News for Authors

The Opportunities and Challenges of International Sales

by Neda Dallal|August, 2019

Ever wonder how your books are sold in markets around the world? Read on to learn about how the PRH International Sales team gets your books into countries across the globe.


Penguin Random House’s International Sales team operates around the world and provides many services, such as global author tours, international marketing and publicity, digital marketing, drop shipments, and efficient freight programs. We also have sister companies around the world with whom we frequently collaborate.


What’s Working

Our international team sells around the globe, with our largest markets today including continental Europe and East Asia. And the team is seeing major growth in areas such as China, Germany, the UK, Australia, India, Singapore, and the Philippines. Fiction represents the largest share of sales at 25 percent, followed by juvenile fiction at 20 percent and comics and graphic novels at 16 percent.



In Europe and Asia, sales have been consistent for established authors and series, as well as New York Times bestsellers. Titles with multiple translations also do well in these regions. In the Middle East and Africa, we’ve seen success with price promotions and author tours. In northeastern Asia, preschool brands and licensing do quite well, and Southeast Asia has a strong market for young-adult literature. Simply put, different regions and countries respond well to different kinds of books and products, and our International Sales team has homed in on what sells well where to make sure we continue to be relevant.

International Sales also supports authors with local appearances when they are traveling abroad. If a recently published title is selling overseas, the sales team can help connect the author with local bookstores to set up events and marketing. Your publicist is always the best first point of contact for such an overseas opportunity, so be sure to reach out to him/her first to determine whether such an event is right for you.



Some factors have certainly proved challenging in selling our books abroad. Highly competitive and fast-maturing marketplaces can present roadblocks to getting PRH books into the right places, and International Sales is always looking closely at how to crack these markets. Changing geopolitical landscapes and current events in different regions affect the business as well, so our salespeople keep a close eye on these matters, as well as the trends they create, in order to sell accordingly.



There are always new ways to expand our international sales, and the team is always exploring opportunities. For example, it is no secret that global digital usage has only grown in recent years, so our online retail presence will need to grow with it. The team also constantly scans the market to find and work with relevant new digital accounts and increase digital sales.

Movie and media tie-ins are another great growth opportunity, given the international resonance of many film and TV properties. The team is also investigating opportunities like customizable editions of books, children’s content (especially in books that help consumers learn English), and the expansion of graphic novels internationally.


By recognizing trends and understanding regional markets, PRH’s International Sales team is always working to get your books into the hands of people across the world.



Neda Dallal is Associate, Publishing Development and Author Platforms at Penguin Random House.