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IPR License sale bring subsidiary rights to the fore

25 April 2016

Subsidiary rights are very much in the news in this week when IPR Licensethe global, digital marketplace for authors, agents and publishers to list and license book rights; launched in 2012, whose former MD has written two articles for us, was bought by the Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two.. But don't think rights are just for publishers, the astute self-publisher also needs to have a clear handle on what might be possible.

IPR License has successfully systematised the selling of rights, both for publishers and for self-publishers, and offers an effective international service.

For publishers, subsidiary rights are the other rights which can be set alongside what the publisher's own publishing efforts achieve, a matter of selling these rights to the right publishers. Translation rights to other countries can be very important, but other rights might include serial, extract, paperback (less often sold to another publishing house these days) and ebook rights - usually kept by the publisher as part of publishing the book. Inside Publishing: Subsidiary Rights explains how this works.

This week we also have a link to an article by Lizzie Kremer of the London agency David Higham AssociatesAgents for the negotiation of all rights in fiction, general non-fiction, children's fiction and picture books, plays, film and TV scripts (home 15%, USA/translation 20%, scripts 10%). Represented in all foreign markets. Preliminary letter and return postage. All adult submissions should be typed with double line spacing on one side only of A4 paper and pages should be numbered. Be sure to include a covering letter; a full plot synopsis of the proposed book; the first two or three chapters of the book; a CV and a stamped addressed envelope. Founded 1935 about why agents are reluctant to sell world rights to international publishing groups. She's right of course but most publishers do a decent enough job of selling foreign rights, it's just that the rise of the publishing group has made it difficult to handle world rights successfully - as offering the rights inside the group is something which is encouraged from above in the interest of corporate profits, rather than necessarily being good for the book.

For self-publishers, it is worth investigating this whole area, as it may be the key to much wider audiences and developing them internationally.