My Job in 5: Kate Cooper, Joint head of the translation rights department, Curtis Brown Literary & Talent agency

My Job in 5: Kate Cooper, Joint head of the translation rights department, Curtis Brown Literary & Talent agency

Describe your role

I’m joint head of the translation rights department at Curtis Brown. Together with Jake Smith-Bosanquet, I oversee a department of 12 people as well as handling the translation rights of a diverse list of British and Australian authors.


What do you like best about your role?

The excitement of reading a great novel or work of non-fiction and being able to share my enthusiasm with scouts, editors and co-agents. Negotiating deals and the fun of telling an author when a sale is achieved. I’m also lucky to be surrounded by great colleagues.


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

I’m currently selling A Reckoning by Nicholas Searle, a brilliant début novel by a former Curtis Brown Creative Writing student. Rosamund Lupton, the author of Sister, has just delivered a compelling new thriller, The Quality of Silence, which Little, Brown will publish next year.


How does the digitisation of publishing affect translation rights?

The e-book markets aren’t as mature as the UK and US, but sales are growing and in Germany in particular we’re seeing some significant sales for major authors. I seem to spend a great deal of time discussing e-book royalties.


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

Don’t give up. It can be very hard when starting out especially for people without existing contacts in the industry. Internships are important but also try to talk to as many people as possible.