The Cambridge Rights team are now on day three of another packed and productive London Book Fair.
This is my seventh visit to the London Book Fair as part of the team, and the buzz of the atmosphere has lost none of its appeal. Rights professionals are always among the earliest in to the fair and the excitement of setting up your area and welcoming your first meeting to the table as the aisles begin to fill is one of the highlights of my annual calendar.
As the day flashes past in a blur of meetings with faces familiar and new, it is easy to forget just how much preparation has gone into the event, and just how much of our success is dependent on it.
As we collect our things when the halls are once more quiet and head home for the evening, it is with relief that even in these precarious economic and political times – not to mention the constant and ever emerging changes in the publishing industry – our publishing partners are still willing to travel to London to sit down with us and select titles for translation that are among the best scholarly publishing in the world.
As Andrew wrote in his post from Earls Court on the first day of LBF 2014, the rights team will have held around 60 individual meetings over the course of the fair, with publishers from the four corners of the globe.
During these meetings, interest in Cambridge titles both old and new have been taken, as we publicise our pick of those coming in 2014 and meet with publishers new to us that may not know all of the highlights of our extensive backlist (link 4). It is our job to fit the right title with the right publisher for translation, and then to agree terms of contract which are both reasonable and fairly reflect the quality of the work of our authors.
Popular titles so far include:
This last work in particular has attracted a lot of Press attention (including the Times Higher Education, and The Independent) in the lead up to publication and we anticipate plenty more global interest to come.
“Korean publishers have seen moderate growth in the market this year in line with the general economic upturn in the country”
The country of focus this year is South Korea, and we have been pleased to welcome several of our friends from Korean publishing houses to the Cambridge stand.
Reitha Pattison, Rights Sales and Projects Manager reports that Korean publishers “have seen moderate growth in the market this year in line with the general economic upturn in the country, and they are focussed on increasing their publishing levels to take advantage of this. E-book sales are still very low in the country, although the current swathe of reading devices is readily available, and publishers are only just cautiously moving to digitisation”.
Turkey was the country of focus in 2013 and it is very pleasing to see that there is no slow-down in the number of publishers attending from this part of the world. Cambridge has recently published Debating Turkish Modernity by Mehmet Döşemeci, which also proved to be a hit this fair. A lucrative deal with one of our Arabic partners was also finalised, continuing a fruitful new relationship established at last year’s event.
The importance (and pleasure!) of meeting with our publishers face to face in this arena cannot be underestimated, and we look forward seeing everyone again in 2015 at Olympia.