RCS Libri, Grupo Planeta, Robert Laffont, Univers Poche and De Arebiderspers / A. W. Bruna Publishers have signed with Open Road Integrated Media to have Open Road distribute and market English-language digital editions of their books in English speaking territories. The deals will add a mix of mostly popular and literary fiction titles to Open Road’s international publishing partners program. Open Road CEO Jane Friedman said she expects to start publishing the titles this fall with the program continuing to build into 2014. She said she was “very pleased” with the list Open Road has created with its partners after what were some lengthy negotiations, noting that Open Road wanted to “make sure we are bringing in books that will sell.”
In most cases, Open Road has world English rights and the translations are being done by the company’s partners. While Open Road has published some e-books in translation from Barcelona eBooks—and has deals in place with Mondadori and Place Des Editeurs—the new agreements give Open Road a critical mass of titles. The titles will “become part of what we do here” and initially will be marketed like other Open Road titles, Friedman said, but noted that “we’ll learn what we have to add. . .we’ll be experiment in the truest sense of the word.” All titles will be sold throughout North America and most throughout the English-speaking world.
In its agreement with Italy’s RCS Libri, the program will begin with 20 titles from the romance, erotica, historical fiction, and literary fiction categories from bestselling authors such as Franco Di Mare, Dacia Maraini and Oriana Fallaci. The partnership will continue with backlist from these authors, and will also include a select list of titles from Rizzoli First, a digital first imprint established in late 2012. Under its deal with the Dutch publisher De Arebiderspers / A. W. Bruna Publishers, Open Road will publish 25 titles from its backlist.
In Spain, Open Road will publish about 25 Planeta books of historical fiction, women’s fiction, and literary fiction, including Angeles Caso’s Against the Wind, and Luz Gabas’ Palm Trees in the Snow.
The partnership with Laffont will start with 10 titles in historical fiction, thrillers, mysteries, and Jewish themed fiction, such as Philippe Besson’s An Accidental Man; Marek Halter’s Queen of Sheba and The Birobidzhan Affair; David Camus’s The Knights of the Kingdom; Jean-Claude Lattes’s The Last King of the Jews; and two works by Frederic Lenoir. In its agreement with Univers Poche, Open Road will launch with erotic short stories and thrillers.
Friedman said Open Road is in discussions to add more international publishers. “There are a lot of countries out there,” she said.