experience, attitude, enthusiasm, and boundless optimism

Ich bin ein Literary Agent

The publishing world, aside from being up in arms at the thought that Random House may have been right in canceling the US publication of The Jewel of Medina, is getting ready for the 60th Annual Frankfurt Book Fair. Frankfurt, as it’s oh-so-casually called, is the big international book fair and takes place every fall. Thousands of publishers from around the world gather in something like 10 giant conference centers — so big they literally need a shuttle bus to get from one end of the fair to the other. For literary agents, most of the fair takes place in the Rights Center, an enormous room lined with tables around which agents and rights people meet with a new person every half-hour through the days of the fair, pitching them on their hot projects of the season.
Now, I’m not headed to Frankfurt myself this fall, but my international representatives will be there, and they’ll each have a copy of my rights list, which features upcoming kt literary titles, giving a little information about each book, showing off the cover, and letting possible foreign publishers know what’s available in terms of both material and territories. Maureen Johnson’s Suite Scarlett, for instance, which we’ll still be talking about, has already sold in Holland and France, so we’ll be concentrating on other territories. Matthew Cody‘s Powerless, which will be published next fall, has a final manuscript available now, so publishers who may have heard something about it when it was first sold now have something they can look at. And S. Terrell French’s Operation Redwood has a gorgeous cover design, hot off the presses, so we’ll be showing that off, too.
There’s a lot of talk about the “hot book” of Frankfurt, the one title EVERYONE will be talking about, but I’ve learned in past years that mostly, there’s not ONE book — there’s lots. Here’s hoping ours will be on that hot list!

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