by Natasha Kern
Natasha Kern Literary Agency
I’ve been thinking recently about subsidiary rights because I’m going to Anaheim for the RWA conference. Attending RWA includes meeting with clients, editors and new writers and arranging a private lunch for my clients to meet with Amazon execs to discuss ebooks. I’ll also be meeting with film folks. With several films optioned, in development, or moving into production it will be great to meet with producers, co-agents and studio people. One theatrical release from Universal/Cross Creek, Creed of Violence starring Leonardo DiCaprio, will begin principle filming soon. And a series optioned by Disney has been scripted. I’m hoping to get a thriller set up with a producer who has expressed interest in the title for some time and other titles connected with co-agents at CAA and IPG.
Traditionally, in CBA, subrights have not been a very big deal so agents relinquished them to publishers, whereas in ABA, agents almost always kept translation rights, film rights, and merchandising rights– and often territories like the UK. CBA agents had less work to do for clients as a result, but the point with rights is not to control them, but to sell them. Now, CBA publishers are selling fiction internationally. YAY! For the clients whose backlist books I’m publishing, we are seeing foreign sales in many countries: Holland, Hungary, Germany, Japan and others. My subagents in almost every country around the world now can find opportunities to reach Christians worldwide with inspiring stories. It is a new era for CBA!
Audio is also burgeoning and I think downloadable audio books will be the next big thing after ebooks. I’m seeing a lot of interest here, too, with backlist titles as well as new books. It seems that audio producers and publisher are coming out of the woodwork exactly as happened for ebooks and disintermediation is shaking things up.
I am also meeting in LA with top producers of graphic novels who are interested in one of my Christian titles. This is another genre that has been exploding– and it is wonderful to see this door opening at last to reach new readers.
Product placement is something that may seem out of place in CBA, and I have only succeeded in getting this for clients twice (in one case, a cosmetic soap and bath line was developed using my client’s title; in another a store chain mentioned in the book featured the book for sale). Obviously, this is a common practice in films so why not novels? We are only limited today by our imaginations and willingness to participate in all aspects of the world of entertainment that are in a state of flux– and will allow Christian writers to connect with the millions of other Christians worldwide and inspire them.
Natasha Kern has personally sold well over 1,000 books, has worked as an agent more than 20 years after working for major publishers in New York and has a strong commitment to discover new talent in inspirational fiction as well as developing the careers of her clients. Natasha works in both ABA and CBA. Her list includes: mainstream women’s fiction; romantic suspense; mysteries and thrillers; and contemporary and historical novels, Biblical fiction, romantic comedy, Amish fiction, and issue-oriented fiction, young adult and other subgenres. Her clients include several New York Times best-selling authors, USA Today Best Sellers; RITA, CAROL and EDGAR winners. She represents Christy winners and finalists as well as other popular CBA authors and ECPA bestsellers. Information about the agency is available on the Internet at www.natashakern.com.