It’s been an exciting, busy first H&S bookfair season for new rights director Hana, who has been striking deals across various titles in Poland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Brazil, France, Romania and the Netherlands, and who has collaborated with our co-agents to negotiate deals in China, Russia and Hungary. In early March she travelled to Munich to meet editors in their offices, which helped to secure a German pre-empt for Helen Fields’ THE INSTITUTION.
London Book Fair returned in turbo-charged form in April, and Caroline, Joanna and Hana met editors from all over the world during three days, with Aaminah joining in the pitching for her first ever book fair. During the fair we were fielding German and Spanish offers for Marion Gibson’s WITCHCRAFT, and deals in those languages have since been concluded at auction, with Polish rights currently under offer. Our co-agent delivered a Chinese pre-empt for Victoria Smith’s HAGS, adding to earlier Swedish and Russian deals.
It was wonderful to receive a broad array of interest from publishers across our clients’ books. Among the trends we noticed, ‘romantasy’ and queer romance are rising in popularity. Although certain editors were focussed on finding BookTok sensations for readers in their twenties, we felt that there was still a consistent appetite for contemporary commercial fiction and romantic novels for readers of all ages. More editors were on the hunt for cosy crime, but others are still buying police procedurals and standalone thrillers. Inspirational, feel-good fiction, particularly by Japanese authors and with a magical touch, has been selling extremely well for publishers in both Europe and Asia, and myth retellings have also been widely successful. The strong growth of audiobook and ebook sales in Dutch and Scandinavian markets continues, and digital editors were keen to find authors with three or four books to their names already.
On the non-fiction side, demand for books about personal development, popular psychology and sustainable living continue to have strong appeal, alongside popular science and histories told or retold from a feminist perspective. WWII memoirs are perhaps more popular than ever, with editors keen to publish these unique stories before their authors reach the end of their lives.
We’re now in an intense period of sending editors all the material requested in the book fair meetings, and hope to see many more deals in the weeks to come!