Really Decent blog #1 – What we get up to at a book fair…
We soon leave for the Bologna Book Fair in March, so we thought it might be interesting to give you an idea of what we do there. It’s the 50th anniversary of the fair in 2013, so there will be a lot of celebrating and special events, but the main thing that will be be happening is rights selling to co-edition customers.
As a publisher, Really Decent Books create everything in-house with a team of creative freelancers. We then have the right to publish this work as a book. RDB have the rights to be able to sell to someone else in another country. So whilst we don’t publish in Italian, we meet with several lovely Italian publishers who would like to publish them in their country. So we agree a contract with them, and either print it for them, or organise for them to print and pay RDB a fee.
So, for Bologna 2013, Phil has 40+ pre-booked meetings with different publishers from over 20 countries… and also a few appointments with printers and licensors. Each meeting will only last a maximum of 30 minutes so the skill is to not waste time talking about books your customer doesn’t like, and to discuss the ones that they do!
In Frankfurt 2012, we were able to complete a number of rights deals for our Brazilian partner on books that had already been in discussion before the fair, and we then had lots of interest to follow up for newer books we’ll publish in 2013 when we got back to Bath.
Now the longer you’ve been selling rights, the better you understand the international markets, publishers and people within those companies. So after a few fairs, it becomes easier to know what sort of books to show to whom. Being an independent company, we are very fortunate that we can help our customers by adapting our UK titles for their markets (whether it is an artwork tweak, change in format or another set of books in a successful series for their customer base). Often the best ideas come out of one of these meetings where you get a fresh perspective on how a book should develop.
More to follow once we get to Bologna in springtime!