A First for The Alliance of Independent Authors

The Alliance of Indie Authors (ALLi) has just taken another big step forward  — as reported in The Bookseller Magazine this morning — becoming the first self-publishing organisation to link with a major literary agency for translation rights.

ALLi is to work with Jennifer Custer, Rights Director at AM Heath (London), so our members' books, if suitable, can be properly represented  in translation markets.

Founded in 1919, AM Heath has always been one of the UK's leading literary agencies and has represented some of the iconic writers of the 20th Century — including novelists, historians, biographers, and children's authors — and has a reputation for successfully launching talented newcomers.

Jennifer Custer heads up the international rights department. “We have huge successes,” says Custer. “Many of our authors, Hilary Mantel, Conn Iggulden, and Marina Lewycka among others, are sold in upwards of 30 languages.

“Then, there are quieter successes, deals that make me particularly proud: such as the sale of Esther Hautzig’s moving memoir of a Siberian girlhood to a Spanish publisher who just fell in love it; or supporting the Persian copyright movement by licensing rights in George Orwell’s Animal Farm in Iran, where copyright is not recognized.”

I'm thrilled to be working closely with Jennifer in this pioneering collaboration. One of my main aims in setting up the alliance was for indies to work together to achieve what we can't do alone.  Selling translation rights is one of those specialist activities and it's great for our members to have an agent of Jennifer's calibre considering our books for international representation.

If you'd like to submit your book (ALLi members only), go here for more information.

For more details about the collaboration, see the news report in The Bookseller.