including upcoming titles like Elizabeth Norris' UNRAVELING.
Bloomsbury did have galleys and I was pleased to see three Apocalypsies (debut authors in 2012) represented: SCARLET by AC Gaughen, THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST by Sarvenaz Tash and BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf.
SourceBooks had DARKER STILL Leanna Renee Hieber and CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally front and center.
Kensington Teen featured a poster of A BREATH OF EYRE by Eve Marie Mont and LIVING VIOLET by Jamie Reed among others.
ABOVE by Leah Bobet was the big title at Scholastic, with a light box and galleys.
For the first time, Macmillan was giving away a stacks of galleys of four YA titles: SWITCHED by Amanda Hocking, TEMPEST by Julie Cross, AFTER THE SNOW by S.D. Crockett, and ALL THESE THINGS I'VE DONE by Gabrielle Zevin.
At Simon & Schuster, I happened to run into Ellen Hopkins who was in town to attend an awards ceremony. That was a lovely surprise!
I also walked around the German and foreign publisher halls, delighting each time I saw a foreign translation of a YA book. And guys - they were everywhere!