Apparently a much discussed topic at BookExpo America 2006 was the issue of foreign rights, particularly European ones. Most American publishers advocate an open European market but some UK publishers are contracting exclusive deals for distribution which means that many foreign rights deals aren’t getting accomplished.
Hachette, one of the big six publishers, decided that its UK division would have exclusive European rights for any books for which Hachette owns world rights. US division would retain the Far East and Asia rights. It was a clause that James Patterson had requested in his contract and made “common sense” to the David Young, the head of the US division of Hachette.
Some European publishers are unhappy about this arguing that the granting exclusive rights to a UK publisher will create a downturn of sales for Hachette American authors.
Via Publisher’s Weekly.