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Book Marketing Tip of the Week
May 13, 2009: African-Americans Bestseller Day, Birthday of the Yuppie, Cough Drop Day, I Just Called to Say I Love You Day, Leprechaun Day, U.S. Olympics Day

Details on these days — and 18,500 others! — can be found in
John Kremer's Celebrate Today Special Events Data Files.

In this issue . . .
-- BookExpo America in New York City
-- specialty retailers
-- reader success story: selling foreign rights

BookExpo America in New York City
Note: I will not be attending BookExpo America in New York City this year. I had planned to attend, but have had to cancel due to other pressing needs (personal and professional).

But I do hope to share the experience of the convention with all of you who attend. If you tweet, tweet your experiences and plans for BEA to @BookExpo. Then you can share your tweets with all other attendees via

Use @bookexpo to tweet your location at the convention, parties, giveaways, etc. Then see what others are doing by visiting the tinker page for BookExpo noted above.

specialty retailers
Here are a few more specialty retailers who sell books . . .

Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, 114 S Main Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104;734-665-2757. Email: Web: Tweet @crazywisdomA2. A progressive
bookstore specializing in spirituality, psychology, & integrative medicine.

Creatures 'n Crooks Bookshoppe, Lelie Taylor, 3156 W Cary Street, Cary Court Park & Shop, Richmond, Virginia 23221; 804-340-0277; 888-533-5303. Email: Web: Tweet @cncbooks. Specializes in mysteries, science fiction, & fantasy.

Jane Butel's Cooking School, 2655 Pan American Freeway NE #F,
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107; 505-243-2622; 800-473-8226. Web: Southwestern cookbooks and kitchen gadgets.

The Maiden & the Crone, 112 N Main Street, Aztec, New Mexico 87410;
505-334-8030. Email: New age gift shop with mind/body/spirit books.

National Hispanic Cultural Center Gift Shop, 1701 4th Street SW,
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102; 505-246-2261. Web: Hispanic gifts and books.

NatureWorks Discovery Store, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, 1801 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104; 505-841-2800. Web: Science and nature books and gifts.

Quilt It Ya Ya, Gail Aspromonte, 201 S Church Avenue, Aztec, New Mexico 87410; 505-334-3452; Fax: 505-334-3806. Quilting books and supplies.

Route 66 Auto Museum Gift Shop, Bozo Cordova, 2766 Historic Route 66, Santa Rosa, New Mexico 88435; 505-472-1966; Fax: 505-472-4590. Web: Custom car and Route 66 memorabilia and books.

Treasure House Books and Gifts, 2012 South Plaza NW, Albuquerque,
New Mexico 87104; 505-242-7204. Web:
. Books on New Mexico, the Southwest, Old West, Native
America, Route 66, Hispanic culture, and Southwestern mystery fiction. Hosts book signings by authors with books on local and regional topics.

Unser Racing Museum Store, 1776 Montaño NW, Los Ranchos, New Mexico 87107; 505-341-1776. Web: Racing and Unser books and gifts.

reader success story: selling foreign rights
A self-published success story from John Penberthy, author of To Bee or Not to Bee . . .

In 2005 I self-published an inspirational allegory entitled To Bee or Not to Bee. Clever, witty and spiritually sophisticated, it’s the story of a disillusioned worker bee, who with the help of a newfound friend, manages to find fulfillment amidst the mindless tedium and chaos of life in a honeybee colony. I sold it on my website ( and through distributors and Amazon.

A self-publishing book I read mentioned the potential for selling foreign rights, so I spent a day research foreign rights agents online all over the world and began emailing inquiries. Agents are extremely busy, so I made the email very succinct (just two paragraphs) and provided a link to the 60 second trailer on my website. This way agents could get a quick sense of the book and whether it was right for them in less than two minutes.

The very next day I got a request for a review copy from a Korean agent, which I sent along with a detailed cover letter describing the book and why Koreans would like it. Six weeks later I had a contract with a Korean publisher. This timing, I later learned, is lightning speed in the publishing world. Just this last month I sold rights to a Japanese publisher, over three years after my initial inquiry. Then another year or so is typically required after contract for the foreign edition to be published.

With this immediate success I queried via email every foreign rights agent I could find (well over 100). This quickly led to finding a Spanish agency that sold Spanish and Portuguese rights and, over the next year, translation rights in four other languages. With this track record I found an American agent who quickly got a contract with Sterling Publishing (owned by Barnes & Noble) for world English rights. Additional foreign rights deals have come in since, with the total now standing at 13.

Advances for foreign rights vary with the population and prosperity of the country. Although foreign rights advances are not nearly as high as domestic advances, they are total gravy for the author. My advances have ranged from $500 for Vietnamese to $12,000 for Spanish. Most are in the $4,000 to $7,000 range.

Not all books are appropriate for foreign rights—biographical, nationally or culturally-specific books will probably not do well. Books on topics with international appeal such as business, computers and, in my case, spirituality have a greater chance of success.

Just as in the U.S. you must find an agent to represent you as they know the publishers who might be right for your book provide a valuable screening service for them. Foreign agents generally get 10-15% for their services and are worth every penny of it. Royalty rates on foreign editions are low—usually in the 7-8% range; this is why they are often called subsidiary rights.

Here is a list of 15 links to websites that list foreign rights agents all over the world:

For a single list of 1,400 literary agents, including 250+ foreign rights agents, you can instantly download a copy in Word format for only $30 at

Quotable Books
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so
that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. — Cherokee proverb

Click on the above book cover to order this great collection as a Word ebook for only $7.00.

More great quotes and quotable books at

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Copyright © 2009 by book marketing expert John Kremer

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