Frankfurt Book Fair Q & A

frankfurt logo


Madeleine Milburn on the Frankfurt Book Fair 2014

Q Why is the Frankfurt Book Fair so important?

UK literary agent

Madeleine Milburn

After London Book Fair, Frankfurt is the biggest event on the publishing calendar. It’s such an excellent opportunity to meet with publishers from all over the world: to learn about book trends and how other markets are doing, what foreign publishers are looking for, and to check up on how our own authors are doing in translation.

Q How many meetings do you take on average?

We have back-to-back meetings with international editors every day of the fair without a single break, all of which have been organised months in advance.  They all run for 30 minutes and we have them at our tables in the Agent’s center, so my assistant and I were able to pitch our authors’ books to approximately 200 publishers over the course of five days.

Q What is the social side of Frankfurt like?

Meetings are usually followed by drinks, dinner and then more drinks! Hotels such as the Frankfurter Hof and the Hessischer Hof are excellent grounds for bumping into agents and editors, and for making new contacts.

I attend dinners and host parties to talk to international editors about all the things we don’t have time to discuss in the 30 minute slots. This makes book fairs truly exhilarating as they are packed with social occasions, but then, some of the best business is done in the evenings!

Q What was your big book at the fair?

We discuss all of our authors’ work with potential publishers at the fair, although our YA début, The Creswell Plot by Eliza West, was covered in The Bookseller Daily newsletter announcing our major publishing deals with Disney in America and Quercus in the UK. Our adult début, Recipes for Melissa by former BBC presenter Teresa Driscoll, was sold in a seven-way German auction at the fair.

Q Why is the Frankfurt Book Fair such an important event in the year for your agency?

This business is all about relationships, so the stronger the relationship we have with an international publisher, the more we know about their individual lists and the books they’d love to publish.

I’ve been attending the Frankfurt book fair for the last eight years so I have really strong relationships with the international publishers I work with. When I’m reading a client’s book, I immediately have in mind the publishers I want to send it to, not just in the UK but in Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and the rest of the world!

Q What was the fair like for your Agency this year?

MM Agency New Titles Lists

MM Agency New Titles Lists

Frankfurt was buzzing for the Agency – we had lots of outstanding new titles to pitch by existing authors, and we also had exciting debuts by new clients.

I love getting a début novel into as many hands as possible, and even doing deals at the table, but what I find incredibly rewarding is matching backlist titles with international publishers – titles that may not have been popular in a particular country a few years ago can have a new life now.

Q How important do you think foreign rights are?

I love working internationally because my authors get opportunities for success all over the world.  For instance, my author Janet MacLeod Trotter has sold over 150,000 copies in Russia alone; C.J. Daugherty’s books are translated into 22 different languages and she’s a No.1 bestselling author in Poland and No.2 in Germany.

The rights deals we negotiate not only provide our authors with a library of foreign editions, but they can earn a valuable income with advances and royalties from each country their work is translated in.

My role as an agent is to ensure that my authors are reaching an audience around the world.  Every single book sale is important to me – I only have a good night’s sleep if I’ve done a deal that day :)

literary agent translation rights

Agency authors and international publicity

Author of the international bestselling Night School series

C.J. Daugherty has been on several international tours this year, seeing her publishers and fans at book signings, panel events and literary festivals.

Recently, C.J attended the Festival du Livre de Mouans-Sartoux in France, and towards the end of this month, she’ll be attending the Krakow Book Fair with her Polish publisher (where she is a No.1 bestseller!)

C.J. Daugherty at Festival du Livre

C.J. in conversation with a French journalist at the Festival du livre


Author of Don’t Stand So Close

Luana Lewis is currently on a publicity tour in Amsterdam, being interviewed by journalists to promote her debut novel, Don’t Stand So Close (Dicht Bij Mij), published by Transworld in the UK.

Don't Stand So Close Dutch

Dutch book cover


Author of Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting

Holly Bourne appeared at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, where she lead a workshop on How to Blog, and at The Southbank Festival where she took part in the Gender and Pop Culture event, chatting alongside Holly Smale, Non Pratt and the film actor Danny Lee Wynter. Holly also appeared at the first ever YA Lit Con, where she signed copies of The Manifesto on How to be Interesting (all copies sold out on the first day!)

In other news, Soulmates has made the shortlist in two categories of the BookBlogger UKYA awards for ‘Best Contemporary’ and ‘Most Heart-breaking’!

holly ya lit con

Holly at the YA Lit Con

Author of Soho, 4am and Summer Lies Bleeding

The London launch for Summer Lies Bleeding took place at The Society Club in Soho. Following a successful London Books on the Underground campaign, Nuala Casey read from her latest novel and had an interesting Q & A session with Huffington Post Journalist Jason Holmes

Summer Lies Bleeding by Nuala Casey - Books on the Underground

Books on the Underground campaign


Dave Lowe’s 5th children’s book out today

Dave Lowe books

The fifth book in Dave Lowe’s hilarious Stinky & Jinks series is out today.

Illustrated by Mark Chambers, My Hamster is a Detective, features nine-year-old Ben and his sarcastic talking hamster Jasper Stinkybottom.  When their kitten Delilah is cat-napped, Ben’s sister Lucy is devastated so the newly-formed detective duo spring into action.  Can they catch the culprit?

Suitable for 6 – 9 year olds (and adults!) Dave promises laughter on every page.  Copies can be found in shops or ordered on Amazon by clicking on the cover below:

My Hamster is a Detective by Dave Lowe

Bestselling author Victoria Fox shares writing advice

Victoria Fox Writers and Artists Yearbook

“It goes to show that no market is too crowded for another voice, so long as that voice has style, confidence and good, memorable characters…”

Bestselling author, Victoria Fox, who used to assess submissions herself, shares invaluable writing advice in her most recent article for The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook.

She talks about how to stand out in the women’s fiction market but, as her agent, I think her advice is important for all aspiring authors of fiction.

Victoria picks out three key areas to work on: finding your style, keeping a reader gripped, and the strength of your characters.  She also offers some practical tasks to help refine each area.  As she explains, the market is crowded, but we are always looking for strong new voices.

Victoria Fox’s latest sensation, Power Games, is now available in paperback or ebook.

The Beginner’s Guide to the Birds and the Bees

The Beginner's Guide to the Birds and the Bees

The Madeleine Milburn Agency celebrates the publication of The Beginner’s Guide to the Birds & the Bees by the No.1 Bookseller Heatseeker author, Sophie Hart.

The ebook is being launched at a reduced price on Amazon, and strong reviews are already in!

‘Wow, what an absolutely amazing read! I loved this book from the first letter to the last full stop and I never wanted it to end’ A Spoonful of Happy Endings

‘This is a book about being in love, at different stages and different ages – a must read’  Sue Watson

‘If you read Sophie’s previous novel then you are in for another treat with this one and if you haven’t read it I still recommend you read this as its honest, funny and very well written’  That Thing She Reads

Radhika Sanghani BBC News and Huffington Post interviews

Radhika Sanghani on the BBC’s Meet the Author

Radhika Sanghani’s episode of Meet The Author will be airing tonight (September 18th) at 7.45pm on the BBC News Channel.

Meet the author Radhika Sanghani

Radhika Sanghani interview with The Huffington Post

Radhika Sanghani new b&w

‘When you hear that the late, great Joan Rivers “loved” a new novel, you know that it was unlikely to be about biscuits and knitting…’ Read the full article here

Agency authors on award lists

Mel Sherratt longlisted for the CWA  2014 Dagger in the Library Award

Mel Sherratt

‘Self-published turned Amazon Publishing author Mel Sherratt joins writers including MC Beaton and Mari Hannah on the longlist for the CWA [...]

The award is given for a writer’s whole body of work to date, rather than a single title.

A total of 1,384 people voted for 636 different authors.’  Read the full coverage on The Bookseller

See the full longlist here

Soulmates by Holly Bourne has made the shortlist in two categories of the BookBlogger UKYA awards for ‘Best Contemporary’ and ‘Most Heart-breaking’

You can vote for the winner hereHolly Bourne b&w

Holly Martin shortlisted for three of the  Festival of Awards categories 2014

Holly Martin b and w

UK publication day for Virgin by Radhika Sanghani

VIRGIN by Radhika Sanghani

The UK edition of Radhika Sanghani‘s debut novel, Virgin, is published today by Harlequin following its release in the US last month with Penguin

‘Laugh out loud…Bridget Jones could take a page from this novel’ Joan Rivers

‘Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw, meet your wisecracking…match’Publisher’s Weekly

‘An entertaining romp’Emma Barnett, broadcaster and women’s editor of The Telegraph

“I don’t need the perfect guy. I don’t need candlelight or roses. Honestly, I don’t even need a real bed…”

The Huffington Post interviews Radhika offering a real insight into what compelled her to write a ‘shockingly graphic’ debut: ‘When you hear that the late, great Joan Rivers “loved” a new novel, you know that it was unlikely to be about biscuits and knitting….’

Get the paperback now

Paperback publication day for Don’t Stand So Close by Luana Lewis

Don't Stand So Close Paperback

The paperback edition of Luana Lewis’s riveting debut, Don’t Stand So Close, is published by Transworld today and will be enjoyed by fans of BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, APPLE TREE YARD, GONE GIRL and INTO THE DARKEST CORNER.

“It it is the skin-crawling intimacy that sets this thriller apart. The tension is almost suffocating, with a palpable feeling of dread leaping off every page. ” (Daily Mail)

“A beautiful read, brimming with intrigue and suspense. It’s an incredibly accomplished debut, a real heart-racing chiller, and I genuinely didn’t want it to end!” (Samantha Hayes, author of Until You’re Mine)

“This is a wonderfully tense story, full of characters who may or may not be telling the truth. Compellingly, creepy – not one to read while home alone.” (Glamour)

“A stunning debut psychological thriller.” (Sun)

“A tense, claustrophobic, and deeply unsettling novel about the damage a disturbed teenager threatens to wreak on one woman’s life.” (Penny Hancock, author of Tideline, a Richard & Judy selection)

“An assured debut novel that will have you turning the pages to discover the truth.” (Paula Daly, author of Just What Kind of Mother Are You?)

 “Lewis’s debut novel enthrals and captivates. She threads three storylines – not immediately apparently connected – to weave a compelling, involved, psychologically disturbing story.” (Times Live, South Africa)

A lingering, compulsive debut novel that will keep you tightly in its grip

Also available on Kindle

MM Agency: News & Reviews

Radhika Sanghani in the Evening Standard

‘It’s a wry and squeamish look at today’s social and sexual pressures…’

Read the full article here

VIRGIN by Radhika Sanghani

Virgin is released in the UK on September 12th

The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne is No. 1 in the Waterstones School Chart

Waterstones School Chart Holly Bourne The Manifesto on How to be Interesting

Read Holly Bourne‘s article, Why School is Still With Us, on Emerald Street Online

“So how do we stop these school ghosts (usually with rolled-up skirts) haunting our adult lives? Is it possible to exorcise these memories of corridor Darwinism?”

Power Games by Victoria Fox is a Heatworld Summer Reads Special

Power Games HEAT WORLD

‘This is a riot of a book and pure, marvellous escapism from start to end.’  Heatworld

Summer Lies Bleeding by Nuala Casey is a Sunday Mirror Book Club choice

The Sunday Mirror named Summer Lies Bleeding as one of their three Book Club choices, describing it as ‘cleverly plotted and tense with the oppressive atmosphere of London in summer skilfully evoked.’

‘A searing portrait of a young woman battling OCD.’  The York Press

Summer Lies Bleeding by Nuala Casey

Mel Sherratt interviewed in Staffordshire Life

Bestselling crime author Mel Sherratt shares the secrets of her success

Read the interview here

Taunting the Dead by Mel Sherratt

Striking cover for the German edition of THE ACCIDENT by C.L. Taylor

the accident germany piper

Madeleine Milburn agreed that the title could be changed to Have a Bad Dream for the German edition as it feels better for their market.