Rights and Special-Markets Sales Can Be Big Contributors to Success

September 2004
by Linda Carlson

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Most book publishers start out small. Seattle’s Fred and Elizabeth Crary were no different. She wrote Parenting Press’s first book on the dining table in 1979 and he typed it on a home-built 60K PC. They and their two young children packed books and labeled flyers on the living room floor.

What was different, however, was that Without Spanking or Spoiling, Elizabeth Crary’s how-to parenting guide, sold like the proverbial hotcakes. It launched a company that is celebrating its 25th anniversary, with all but four of its 86 books still in print. Why has the Crarys’ Parenting Press succeeded? Among the important reasons: sales of foreign and book-club rights and special-market sales.

Some of these sales are modest, but overall they are a growing source of income for Parenting Press. They include sales of translation rights, school book-club rights, and children’s book-club rights, along with sales to the education market for books to be used as supplements to texts; and sales to such special markets as Books Are Fun (a Reader’s Digest subsidiary) and Discovery Toys. Two other kinds of sales that Parenting Press hopes to generate soon are school-based book-fair sales and premium sales. Because the press issues almost all its books as trade paperbacks, it does not attempt to sell reprint rights for that format.

Generating Interest Overseas

Parenting Press got into the foreign rights business almost immediately…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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