Senior Level // Rights Department
A Rights Director is responsible for selling books to lots of different publishers around the world to publish them into different languages, including American English for sale in different countries. They spend much of their time selling and making deals with publishers to make as much money as possible for the publishing company and the author of the book.
A Rights Director has to communicate with lots of different people in the publishing company as well as with the author and their literary agent. Rights Directors get to travel a lot – they are often visiting different countries to attend book fairs and meet with other publishers.
Rights Directors work with lots of different people from all over the world, working in a variety of departments and industries. You need to be confident in speaking to people from different cultures (if you are fluent in a language other than English that really helps too).
Rights Directors are responsible for their department’s budget so you need to be good at managing money, always keeping an eye on sales targets.
There is a lot of negotiation and relationship-building involved to sell a book. You need to be good at pitching a project and passionate about what you do.
Rights Directors get to learn about many different cultures and develop close relationships with producers, agents and publishers from around the world.
Rights Directors also work with colleagues in Marketing and Publicity to perfect their pitch.
To become a Rights Director, you would have experience of selling rights and managing a department. This doesn’t have to be in publishing – you could start in another industry such as television or film and transition into publishing.
You could start out as a Rights Assistant and then work your way up to Rights Director through roles such as Rights Manager and Head of Rights.