Change the Stories You Want to See

If you love books, movies, TV series, graphic novels – stories of all kinds, and poetry, great dialogue, philosophy, wit and aphorisms – in other words, great, memorable writing – please read on. If you’re like us you grew up nurtured by the canon, the best stories ever, because they served as a test of our values, of the kind of people and culture we could be. And yet, the canon, like the stock market, is constantly evolving. Whereas we need new combinations of DNA, it needs fresh, unique and diverse voices telling powerful, resonant stories to survive. If you’re in the book and publishing trade, already exercising your taste and want a new challenge or culture (or if you are tired of being micromanaged), or if you are just out of a publishing program or otherwise new to this world yet have always dreamed of a literary life, we’d love to hear from you. Our agency is growing and we need help in many areas – English-language, foreign, audio, film and TV, and we need your help to be part of this change we all want to see – to perform the miracle of transubstantiation – to manifest raw talent into culture that stands the test of time. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome – and in fact celebrate – diversity. See the full list of awesome career opportunities here below.

Foreign Rights Manager (Adult/Children’s)

TRF seeks a Foreign Rights Manager to sell our Adult and Children’s projects. You will be responsible for exploiting our clients’ work in all translation markets and in some cases the English language outside North America. This is a unique and significant opportunity to grow this area of our business. You should have a positive, can-do attitude, ability to manage a heavy and varied workload, and be able to work in a supremely collaborative manner with your agency colleagues and to prioritize as necessary.

Client Care

•Build and maintain successful relationships with foreign publishers through regular contact and at book fairs (virtual or in-person).

•Negotiate the best possible terms for clients across all areas of a deal, through sub-agents or direct.

•Develop positive relationships with agents and clients based on honesty, trust, speed and reliability.


•Develop and build relationships with sub-agents, scouts and other vested agency partners and stakeholders.

•Maximize rights sales and profits for foreign territories, working to sales targets.

•Research and identify prospective new rights-buyers and exploit potential for sales growth.

•Liaise with colleagues to develop rights lists and catalogues (catalogue design experience a bonus).

•Attend book fairs and provide reports of sales activities.

•Liaise with subagents to approve or draft contracts, and negotiate advantageous terms .

•Check and approve client statements, sending reversion letters when required.

•Be aware of tax implications for foreign deals, (i.e. withholding) documents and liaise with colleagues in a timely manner.

Experience and Skills

•Solid rights sales experience in a trade book publishing environment, with confidence in negotiating and finalizing deals.

•An understanding of foreign rights sales and ideally, experience in selling translations.

•Proven organizational and time management skills.

•Excellent communication skills and fluent written and spoken English (other languages a bonus).

•Ability to work calmly under pressure and to tight deadlines, with excellent record-keeping and without compromising on quality.

Culture and Collaboration

•Versatile team player, eager to share your opinions, skills and genius to improve colleagues’ projects, especially to help them sell internationally.

•A strong phone and email manner and style to collaborate with co-agents and publishers and be attentive to colleagues and clients.

•Ensure that the agency website and social media offers maximum promotion and opportunities for all clients and their titles.

Fine Print

•Salary: Commission-based

•Expenses: Agency covers travel, accommodation, and expenses related to book fairs

•Duration: Full-Time

• Benefits: Work remotely from anywhere

To Apply

Email Sam Hiyate at with a copy of your resume and a cover letter.

Author of THE GREAT GOULD, music critic and journalist Peter Goddard’s memoir, MY PRIVATE ROCK ’N’ ROLL, has sold to Douglas Richmond at House of Anansi by Sam Hiyate at The Rights Factory (World).

"I grew up reading and learning about Rock 'n' Roll from Peter Goddard, so I'm really excited to see his memoir come to life,” said The Rights Factory agent and CEO Sam Hiyate. “No Canadian has had his unique window into music from the 60s to now."

Journeying through his 50+ years on the beat, Goddard revisits his haunts and their habitués, where Springsteen, Dylan, Joplin, and Prince are found. Featuring stories of a ghostly sleep-deprived Chet Baker sounding as forlorn as his horn, John Lennon fussing with Yoko Ono’s white nightshirt, lest anything be improperly revealed during their Montreal Bed-in, and Liza Minnelli bumming a light in the parking lot after the Oscars.

We wanted to get to know The Rights Factory’s newest agent, Kathryn Willms, a bit better. So we decided to subject her to a version of the famous Proustian Questionnaire. It’s fascinating what you can learn about a person from their greatest regret...

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A summer day. Craft beer. My husband. A good book. Feet in Lake Huron.

What is your greatest fear?

Falling off the chairlift. I’m not even afraid of heights, but I am afraid of public humiliation and having time to think through the consequences of not lowering the safety bar. Also, anything touching my leg while in a deep body of water. When I left home one of my major fears was my parents would throw out all my favourite childhood books. Well, they just moved, and they packed the storage container with so many books that the crane tipped over when it tried to lift it onto the truck. What a relief.

Who are your favourite writers?

Ha, this is a really unfair question. Already with the agency, I’ve encountered some new “favourite” writers. The list is out of control. I plead the fifth. Here are a few books though that I can’t get enough of:

Unless by Carol Shields; The Sellout by Paul Beatty; The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin; Coventry by Rachel Cusk; The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles; Among the Thugs by Bill Buford; Lincoln by Gore Vidal; Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

What or who is the great love of your life?

It’s my husband, but he would say it’s “sleep.”

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Honestly, I don’t think I can live through another Game 7 loss to Boston in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Thank you, Canadian Bubble! Auston, baby, let’s do this! [Editor: Toronto Maple Leafs fans are the worst.]

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Fictionalized Abraham Lincolns. Oooh, or Thomas Cromwell.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Catherine the Great. Let’s put me in charge and see what happens.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability the best writers have to create a world we fall into and never want to leave. The great part of this gig is now I get to work with those writers! Also, I would love a caustic wit – to be able to really devastatingly insult someone. Not that I would do it, of course – I would just like to know I could.

What is your greatest regret?

Not owning a hot tub. People who pandemic-purchased a hot tub, invite me over! This is not a regret because I love where I live, but I wish I could see my family more often. They are the funniest and weirdest people I know.

How would you like to die?

In a canopied bed, surrounded by paid staff, wealthy and bored with too much stuff. That’s why I’m in book publishing! We live above a fruit store and I imagine one day we’ll fall through due to the weight of our bookshelves. Might not be my first choice, but seems apt.

Interested in pitching Kathryn? Click here to submit a query on Query Tracker. You can also follow Kathryn on Twitter @knwillms.

Banking on Talent

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