July 16, 2012

International rights help for self-published authors


Founder of the AIA Orna Ross

MobyLives reported earlier this year on the Alliance of Independent Authors, a British non-profit recently established to represent the interests of self-published authors. There was some confusing wording in its launch statement, as we pointed out then: it was pitched as helping self-published authors to meet publishers ‘as partners’, overlooking the fact that self-published authors are, well, their own publishers, and, as many of them so gleefully declare, don’t need to meet with traditional publishing houses at all.

In another concession to traditional publishing models, the AIA has recently partnered with agency AM Heath. The agency, which represents authors including Hilary Mantel, will be offering international rights management to AIA members whose works might have international appeal. Founder Orna Ross said:

It is almost impossible for an indie author to handle their own translation rights but now all our members’ books will be read and assessed for international rights potential.

Note that what’s not being offered is information on translation services and foreign markets, so that authors can self-publish abroad. The arrangement will take authors who are self-published at home to established publishing houses abroad.

Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.