HarperCollins has moved aggressively to expand its foreign-language publishing program, announcing the opening of new offices in four regions. The new operations are HarperCollins Holland, HarperCollins Japan, HarperCollins Nordic (Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark), and HarperCollins Polska (Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia). Similar to the other international offices it has opened since last fall, the new operations will build on the presence of Harelquin's publishing operations in the different regions. "That is why the Harlequin acquisition was so transformative for us. It is helping us grow our international reach," said HC CEO Brian Murray. Friday, HC named Chantal Restivo-Alessi to head up its foreign-language program.
To help launch the new operations, HC has signed the international bestselling author Karin Slaughter to a four book deal in which the publisher has acquired both world English rights as well as foreign language rights in about a dozen languages. It is the first time HC has simultaneously bought world English and foreign rights with the intention of publishing across all HC locations worldwide. Slaughter's first book under the new deal, Pretty Girls, will be released in September 2015 in all countries where HC operates except the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Holland.
Murray said it has been the enthusiasm of authors to have their works published simultaneously in foreign markets that has encouraged the company to push ahead with plans to expand its translation program. Previously, HC signed Daniel Silva to a multi-language agreement and Murray said he expects to soon sign more authors to similar deals. "I am really pleased with the momentum we've got going in a short period of time," Murray said. "It is clear authors see value in what we are doing." Slaughter said she was excited to take part "in a unique opportunity for global publishing on a completely new scale."
The HC overseas offices will look to publish between 30 to 50 titles annually in the native language in the countries in which they are located, while Harlequin will continue to do its own publishing program. Lists will be drawn from HC authors as well as from other authors who want to take advantage of HC's foreign language platform, Murray said. Murray also hopes that its overseas divisions will identify talent that could sell well in English.