Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Black Books in Controversy: The Difficulty of Selling Foreign Rights for books featuring black people

Another oddity of publishing that worries me is the lack of enthusiasm on behalf of foreign publishers for titles about black history or novels featuring black characters.

THE KNOWN WORLD only sold rights in one country due to a personal contact before it won the Pulitzer Prize. The Pursuit of Happyness sold rights due largely to the Will Smith film project. But most of the time you just hear crickets from foreign publishers.

This again ties into my suspicion raised in previous posts that for some reason books about black people are somehow seen as less universal. Maybe it's the publishing industry's fault, maybe the consumer's prejudices or maybe neither at all. It's difficult to say.

So what do you think? Anyone seen books about the African Diaspora sold abroad? Which books were they?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw "Bud Not Buddy" in Taiwan. I also saw a beautiful picture African American picture book but I don't know the name of it because I don't read Mandarin. I have a photo of it, though!


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