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.