BRIEF propels book across borders in Europe

Amidst the hype about the popular novel, The Shack, Kerstin Hack, head of Germany’s Down to Earth Publishing House, holed up for one week and penned a companion book. She searched for answers to the tough questions pressing on her heart: Why did God not answer some of my biggest prayers, but did answer the minor ones? Why does He seem to give a promise that does not come true in real life? Why do dear people die sudden and unexpected deaths?

The sum of her quandaries became Die Hütte und ich. Gott neu begegnen - eine Reise (Disappointed by God: A Journey back to trust). Though it did not become a blockbuster, it changed lives. People who had given up following Jesus found their faith revitalized. Yet, the title remained available only to a small German-Christian audience. Enter the Book Rights International Exchange Forum (BRIEF).

BRIEF is a strategic marketing tool for European authors to expand their audiences across Europe and beyond. The online BRIEF catalogue was conceived by a group of publishers at the MAI-Europe Publishing Forum in 2010. Since last year, publishers have been able to view titles, read chapter excerpts, and purchase rights via the BRIEF database hosted on MAI’s website.

Balazs Zagoni, director of Koinonia Publisher in Romania, was moved while reading an English chapter of Kirsten’s book that he had found in the BRIEF catalogue. After another reader called it her most refreshing reading experience in years, Koinonia decided to translate and publish the print and e-book title. Its release date is set for 2013, on the 20th anniversary of Koinonia’s founding. This publication will celebrate the first successful rights purchase via BRIEF.

“I would never be able to find this book without BRIEF,” said Balazs. “I am looking forward to new titles from different cultures and languages, experiencing the same, eternal God in so many different, specific and very personal ways."

By Katie Skero, MAI editorial intern

Photo above right: Balazs Zagoni (left) with Kerstin Hack at the MAI-Europe Publishing Forum.