After Kerstin Schlosser’s education as a media buyer, she completed her studies in book sciences and American studies in Mainz. She is now responsible for rights and licenses at GABAL, a publisher focusing on content for personal and professional development of individuals. We caught up with her to see what a day in her life is like.
How did you end up in this role?
When I first started my career, I was completely unaware of subsidiary rights as a branch of publishing. I first learned about it when I met the global rights executive of one of our US partners at the Frankfurt Book Fair. She invited me to intern with her company for a couple of months and I said yes. That is how I became fascinated by foreign rights.
As a rights manager at GABAL, it is my job to find additional revenue for our authors and our publishing house by selling first serial rights, paperback, audio, e-book and especially foreign rights in other languages and markets. It involves maintaining relationships with foreign publishers and attending book fairs worldwide.
What’s the first thing you do when you start work?
I start my day at around 8.30am. On a normal day, I spend the first hours in the morning answering emails from my publishing partners or subagents on cover designs of foreign editions, contract terms, or recently submitted material. Then I will catch up on the latest industry news, send manuscripts and supporting information on our key titles to foreign publishers, draft agreements, and discuss contract terms with foreign publishers and my subagents. Further, our authors love updates on the pub status of their foreign editions and are always very eager to help promote the foreign edition. In many cases, I am connecting our authors with our foreign partners and helping coordinate their visit for the launch of the foreign edition or with local media outlets for interviews.
Where did you spend your day? Do you have to travel?
I work from my office in Freiburg and only visit our headquarters for such events as conferences, talks with authors, and strategy meetings. The job and in particular my employer give me the freedom to work from wherever I want. In the past, I have spent several months working from the U.S.
I meet with our partners in person at several annual International Book Fairs, such as the Frankfurt, London, or Beijing International Book Fair. I spent the last two weeks travelling to Prague and Warsaw to attend the local book fairs. Travelling to other countries, learning about different cultures, talking about books, and meeting my partners in person is some of the many things I love most about my job.
What is the best part of your day?
One of the best moments of my day is when I finally make it back to my hotel at the end of a long day at a fair, kick off my heels and think about the engaging and entertaining conversations I’ve had throughout the day, with people from all over the world. That’s pretty amazing: the joy of working with professional book lovers from different cultures makes all the standing around well worth it.
In addition, receiving packages with foreign editions, looking at the different covers, trying to find out how they translated the title, and telling the author about the foreign edition of their book is very rewarding. They are always thunderstruck and very grateful for our efforts to help them reach a wider audience. Last week, the foreign edition of one of our books made it on the national bestseller list, and both the author and I were beyond happy about the book’s success abroad.
What makes you procrastinate the most?
Filing! Filing contracts, royalty statements, it just takes forever and it is not very rewarding. Filing is definitely not my friend. In second place are incomplete and cryptic royalty reports, especially when they are in a language I do not speak. it takes me hours to decipher them. Few things exhaust me more than filing and checking royalty reports.