Selling Books Overseas

I love seeing our titles translated into multiple foreign languages and enjoyed by children around the world.  While all our books are of high quality, not all of them will work in all countries. Here are a few interesting things I’ve learned about selling our titles at international book fairs:

  • Science and math titles always get the attention of both rights agents and distributors, especially in the East-Asian market.  All I need to do is flip to the catalog page featuring a new Robert E. Wells title and a contract will be signed within months.

    What's So Special about Planet Earth? in Spanish
  • American holiday titles and illustration styles considered “American”, however, generally do not stir interest overseas.
  • Surprisingly, we have some interest in the Korean market for African American titles for they see those as encouraging, obstacle-overcoming lessons.
  • Speaking of Korean market, our title of Princess K.I.M. and the Lie That Grew put a smile on all the Korean publishers’ faces when it was first presented.  Why?  Because Kim is a very popular surname in Korea!

    Princess K.I.M. and the Lie That Grew in Korean
  • New born babies and titles on siblings are generally not too popular in China due to the One Child Policy.
  • Muslim regions do not accept any stories with pigs in them.
  • In general, illustrated animal characters sell.  The cuter they are, the more sample review copies are requested. 

    When I Feel Sad in Chinese
  • We also learned throughout the years that bunnies do particularly well in Germany.

Do you know of any other fun facts that I missed?  Feel free to share them with us!

Selling Books Overseas