Monday, December 04, 2006

News from Penguin Books:

Behind the puffery in their press release there is a most encouraging story here:

Linda Olsson cracks tough US market

The international rights to Linda Olsson’s Let me sing you gentle songs have now been sold to publishers in Germany, Holland, Italy, the UK and the USA. First published in September 2005, Let me sing you gentle songs is now one of Penguin New Zealand’s best selling debut novels.

Swedish publishers Bonniers Förlag AB published Let me sing you gentle songs in August 2006 sold a significant 18,000 hardback copies in three months. A third reprint is underway and the paperback edition is scheduled for April 2007.

Linda’s American agent, Kathleen Anderson of Greenberg Anderson Literary Management has sold the American rights and the novel, re-titled Astrid and Veronika, will be released in the US in January 2007. Penguin US has ordered a first print run of 55,000 copies.

Let me sing you gentle songs is among the 138 international novels long-listed for the 2007 Dublin IMPAC Award. It was short-listed for the Asia Pacific section of the Commonwealth Prize.

The international success of Let me sing you gentle songs should inspire other New Zealand authors to pursue international publication. Northern Europe is terra incognita for New Zealand publishers, with considerable potential opportunities. Eva Bonnier, the Managing Director at Bonniers has used her considerable influence to lobby for Janet Frame's candidacy for the Nobel Prize and maintains that apart from Frame's work, not a lot has been submitted to them from New Zealand. A successful publication in one Scandinavian country usually flows on to the others and then often on to Germany and Holland. A vast market compared to New Zealand.

About Linda Olsson

Linda was born in Stockholm, Sweden and is a permanent resident in New Zealand since 1990. She lives in Ponsonby, Auckland. Linda graduated from the post-graduate course ‘Writing the Novel’ at Auckland University in 2004 and Let me sing you gentle songs was written during this time.

And other news of interest from Penguin:

Marina Lewycka, author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian is in New Zealand on 13 and 14 February 2007 to promote her new book Two Caravans. She will have two events, one in Wellington and one in Auckland. More details to come. Email for more information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to this author and publisher. As a former agent,based in Australia but now retired, I know how bloody difficult it is to get Northern hemisphere publishers to seriously consider titles first published "down here". Even when the book is originally published by one of their subsidiaries!
So good on you Penguin Books NZ. May you have many more such successes.