Rights Professional of the Year
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.
Camilla FeriierThe Marsh Agency
Amy JoynerKogan Page
Krystyna KujawinskaOrion Publishing Group
Stephanie PurcellSimon & Schuster
Meixia WangThe Quarto Group
Pippa WrightPenguin Random House
Michelle YoungPan Macmillan