My Job in Five: Kate Rizzo

My Job in Five: Kate Rizzo

Describe your role. 
I’m the rights director at Greene & Heaton and I am in the lovely position of selling our authors’ works to international publishers to translate and publish. 

What do you enjoy about your role?
Starting a new manuscript, reading alongside the agents as they sign up a new writer, sharing and speaking about whatever it is our authors are working on and finding our authors international publishing homes that share in our passion for their work.   

What are you working on at the moment?
It always changes and currently: Lucy Clarke’s latest thriller, The Castaways—it’s the perfect holiday gone wrong; Richard Roper’s second novel, When We Were Young—its humour and warmth are a true joy and balm; and Marcus du Sautoy’s Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut is sharpening my focus and putting me through some mental gymnastics.  

What skills do you need for your role?
A lot of it is understanding how different books can fit into a market, whether that’s in Germany or Spain, etc, and then making sure I’m connecting with the right editors and publishing houses to see that our books find their place in as many countries as possible. Oh, and patience.   

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Read everything. Be persistent. Do not be shy about reaching out to people in the industry you come across on social media or wherever to ask for advice. 
How has the pandemic affected your working life? 
I never thought I’d say it, but I miss book fairs! And having that time to hear what editors are looking for and publishing. Thankfully, we can do this all via phone and Zoom, but it’s not quite the same.   
How did you get to your current position? 
I started in publishing answering the phone at a literary agency, and basically said “yes” to whatever work was sent my way, reading everything and reading quickly.  Eventually I realised selling translation rights was a thing people could do, and then I was all in.