Association of the Belgian Publishers

Adeb - Association of the Belgian Publishers

ExportParticipation to fairs

Exporting in the Publishing World: Book Fairs

La Promotion des Lettres and ADEB have organised training aimed at publishers, including ‘good practise in export activity’.

Here are the main points.


What consists of ‘export activity’ for a publisher?

Generally, the information available makes explicit reference to the turnover made in exporting. However, this activity covers a wider field :

  • Sales
    • Direct
    • At the retailer e.g. bookshops
    • Via distributors, local wholesalers.
  • Rights
    • The selling of rights : translations, adaptations…
    • The buying of rights.
  • Partners
    • Co-editions
    • Co-productions
    • Multimedia adaptations.


Why attend a salon/book fair?

Although numerous people get in touch via electronic methods, being present at a book fair gives you direct contact with publishers and local agents. Regular, annual meetings allow you to create quality working relationships with commercial partners, and increase your knowledge of new markets.

Co-publications demand a long and trusting professional relationship, to ensure ease and coherence in joint projects. Dedicating time to these meetings allows you to make the necessary bonds to ensure success.


When should you use an agent?

In the children’s book sector and for certain countries like Russia and Turkey it is common to work with local agents, who select works which they think would match local markets. They deal with administrative concerns and payments.

The agents are often specialised in relations with certain countries or in translations in a certain language ; some ask for exclusivity. They can be considered as partners, and could be co-signatories on contracts.

In literature, the common practise consists of working with agents for Europe, as for the rest of the world. They should be considered as a commercial team, to inform, animate and motivate. The more information they have at their disposal, the more they can represent the works. Do not hesitate to select titles with them, give them the sales figures in the work’s first language or in its first market, and inform them of previous transfers of works of the author…


What is a ‘scout’?

‘Scouts’ are paid by foreign publishers to explore and research works which could potentially be included in their catalogue, and which are free from rights.