Foreign Rights

Foreign Rights


Whenever clients first hear Trident Media Group‘s foreign rights book agents make that statement, there is a look of disbelief or at least a thought that this must be some exaggeration. However, the fact is that the world is the market for Trident’s Foreign Rights Department. Last year, the department concluded over 500 sales for Trident’s clients in over forty foreign markets. Trident Media Group has the largest dedicated foreign rights department in the literary agency business and a record unmatched by any other literary marketplace.

Robert Gottlieb, chairman of Trident Media Group, takes a direct interest in the Foreign Rights Department’s operations. “I believe that the personal contact with foreign publishers on behalf of our authors can sell foreign rights to our authors’ books more effectively than publishers,” says Robert. “We care a lot more, and we want to sell the books everywhere—big markets, small markets, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.”

Dorothy Vincent, director of Trident’s Foreign Rights Department, credits teamwork and relationships for the agency’s continued prominent position in the global market. “We work closely with Trident’s domestic agents and with each other within the department to develop a strategic plan for each author and each project. We have established relationships with publishers around the world and strive daily to keep the connections fresh so that when the time is right, we know precisely who to approach with the right materials. Finally, with each sale a new team is created—that of author, editor, and agent—who work together to shepherd the project to successful completion.”

Each year, Trident’s foreign rights literary agents attend the London, Frankfurt, and Bologna book fairs. Robert Gottlieb leads the team to London and Frankfurt. Nicola DeRobertis-Theye, a foreign rights literary agent in the department, says, “Before we leave for a fair, our days are already booked with non-stop meetings from early in the morning through the evening. Everyone wants to meet with us, and no market is too small.” To prove that point, Nicola has closed deals in Azerbaijan and the Faroe Islands.

“One of the unique tools that Trident uses to generate interest in its clients’ books in advance of a fair is the Hot List,” says foreign rights agent Martin Rouse. “With our Hot List, we are able to generate buzz for our most exciting titles before we even arrive at a book fair. Publishers know that the titles on the list are likely to sell quickly, so they come to us already primed to compete.”

Claire Roberts, a vice-president of the firm with over two decades of experience in international publishing, says, “At Trident, every book is an opportunity to increase the author’s readership around the world, and we reach most of the publishers in the international markets. This edge is what makes our Foreign Rights team one of the most successful in the industry.” And the team’s credentials are very impressive. Formerly head of Trident’s Foreign Rights department, Claire handles foreign rights for some of the agency’s clients while also building her own client list. Dorothy Vincent spent nearly three decades working in international rights as a scout and foreign rights director before joining Trident. She has studied French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Nicola DeRobertis-Theye joined the Foreign Rights Department after nearly three years of work in Trident’s domestic and foreign rights division. She has a master’s from UNC Wilmington and a BA from UC Berkeley, and also studied at the University of Delhi. She has studied French, Italian and Hindi. Before becoming an agent at Trident Martin Rouse spent three years working in international publishing, both in foreign rights and as a book scout. He attended Oberlin College in the U.S. and Doshisha University in Japan, and speaks Japanese.

They all view their goal to be the same: “We are dedicated to the long-term, global success of our clients—presenting their books to the top international editors, making the perfect match of literary publisher and author, negotiating the best terms for every contract, and being an active partner in the publishing process.”