Selling Arabic fiction rights: it’s what’s inside that counts

This article was commissioned by Bookbrunch for the Sharjah International Book Fair, November 2012.
This is the unabridged version.

When asked about the challenges of selling world translation rights of Arabic fiction, one’s first response is naturally always focused on the potential acquirers. It is a fact that Arabic is not widely read in the international publishing industry, and this indubitably has consequences on the access non-Arab publishers have to Arabic literature. There also are other deeper factors that have to do with the relationship each individual editor may have with what he believes to be the ‘Arab world’. Continue reading