Tag Archives: foreign rights

Author publicity tours

Author publicity trips are extremely important for promoting books abroad.  With so much going on in the UK, a lot of people are unaware of the efforts that foreign publishers make when publishing their editions.

Two of my authors went abroad for foreign publicity trips last week.  C.J. Daugherty, author of the international bestselling NIGHT SCHOOL series published by Atom/Little, Brown in the UK, and Anna-Lou Weatherley of CHELSEA WIVES published by Avon/HarperCollins.

Book signing at the Montreuil book fair in Paris

C.J. Daugherty was invited to the Paris Montreuil book fair  by her French publisher, Robert Laffont, where the response to the second book in the NIGHT SCHOOL series was fabulous.  They sent a camera crew to film her, organised a huge publicity breakfast for 35 bloggers, they had her on panel events, and held a book signing where Christi signed 200 copies.    Their edition was an Amazon bestseller for two weeks even before publication because of pre-orders.  It went into reprint on the same day it was officially released, and it has been in the top 20 on Amazon.fr among digital children’s books.  The French reviews have been hugely positive  — several girls who came up to Christi at Montreuil said they were buying it ‘because I read about it’.  Bloggers even blogged about meeting her.  Christi told me that one of the bloggers actually asked her “Can you go out in France without being recognised?”

C.J. Daugherty with her French editor Glenn Tavennec

C.J. Daugherty with her French editor Glenn Tavennec

This is testament to a great author publisher relationship.  Christi is willing to do as much as possible to promote each of her 21 editions of NIGHT SCHOOL around the world.  NIGHT SCHOOL is also a German bestseller, and remained on the charts for six consecutive weeks.  The second book in the series, NIGHT SCOOL: LEGACY, will be published in January in the UK, and we will start to see extensive review coverage in our papers and magazines.

Italian book cover

Anna-Lou Weatherley arrived in Rome on the day of the launch of the Italian edition of CHELSEA WIVES.  Her publisher, Newton Compton, cleverly changed the title to REVENGE OF THE WIVES, making it more suitable for the Italian market. Anna-Lou went for a wonderful lunch with her publisher followed by a video interview.  They’ve done an enormous marketing campaign for the book with a fabulous book trailer, a popular facebook page, excellent promotional adverts and a mini booklet of the first few chapters which is going into Italian Vanity Fair.

Italian promotional billboard for 'Revenge of the Wives'

Italian promotional billboard for ‘Revenge of the Wives’

Anna-Lou went shopping on Saturday and every bookstore she passed had rows and rows of her book in the window with huge billboards and placards. The strapline was ‘The novel all the women are talking about!’  She had her picture taken with the bookstore owners and signed copies for customers. Anna-Lou said “I was shopping in Jo Malone and got talking to the assistant and when I told her and her colleague about the book they rushed to the local store and bought copies for me to sign for them – I felt  like I was famous!!”

Here is the Italian booktrailer for REVENGE OF THE WIVES

Foreign publicity is so important.   Most foreign publishers invite authors to promote their books once they have a fan base to build on so it may be after the first book has been published.  They are intense trips but great fun for authors and really help to build profile and sales.

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‘Frankfurt book of the Fair’ author, C.J. Daugherty, talks to us about NIGHT SCHOOL

C.J. Daugherty, author of the hottest Young Adult début at the Frankfurt book fair 2011, is here to talk about her international success so far.  NIGHT SCHOOL, the first in a series, was published in the UK by Atom / Little, Brown in January to great critical acclaim.  

Rights have already been bought by 17 different publishers who will each produce their own edition.  NIGHT SCHOOL will be published in the US next summer, and foreign editions will be published both this year and next.  Having worked for Frommer’s Travel Guides, Christi is now a fulltime fiction writer.  She gives us an exclusive insight into her life as a writer and her reaction to the international success of NIGHT SCHOOL so far.

        

 

At the Frankfurt Book Fair 2011, NIGHT SCHOOL was the hottest Young Adult book pitched to publishers around the world, and translation rights were bought by 17 different foreign publishers.  How does it make you feel to have so many editions of your book?

I’ve always dreamed of this, so to have it actually happen is thrilling! The first translations are being published now – so, aside from the UK and Commonwealth countries, Night School is only out so far in Spain and France, but I’ve seen the advance covers for the editions in The Netherlands and Germany, and they look gorgeous.

Why do you think NIGHT SCHOOL has this international appeal?

I suppose there are two things. First, the timeless attraction of the British boarding school. This is always fascinating, especially to those of us who attended ordinary state schools. It seems extraordinary to go away from home so early and be put into the care of strangers. It’s so far from most people’s experiences that we become fascinated by it. There’s a mixture of romance and terror to it.

Then there’s the idea of trust — which is universal. My main character, Allie, discovers she’s been lied to by her family and friends, and so loses her ability to trust anyone. She begins to wonder if she can tell the difference between a truth and a lie. Anybody who’s ever been betrayed by someone they trusted knows what that feels like. It’s like the ground shifts beneath your feet, and just for a second you wonder if there’s any honesty in the world. I think we can all relate to that.

Who is your favourite foreign publisher?

NO! Don’t make me pick. I love them ALL.

Are your books published simultaneously around the world?

Each publisher has its own publication date based on its own publishing schedule that they think is most likely to ensure that buyers will discover the book. As I’m a debut writer without name recognition, this is very important. So it comes out at different times in different countries. Book 2 in the series will be out in the UK before Book 1 comes out in the US, for example.

NIGHT SCHOOL is published by Atom in the UK and yet the US edition is going to be published by HarperCollins in the US in 2013 – do they have different visions for your book?

I wouldn’t say their visions are very different, but we did do a separate edit for the US market. This was mostly to Americanise it a bit, so that words and phrases that are too ‘English’ don’t confuse readers. For example, Americans don’t use the word ‘skip’ to refer to a garbage container at a building site. And the word ‘jumper’ means ‘child’s dress’ in the US but ‘sweater’ in the UK.  Beyond that we made a few minor structural changes — the start of the book is shorter in the US than in the UK. But in all other ways it’s the same book.

Does each foreign publisher organise the translations of the manuscript themselves?

Yes they do, and so far, I’m very happy with them!  Agents choose foreign publishers for their clients in part based on their reputation for producing quality translations. So to that extent, we then rely on the publishers to translate the book well. A few translators working on my book have been in touch to make sure they’re getting certain words just right, and I love that attention to detail!  There’s no German word for ‘summer house’ for example, so I sent the translator photos of summer houses so she could know which German word to use. Slang and colloquialisms have to be changed to the local equivalent as well. The translators I’ve worked with have been super diligent. And I admire them tremendously! The intricate language knowledge you need to translate an entire book is incredible.

What do you feel about the different foreign covers and interpretations for your book?

I love discovering each publisher’s take on Night School! The Dutch cover is somehow delicate and gives the impression of vulnerability. The German cover is very mysterious and classic. The American cover is still being designed but so far it looks thrilling! And the UK, Spain and French covers — which are the same — highlight Allie’s anger and wounded soul beautifully. I can’t wait to see the rest.

Does each foreign publisher use the same title?

Most of them are using ‘Night School’. But in some cases they can’t. Sometimes the phrase doesn’t have the same meaning when translated into a particular language. Sometimes there’s another book with the same title coming out at the same time. The Dutch publisher translated the title as ‘Society of the Night’. The Polish title will be ‘The Chosen Ones’.

Do you enjoy publicity events and signings? 

I do enjoy them — I love meeting readers because I’m one myself!  Events can be amazing — I firmly believe that people who like Night School are the loveliest, funniest people you’ll ever meet. So getting a chance to talk with them in person is always brilliant. But I’m careful not to do too many because I think you can end up running from one event to another, and suddenly find you don’t have any time to write. And taking long, luxuriant time to write is the best part of being a writer!

How important is your website and social media in getting new readers?

It’s so important to have a web presence. It’s the modern telephone. Through Twitter, Facebook and my blog I talk every single day with readers and book bloggers. It not only allows them to keep up with me, but it’s a two-way street — it allows me to keep up with THEM, which is just as important. I want to know the latest books out there, and the hot new writers. And at the same time, I want to be able to show off the new covers for the book, let people know where I’ll be signing, and just generally gab about the weather when I’m procrastinating. Procrastination is the mother-in-law of writing, you know.

Which books influenced you when writing this series?

I am always influenced by Cassandra Clare — her Mortal Instruments series combines the thriller and romance genres so skilfully. I also very much liked the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. And, of course, Twilight. But I was, if anything, more influenced by TV series. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a big influence on me,  as was Firefly (so, basically, anything by Joss Whedon) and the Gilmore Girls. The teenagers I know are irreverent and funny, and I want my books to reflect that. Whedon and Amy Sherman-Palladino (who made Gilmore Girls) are writers as well as directors and producers, and they both always get that tone just right.

How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I probably spend five hours of an average day just sitting at the table writing.

How much time do you spend on self-promotion?

About the same amount. About four to five hours. I usually spend the morning answering email, tweeting, updating my blog or Facebook page. And answering questionnaires like this one!   I spend afternoons and early evenings writing and revising.

How long do you have to write the second book in the series?

The first draft of the second book is completed and I’m now working on the first revision. Writing it took about four and a half months. Revising it will probably take a couple of months. I expect it to be fully complete by the end of July.

How many more books are you writing in the NIGHT SCHOOL series?

I envision the full series as five books.

Can you give us a hint about what happens next?

First of all *THIS ANSWER CONTAINS SPOILERS* So if you haven’t finished reading Night School stop now and skip to the next question!

Allie has a lot to process at the end of Book 1. She’s found out that her family are not who she thought they were, and she knows her mother lied to her. In Book 2 she will learn who the mysterious Lucinda is. She’ll find out why Nathaniel is after her, and she’ll learn more about what happened to her brother, Christopher. She’ll also see Night School from the inside, and this could change how she feels about it. Most importantly, she will get stronger. And, since knowledge is power, she’ll be better able to take care of her herself. She’s tired of being rescued.

Do you feel that YA fiction will continue to be as popular and have the same crossover appeal as series such as TWILIGHT and THE HUNGER GAMES?

Absolutely. I feel that Twilight opened the Pandora’s box of YA, and now it will not be closed again. People — not just young people, but adults, too — are buying these books in droves, so I cannot imagine publishers ever stopping. I think the attraction of YA goes beyond the obvious books-geared-at-teens thing. I think YA is attractive because it is an area in which publishers allow — even encourage — writers to bust traditional genres.  I’m relishing the freedom YA gives me to take chances with my characters. To write thrilling chase scenes and violent fights, and hot-and-heavy love scenes.

Where can I buy my copy of NIGHT SCHOOL? 

My website has links to all the online book stores: http://www.cjdaugherty.com/

You can buy it here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Night-School-C-J-Daugherty/dp/1907411216/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336736105&sr=8-1

And here: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/c-+j-+daugherty/night+school/8556473/

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The editor – author relationship

 C.J Daugherty first submitted her manuscript, NIGHT SCHOOL, back in January 2011.  We worked on it editorially for the first few months before I submitted exclusively to Stephenie Meyer’s UK editor, Sam Smith at Atom / Little Brown.  From the moment I read the manuscript I knew she would be the right editor and that Christi and Sam would be a match made in heaven.  Never underestimate the importance of the editor – author relationship.  In terms of long-term success it is just as important than the advance, if not more so.  The editor has to be as passionate as you and the author as they will champion the author for years to come within their publishing company winning over all key support and battle their author to the top for years to come.

At the Frankfurt Book Fair 2011, foreign rights in NIGHT SCHOOL were acquired by 14 different foreign publishers from around the world.  The US rights were acquired by Katherine Tegen at HarperCollins in a high six figure deal at auction.

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The creator of Jack Reacher

Our bestselling thriller writer, Lee Child, is awarded an honorary degree from De Montfort University in Leicester.  Watch fabulous coverage here, including his advice to students: ‘read now, read 10,000 books then start writing’ and, it’s never too late for the rest of us: ‘You’re looking at a guy who was 40 years old before he figured out what he was supposed to do’.

Lee has just won the 2011 Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year Award for his 14th instalment, 61 Hours, in his bestselling Jack Reacher series.  Lee’s books have sold more than 50m copies worldwide, and we have sold translation rights in more than 40 languages.

If you’d like to join my Jack Reacher Recruits group on facebook, click here!

My advice to new writers – create a great character.  Lee has done it with Jack Reacher.   Think James Bond, Harry Potter, all the great superheroes and  all the characters in Shakespeare and Dickens…

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Filed under agent, author, bestseller, foreign rights, Interview, Jack Reacher, Lee Child, thrillers, translation rights