Working in Rights (Q&A with Nyasha Oliver)

Nyasha Oliver has created a fantastic document which provides an introduction to Rights for anyone looking to get into publishing. Why not consider Rights as your path into the industry?

That Publishing Blog is now open to guest writers and I was so pleased when Nyasha Oliver reached out to me. Welcome, Nyasha, the first guest writer!

Nyasha has created a fantastic document which provides an introduction to Rights for anyone looking to get into publishing. Why not consider Rights as your path into the industry? Nyasha’s guide can be found here and below is a handy Q&A to learn more about Nyasha and Rights itself.

If you would like to guest write on the blog, get in touch on Twitter or email

  1. Why did you create the guide and who for?

I created it for publishing hopefuls who are struggling to find a job in publishing. In my opinion there’s not a lot of information coming from the Rights department. While working in publishing, I thought about how useful all the information I had learnt could be if I passed it onto others. I myself, was once a publishing hopeful and the only paths I saw at the time were in the Editorial, Marketing, Design and Sales departments.

  1. What was your inspiration to create this guide?

I guess the inspiration came from talking to people in the industry and also publishing hopefuls trying to start a career within publishing. There are some really handy events such as WTF is Publishing? (Bad Form Review) or Paths into Publishing (BookMachine) but I noticed there isn’t a simple, easy to read guide online that really goes into depth about Rights so I created it in September 2021 hoping it will help someone.

  1. Who helped you contribute to the guide?

I had wonderful help from four other professionals who I frequently talk to on social media. They have all been credited in the “Thanks To” chapter but again, I’m very grateful to Bethany, Hany, Karen and Saidah for spell checking and also adding their own additional comments and advice.

  1. What are some day-to-day tasks that you can expect to do as a Rights Assistant?

As a Rights Assistant, it can vary. I did a lot of contract drafting, adding new deals to Biblio3, answering various enquiries back and forth between customers and the Finance team and raising invoices. People really aren’t kidding when they say your day is never the same.

  1. What was your favourite part of your job in the Rights?

I enjoyed assisting the territory manager with the Asia market and helping to draft contracts for them. It was interesting to see what goes into the contract and how detailed and precise they have to be.

  1. Do I need to learn to use any software or systems before I apply for a job in the Rights?

No, you should be learning while on the job. The only thing I can say to know a bit about is WeTransfer and Excel which I’ve mentioned in the guide.

What would be really great is if someone did a guide or course on how to use Biblio3, one of many publishing management softwares used in the industry. It does depend on the publisher but it would really help publishing hopefuls understand one of the most popular softwares in the industry.

  1. Why did you leave your position? 

To put it simply, I lost interest in working in Rights. While it’s a great department and I loved working within the Macmillan Children’s team, I wanted to focus on more editorial work with bigger opportunities to write. While working in publishing was one of my dreams (along with being a translator, writer and journalist as a child right through to University), I don’t think the industry is for me. But I’ll always be involved within the community.

  1. What are you doing now? Anything that relates to publishing?

I am currently working within the editorial department for a magazine and radio publication. I get to help research and write articles about uncommon places or exceptional people across the globe. I’ve always been a person who loves writing and learning about different cultures so to finally have a role that I can intertwine this with is fulfilling.

You can follow Nyasha at @aoispice and on her blog


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