Director’s Desk:
How Do I Know

September 2003
by Jan Nathan, Executive Director, PMA

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Each day, I receive many calls from our members asking if one of our marketing programs is right for them. A typical question is “How do I know if my book will sell into the library market?” And since Frankfurt is right around the corner (October 8-13), another frequent question I hear is “How do I know if my book is right for international rights?”


What Does — and Doesn’t — Sell Overseas

Addressing the latter question first (since it’s a bit easier to answer than the first and probably more pressing on members’ minds right now), I can give you some parameters.

A book is not salable in the foreign rights market if it’s too American, and by that I mean if the text within your book contains too many references to things found only in the U.S., such as “dollars”; recipes that use cups, teaspoons, etc.; pictures of U.S. people; mentions of places in the U.S.; or systems found only within the U.S.

While we can be wrong in the assessment of a book, our advice is usually right when we say the book doesn’t have a chance at Frankfurt. When people call and describe their book, I am as frank as I can be and I advise many people to save their money and not send their books to the Frankfurt Book Fair. When talking with our contacts overseas, we don’t want to have books that will be dismissed by the agents; we want to have books that will be considered. So look at your bo…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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