Sunday, March 22, 2009

Foreign Rights Sales

My work has been published in several languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Greek and others. A few months back, Blogging Heroes sold to publisher AcornLoft in Korea, where it was published in Korean. An image of the Korean edition cover appears here.

What's does a foreign rights sale mean for the author? Normally, half the money--which is okay because it is normally the English-language publisher's foreign rights department that does all the work.

The amount of money and how it's paid varies. Sometimes you get a flat rate payment for the translation rights. In 1990, for example, a Spanish-language publisher paid $5,000 for the right to publish a book in Spanish. I got $2,500, and several copies of the book. In other deals, the foreign publisher paid a few thousand dollars as an advance against anticipated royalties that the book would earn.

An agent who works directly with foreign publishers or agents may get you a better split.

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