Monday, June 15, 2009

How I Got 101 Book Deals Around the World

Arab Edition of The Lazy Person's Guide to Success
This book has been published in Chinese traditional characters, Chinese simplified characters, Korean, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese (in Brazil), Spanish, French, Indonesian, Arab, and English. It will soon be published in Bulgarian.
It has sold around 75,000 copies and has earned me over $87,000 in pretax profit, mainly from foreign rights.
I received the following e-mail the other day:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: FRA
    To: vip-books (at) telus (dot)net
    Sent: 2009 5:20 PM
    Subject: to
    Ernie Zelinski - about books


    I am a writer too. I wrote 4 books using my name a 1 using a pseudonym. If possible please write 2 or 3 lines about how you sold the rights yourself so that I can try the same. Didn't you hire an agent to go to Frankfurt or to sell rights for you? Didn't you pay any service (such as a mag) to place an ad about your books? Did you contact publishers directly? Didn't you go to other fairs such as the US and London? Did you publish anything where you explain this in details? (ebook etc.)


    Fabio Araujo

This was my response:

    Sent: 2009 7:26 PM
    Subject: Foreign Rights Sales

    Hello Fabio:

    First, I have never been to the Frankfurt Book Fair and have no plans to go, even though this is where the foreign rights deals are supposed to be made.

    I first started selling foreign rights when foreign publishers started contacting me. I made the mistake of turning my first 4 or so inquiries to an agent in Montreal.

    I fired the agent when I turned over an inquiry from a Spanish publisher to him and he didn't do anything with it for a month.

    I still use agents in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. For European rights, I normally have not used an agent, although I am using one for 3 of my books that will soon be published by a Bulgarian publisher. I don't use an agent for South America.

    In short, my foreign rights sales come from publishers contacting me and from my sending out my books to foreign publishers that may be interested in my books.
    Regarding a distributor for my books, I won't have any problem since I sent out 2 of my books to the 7 top distributors in the U.S. and 5 have shown an interest so far.

No comments:

Post a Comment