Everyone in the book trade rolls their eyes when you mention poetry. “Can’t sell it, not even in my own country” says the Canadian publisher we were meeting with at the Frankfurt Book Fair. We had decided to invest in taking a stand as part of the Irish delegation at the two big international book fairs this year, London and Frankfurt. These fairs are enormous beasts — best described as speed dating for publishers and all associated with publishing. Rights agents, printers, booksellers, distributers, marketers and publishers — all part of the churn. The best place to open the Twenty First Century Renaissance shop on the world stage of this gigantic industry....
....an industry dealing in IP, feeding the creative industries of the US, "the largest exporter of IP in the world; revenue from those industries is now estimated to generate 38% of US annual GDP (as compared with approx 5.5% of GDP in the UK.)" — Lynette Owen, Selling Rights (Routledge, 8th edition, p.18)
....hmmmm....wouldn't mind a bit of that...... 💰 💰 💰
My husband, as co-director of the business, was with me. And he proved to be a good draw. As soon as I mentioned that he was a liver transplant surgeon and was writing the next book in The Visual Time Traveller series — but this time based on Medicine — they all paid attention. The American rights buyer from a publishing company in North America was intrigued by the project. Leafing through, he’s saying he loves it, it’s fabulous, “This is exactly the book I need because I can’t remember anything.” At this point in our speed date I gently introduced Arnie Yasinski’s poetry books to him — after all he is American and had been in the Draft Lottery for Vietnam — surely interesting. His whole body pulls back. The date is turning sour. Poetry. Can’t sell it.
I quickly move on and put the children’s illustrated book 21CR published, Knot of Toads, in front of him. Conspiracies of lemurs. Caravans of camels. A flush of ducks (pictured in the toilet). "I love it," he says. "Sold 25,000 of a book like this last year." And I can’t help it, I have to tell him, a mother’s pride trumping everything, "it’s actually illustrated by our son, Nick Geoghegan."
Roaring with laughter he tells it as it is, "You are the Hillbilly Publishing company from Ireland!”. Quite so.
#publishing #rights #IP #books #Ireland #IrishDesigned #Irish #IrishArts #educational #gifts #FrankfurtBookFair
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Alison Hackett — Director and founder of 21st Century Renaissance; author of The Visual Time Traveller 500 Years of History, Art and Science in 100 Unique Designs