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Our vision

We are passionate about translation rights in book publishing. We believe the world is a better place if people can read books from other cultures in translation.

Traditionally, translation rights are sold by rights managers in publishing houses or literary agencies. They meet at annual book fairs in Frankfurt and London to present their rights lists to acquiring editors. The Frankfurt book fair runs a rights centre called Literary Agents Centre, or LitAg. It is very popular with more than 300 registered agencies. It is open five days in October. Five days.

Unfortunately, the licensing business is granular. At the beginning of each translation sale there is somebody's love for a book and a desire to share. But, the actual process of making a book visible to the global publishing community is difficult. Vice versa for acquiring editors, identifying the agent responsible for a translation right to a book is almost impossible.

This is where Rightsdesk comes in

We believe there is a better way of working together in the global rights community than spending five days in Hall 6.2 and sending around critical material and information by emails. We all drown in emails.

We know that the publishing community loves the club atmosphere in Frankfurt hotels.

We also know that the publishing community uses some pretty outdated tools to turn their Frankfurt talks into contracts.

So, we set out to create a platform that imitates the club atmosphere of a book fair and takes a whole lot of weight out of our inboxes.

Rightsdesk turned out to become a friendly marketplace for a small community of professionals. Why friendly? Because Rightsdesk is about support. We are aiming at improving the traditional business of agenting, not at putting agencies out of business. We don't want to replace good old hand-selling, good Lord!

We simply want to offer 21st century tools to a, let's say, traditional business community.

Join the club

Licensing is all about contacts. However, many of us prefer to keep their business contacts to themselves. Unfortunately, this means that they will have to make new contacts themselves.

We believe that sharing contacts in a club atmosphere within the rights community improves everybody's business and helps the community in general to license more translation rights.

The Rightsdesk network, therefore, is based on the idea of sharing contacts: "my contacts are your contacts".

So much to say...

There is a lot to be said about every book and every book deserves the full attention of its agents and publishers. We have built a messaging service that makes it easy to talk about books.

... so little time.

People in publishing usually don't count their working hours. But everybody has to sleep. Time is a precious thing and needs to be spent on the things that really matter. We have built some functions into Rightsdesk that will help agents, editors and rights managers save a lot of time. Time, to be spent on what everybody is best at: hand-selling the books we love.

Let us connect you! The transaction is yours.

Our story

Rightsdesk grew out of a conversation between literary agent Sebastian Ritscher and software developer Michael Schreckenberg. Sebastian runs a major literary agency that specializes in selling German translation rights for US and UK agencies and publishers. Michael was working on a collaboration platform.

It turned out that Sebastian was looking for a cloud software that Michael was working on. The two connected, became friends and decided to start working on Rightsdesk, the social platform and marketplace for the rights community in global publishing. An early version launched in 2014.

We are Rightsdesk:

Sebastian Ritscher, Co-Founder and CEO (Email)

Sebastian is the president of Mohrbooks, a leading literary agency based in Zurich. He has an MA in English Literature, sold his first translation right in 1989 and believes strongly in the use of technology to help the industry focus on what really matters: to promote authors and their work.

Michael Schreckenberg, Co-Founder and CTO (Email)
Dino Zanolli, Sales Director (Email)

Dino is a trained bookseller with over 20 years of experience in sales and licensing, based in Augsburg near Munich. He knows the industry inside out and is passionate about getting books to customers. He has worked for various publishers, including Herder and Münchner Verlagsgruppe.