How International Book Publishing Works

Just like reading a book can open you up to a new world, publishing itself can be a massive global enterprise. Many books are translated and republished in countries all over the world, which can be instrumental for an author’s career. International book publishing brings your book to entirely new audiences, maximizing your readers, sales, and success.

But how does international book publishing work?

When authors become represented by a literary agent and their book receives an offer from a publishing house, the publishing house then owns some of the rights to that book. If the possibility for success is there, those rights will often be acquired by other, international publishing houses.

When a book is published overseas, the international  publishing house works on the book with edits, designs, and marketing strategies that are entirely separate from the original publishing house. Many books published internationally have different covers that appeal more to that country’s audience, for example, or need to be translated into another language.

International book publishing is an exciting prospect to think about when you’re writing your own book and looking for literary agents and publishers. If you want to maximize your chances of being published overseas, it’s important to find a literary agent who has experience in international rights. As your representative to publishing houses, a literary agent’s connections and experience have incredible influence over the trajectory of your career.

At Langtons International Agency, for example, we represent both American and English authors, and often we pitch our books to both markets.  Many of our books had other foreign rights acquired and have been translated.

Langtons International Agency’s client,  Bonnie MacBird’s best selling Sherlock series, beginning with Art in the Blood, was originally sold to Harper Collins UK an then it was published into 17 countries all over the world. Bruce Cook’s Trumbo was sold to Grand Central Publishing by Langtons International Agency and was published internationally in a number of countries, and in 2015 was made into a film starring Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren.

International book publishing is an exciting prospect, and if you’d like to see your books on book shelves in London, Madrid, or Rome, a good literary agent such as Langtons International Agency is an essential first step.