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The Make Books Travel Podcast

42 EpisodesProduced by Marleen SeegersWebsite

The Make Books Travel podcast offers a behind-the-scenes look at the international publishing scene. Literary agent Marleen Seegers interviews the industry's key players, who all have one thing in common: they make books travel, for instance from one language to another, from manuscript to published… read more


S1 E19: The Lisbon Book Fair, a Breath of Fresh Air for the Portuguese Publishing Industry. An Interview with Rita Fazenda

For today’s show we’re going back overseas (at least from an American standpoint) as I’m speaking with Rita Fazenda from Portugal. Rita works as a publisher at one of Portugal’s major publishing houses called Leya Portugal.

The Portuguese publishing market has seen many challenges over the years. I wanted to ask Rita how things are looking now, with the additional restraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

I’m happy to say that at least one good thing is happening at the moment, namely the Lisbon Book Fair, which is held from late August till around mid-September.

It is an important event for Portuguese publishers, even more so now. While it’s always been an outdoor event (even in normal, pre-pandemic times), I was curious to hear what its set-up looks like in times of Corona.

Besides the Portuguese publishing market and the Lisbon Book Fair, Rita and I discuss many other topics including the hardships of selling translation rights in Portuguese books.


  • Rita's book recommendations:

- William Gibson, Neuromancer (Ace, 1984; new hardcover edition with introduction by Neil Gaiman, Penguin Galaxy, 2016)
- Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others (Vintage, Reissue Edition, 2016; includes “Story of Your Life” which was the basis for the motion picture Arrival)

  • Information about translation grants for Portuguese titles: 

Direção Geral do Livro, dos Arquivos e das Bibliotecas
Torre do Tombo, Alameda da Universidade
1649-010 Lisboa, Portugal
Tel: +351 21 003 7420 / +351 21 003 7422
Support for translation and promotion of authors:

  • About Rita:

Since Rita Fazenda was a little girl, books have been her passion. In fact, books were probably her best friends and certainly her window into the world. She started her career in communications agencies, and was in the first Portuguese company working with scriptwriting, actors, comedians, who she would represent as an agent, for several years.

Then, life took her finally home, the world of publishing, where she’s been working for more than decade, in several Portuguese publishing houses, as a communications officer, an editor and foreign rights manager such as Objectiva and Marcador. Her work gave Rita the opportunity to know some amazing authors and to travel to find some awesome books. Now she’s a publisher in one of the major publishing houses in Portugal, Leya Portugal, and she’s thrilled. The little girl in her feels like a kid on a candy shop. Giving voice to authors it’s an out of this world experience. It’s a kind of magic. And Rita is a firm believer in magic.

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