Rights Professional of the Year

Rights Professional of the Year

Andrew Sharp

Andrew Sharp

Hachette Children's Group

After four appearances on the shortlist for this award it is fifth time lucky for Andrew Sharp, group rights director at the powerhouse of children’s publishing at Hachette.

It also caps a rise through the ranks for Sharp, who joined Hodder Children’s Books as a rights executive in the late 1990s. His remit has grown massively since then, now taking in nine major imprints and the huge Enid Blyton estate. Across the board in 2018, his team sealed more than 800 deals, notched up three million coedition sales, and served around 1,400 publishing partners.

Much of his work now is strategic, including on the streamlining of rights workflows and systems, the management of a multilingual team and collaboration with other parts of Hachette's global empire. But he stays close to the ground too, ensuring each author and brand gets a distinct rights strategy, and handles many markets himself. “Andrew is a consummate professional with a true passion for children’s books,” said one overseas editor.

Beyond the business of rights, Sharp has been a prominent advocate for diversity, both within Hachette and in children’s publishing in general. He walks the walk too, having set up a new imprint of his own for Arabic picture books in English called The Big Wish, with revenue going to support access to books for children in refugee camps—and he’s drawing on fluency in several languages to handle the translations himself.

Shortlist

  • Camilla Feriier
    The Marsh Agency
    The sole agency-based rights pro on the list, having some big overseas deals for Stuart Turton and others
  • Amy Joyner
    Kogan Page
    Single-handedly transformed her professional publisher’s rights in 2018, and teed up a new audio division too
  • Krystyna Kujawinska
    Orion Publishing Group
    Scored some big translation deals and led Orion's efforts to develop the IPG
  • Stephanie Purcell
    Simon & Schuster
    Shortlisted for the second year in a row after delivering a record year of rights in adults' and children’s
  • Meixia Wang
    The Quarto Group
    Australia-based rights pro who helped Quarto to a record year in China and to push deeper into other market
  • Pippa Wright
    Penguin Random House
    Excelled in the US and serial markets, and started a new Cornerstone Creates initiative
  • Michelle Young
    Pan Macmillan
    Winner of this award in 2016, she gave Pan Mac’s children’s division another record-breaking year