PUP’s record year for translations: A note from our director

This year PUP is proud to announce a banner year across the board in international rights. Our team reported a 27% increase in translation licensing, including a record deal with the German publisher Klett-Cotta for Angus Deaton’s The Great Escape, negotiated via our representatives at The Fritz Agency. Publisher’s Weekly covered the deal, which started with a bidding war at the Frankfurt Book Festival shortly after Deaton won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics. Other exceptional translation deals included those for The Gunpowder Age by Tonio Andrade, The Rise and Fall of American Growth by Robert Gordon, and Phishing for Phools by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, with economics and science titles particularly well-represented.

Along with a consistently strong market in China, a significant increase in Italian licensing, and our first Mongolian license this year, we’re thrilled to see a 140% increase in translation licensing over a ten year period. This is a testament to the global reach of our outstanding scholarship as well as our partnerships with some of the finest publishers in the world.

Thanks again to our fabulous international rights team, including Kim Williams, Jenny Redhead, and Rebecca Bengoechea.

—Peter Dougherty

International Rights

No Matter How You Say It — It’s Still “On Bullshit” — books in translation for #UPWeek

Peter Dougherty’s consideration of the impact of translations for university presses is available here. One of the best parts of getting our books into translation, is seeing what the foreign publishers do with the cover, title, and design. This poster illustrates a few interpretations of the NY Times best-seller On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt. On Bullshit is one of our success stories. It has been published in more than 25 languages.


Ancient Roman campaign wisdom in Los Angeles Times op-ed by Philip Freeman

Philip Feeman, the translator of our timely new book HOW TO WIN AN ELECTION: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicans, had his recent op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times yesterday.  Take a look to see which Republican candidate(s) would have done right by Quintus Cicero’s (Marcus’s lesser-known brother) advice.  The “advice” was originally from a letter sent to Marcus when he was in the running for the biggest job in Rome.

News from Frankfurt Book Fair

Frankfurt Book Fair is traditionally a very fruitful and interesting venture for the international rights team at PUP, and this year was no exception. The Fair was buzzing with news of a forthcoming book by Robert Shiller –  a book on how finance could be a force for good – which is a topic that couldn’t be more pressing, whether you’re in Taiwan, Berlin or Sao Paulo. We received several offers for the book throughout the fair from some of our favourite international publishing partners as well as some publishers new to licensing with PUP. Watch this space for news of final deals!

PUP's rights manager pitches books to international publishers

Our popular science titles proved well, popular, with a range of our foreign publishing partners, who were especially interested in Mark Levi’s Why Cats Land on their Feet and Neil A. Downie’s The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science. A sleeper hit at the fair for PUP was the brand new 2,000 year old text from Quintus Tullius Cicero, How to Win an Election, with introduction and notes by Philip Freeman. With elections looming in France, Italy, and Germany this bit of ancient campaign wisdom went down well.

All in all, it was a very successful fair, with more than 70 appointments over 5 days, and a terrific repose to our strong list for spring 2012.

News from the European office – the translation rights department

It’s been a busy few weeks in the translation rights department here in the European office. We’re in the thick of preparation for Frankfurt Book Fair which will be held from October 12-16 in the eponymous city. As PUP’s new rights manager, this will be my first visit to FBF, but I’ll certainly be kept busy. I have a full schedule of appointments with our team of rights agents as well as publishers and editors from a truly international array of publishing houses: we have almost sixty meetings in total over the course of the fair. For those of you attending the fair, why not visit our stand in hall 8? I’ll be pitching some of the key titles from our forthcoming spring 2012 list (keep an eye on the website for our exciting new titles, which will be The French edition of 'Can Islam be French?'launched soon!) to international publishers considering the books for translation.

So, what else is new in the rights world? We were delighted to see the publication of the French edition of John R. Bowen’s
Can Islam Be French? Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State published by Steinkis Editions on the shelves at the recent launch of the book – and in very prestigious company too.

We’ve also agreed an interesting selection of translation deals in the last few weeks. Diane Coyle’s The Economics of Enough will be published in Italian translation by Edizione Ambiente in future, and we’ll be keen to see what Daniel Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies looks like in Japanese translation when it is published by Hakusuisha. The most exciting deal of the last few weeks, however, was for a PUP book first published in the 1950s. George Polya’s How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method has been in print in Japan since the 1950s and has sold over 36,000 copies in Maruzen’s Japanese edition since 2001. We’ve just renewed the deal with Maruzen, and here’s hoping that the book continues as a perennial bestseller for them as well as PUP.

– Kimberley M. Williams, International Rights Manager