Kelvin Kong is Foreign Rights Manager at The Rights Factory and gave us a quick interview on what he does, what his expectations of BookMachine will be and also if he has any predictions for the future of Publishing.
1) So you’re Foreign Rights Manager at The Rights Factory, how long have you been doing this, what does your role involve and how long have you been at TRF?
I’ve been at TRF for about four years, but took a year break to work in a rights position at a kid’s publisher to cover a maternity leave. As rights manager, I sell/manage rights for our titles to foreign publishers. I’m also the guy who handles our Twitter and Facebook feeds, among other things.
2) What are your expectations of the BookMachine event and have you been to anything like this before?
I haven’t been to a BookMachine event, but I think that it’s great Toronto will have them. Since they usually take place in London and New York, we’re one step closer to being a world-class city like them! I expect that it’ll be a rollicking affair.
3) What are you hoping to get from the event – the type of people you’d like to meet and the conversations you are hoping to have?
I’m happy to meet new people in publishing – our scene is small, so new faces are always welcome. I’d like to meet people who are trying new things, starting their own ventures, etc.
4. What are some of the frustrating things you see in your business that publishers do/don’t do that you think could really help them be better at Publishing or Rights and Licensing?
Besides not buying rights from me? I can’t authoritatively speak for marketing or discoverability, or production or editorial workflow (though I understand that in all those cases, we’re rather reactive, so we’re not moving as quickly as we should), so I’ll say that one thing that bothers me is how different rights (subsidiary rights, translation rights, etc) are taken or withheld, and whoever holds them doesn’t exploit them to the best of their ability. If you have rights to something, work with them, otherwise why’d you want them in the first place?
5. Finally do you have any predictions you’d like to share with us for the future of Publishing?
Let me get my crystal ball – okay. Here’s my prediction: the sky isn’t falling. Publishing’s been around long before us, and will still be around long after we’re gone.
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