My Job in 5: Helena Dorée

My Job in 5: Helena Dorée

Describe your role

I sell French, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew and Turkish translation rights across the whole of the Little, Brown list. I also sell radio reading rights for the “Book of the Week” and “Book at Bedtime” slots on Radio 4, serial rights to national newspapers and magazines and audio and large print rights for the Constable & Robinson list. I constantly liaise with our clients to keep them up to date with new acquisitions, attend the major book fairs and do a little international travel in between. For example, last September I travelled to Istanbul for five days and had lots of productive meetings with Turkish publishers as well as getting a feel for the literary scene out there.

What do you like best about your role?

Little, Brown publishes an enormous variety of books across many imprints which makes my job extremely diverse and exciting. I am lucky to be part of a small, close-knit team who are all highly motivated, experienced and passionate about selling rights. I can spend the morning working on a serial auction for a serious history title, meet a “Book at Bedtime” producer for lunch to pitch our fiction list and then spend the afternoon dealing with translation rights enquiries.

Which great new titles are you working on at the moment?

We have new novels coming from M R Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts) and Claire North (The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August) which both sold to 14 territories last year. We publish Born Survivors by Wendy Holden in May (the true story of three women who gave birth while at concentration camps during the Second World War, and how these babies have been reunited 70 years later) and it has already sold in 15 territories. Little, Brown’s recent acquisition of Constable & Robinson has meant we have even more great books to sell this year.

What made you decide for a career in rights?

I did an English and French law degree but knew I didn’t want to be a lawyer. A friend was working in rights and the combination of selling plus travel and being able to use my language skills sounded appealing. I haven’t looked back.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?

Get as much work experience as you can and make the most of all opportunities. We recently conducted interviews for a rights assistant position and the people who stood out were those who showed passion and commitment to the industry and knew why they wanted a job in rights.