Want to Sell More of Your Books?
Foreign Rights as well as translations into other languages can be a great way to leverage the value of your manuscript – but don’t expect big numbers right away. Revenue will be an advance and approximately 6 - 10% royalty of the retail price, minus percentage for the agent. It's also a long-term project as it takes around 18 months until the book is translated and finally available online and in bookstores abroad.
Contact Foreign Publishers via Book Fairs or an Agent
Before signing a contract with an agent or a publisher, how can an author tell if the company is good with foreign rights? Ask about their previous sales! Contact authors who work with that publisher or agent and ask them about their experience. It’s also possible to find out the name of foreign publishers and go to their web sites and see what books they have recently published.
Writer Beware - Carefully Check Out the Agency!
Find out what authors the agency represents overseas, then ask those authors about their own experiences. Again, foreign rights are only a portion of an author’s income, so that’s something to bear in mind. Check your agreement with a translations rights agent carefully. Never, ever! give world rights away as standard, and you should also insist in a large upfront payment instead of higher royalty. The advance is what you get now, while royalties may trigger in over future years, and if something goes wrong with the publisher, you have at least the advance.
A foreign rights deal is an absolutely fantastic way to increase revenue while taking your content “Global”.
More Resources for Foreign Rights:
How You Can Sell your Rights or Split Your Book into Single Articles: http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/why-you-should-split-your-book-apart/
In Gwen Ellery’s article are tips from foreign agents about the cultural difference – something very important! http://www.gwenellery.com/your-books-foreign-rights/
John Penberthy, a successful writer, who searched the internet, found contact addresses of agents in other countries and contacted them directly. http://axiomawards.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/selling-foreign-rights-around-the-world/
Morris Rosenthal gives also great, detailed tips in his article about book contracts. http://www.fonerbooks.com/contract.htm