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Agent Talks: The Hidden Gems of Subrights with Jenissa Graham

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Subsidiary rights allow your publisher to generate revenue by licensing your work to third parties. This can include additional publications such as excerpts, book club editions, mass market editions, and foreign editions. Subrights can also include non-print uses such as audiobook rights, film rights, and merchandising rights, which the author may wish to retain.

In this webinar, Jenissa Graham will define subrights and explain why they are important and in which cases you may want to retain some subrights. We will also learn how to exploit them if possible, how subrights can help an author’s career, and the situations when coagents may enter the picture.

Moderated by Sarah Khalil, literary agent at Calligraph.


Jenissa Graham is an associate agent and subsidiary rights manager at BookEnds Literary Agency where she is actively building her lists of clients while simultaneously supporting the agency in Film/TV, Merchandise, and Audio. Her publishing career started at Writers House, first as an intern and then full time in the subrights department as the Global Licensing and Media Rights Assistant where she supported the team in Film/TV, Theater, Merchandise, Permissions, and UK Rights. As a first-generation Jamaican American, Jenissa is passionate about increasing the BIPOC space in Publishing and is always on the lookout for new underrepresented authors. She currently lives in New York, and when she’s not reading submissions, writing, or adding books to her maybe one day I’ll read pile, you will most likely find her binging reruns of her favorite showsfiddling with her tarot decks, or stressing over her plants.

Sarah Khalil, moderator, is literary agent and editorial manager at Calligraph. Previously, she was at Kneerim & Williams for four years, and she has worked at Beacon Press and the IP law firm Sennott, Williams, & Rogers. Sarah is the director of Calligraph’s internship program. She is on the Association of American Literary Agents’ DEI Committee and is a co-director of its Mentorship Program.

In Collaboration With:

Association of American Literary Agents (AALA)

Since its founding in 1991, the Association of American Literary Agents has been a leading force in furthering the interests of agents, authors and other rights holders. Through regular educational programming, community-building initiatives, and advocating for agents and authors alike, the volunteer-run organization is dedicated to helping our members maintain and broaden their professional skills in a fast-changing publishing environment. Recognizing the historically exclusive nature of publishing, the AALA is committed to engendering a more diverse, equitable, participatory, and inclusive publishing community. Members of the AALA must agree to adhere to its widely-respected Canon of Ethics, thus ensuring that our membership maintains the highest standards of ethics and integrity in dealings with and on behalf of our clients and our publishing colleagues. 

Literary Agents of Change

Literary Agents of Change, the nonprofit born out of American Association of Literary Agents’ (AALA) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, was formed to help dismantle the barriers to entry into a career as a literary agent for members of historically underrepresented groups, particularly people of color while recognizing the systems of overlapping oppressions in regard to race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class, and ability. Literary Agents of Change offers a Fellowship Program to encourage recruitment into the profession, and a Mentorship Program focused on the retention and promotion of agents from these communities.