Publishing Internationally

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

dsoul700

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What I've come to realize is that most agents stick first to ones they know than ones they know less about.
 

Bo Balder

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Question about agents: I've just received an offer to publish ( no specifics yet, but the publisher usually just pays royalties) a novel of mine from an American small press.
Would it benefit me to get an agent at this stage?
 

waylander

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You could try, but agents aren't generally interested unless there is an advance and the prospect of decent royalties, which is only going to happen if the publisher has a distribution deal.
 

Vanayssa

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I am a Canadian but I haven't thought much about this before. I write my books as though I am an American simply because the U.S. has like 350,000,000 people or maybe more now and Canada is a large geographical country with a small number of people...about one tenth of that. So it seemed wiser to make my characters Americans. I write for a U.S. publisher, Solstice Publishing. BTW they always look for short stories to include in anthologies, like Valentine's Day, Hallowe'en, Christmas (the Christmas one includes all the different cultures ways of celebrating Christmas, and NY and whatever way others do it). Britain is a good place to get involved with too as they speak English and they have massive population same as the U.S. does. On the other hand I guess you could say the same about a lot of countries...not many have as small a population as Canada.
 

Albdantesque

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I am a Canadian but I haven't thought much about this before. I write my books as though I am an American simply because the U.S. has like 350,000,000 people or maybe more now and Canada is a large geographical country with a small number of people...about one tenth of that. So it seemed wiser to make my characters Americans. I write for a U.S. publisher, Solstice Publishing. BTW they always look for short stories to include in anthologies, like Valentine's Day, Hallowe'en, Christmas (the Christmas one includes all the different cultures ways of celebrating Christmas, and NY and whatever way others do it). Britain is a good place to get involved with too as they speak English and they have massive population same as the U.S. does. On the other hand I guess you could say the same about a lot of countries...not many have as small a population as Canada.

Population is a problem, and work ethics another one. I was best-seller for two years in a tiny country and as reward I received 500 euros only :), never able to say if those 500 came from the the few readers who made me best seller or from the publisher who has other standards from the publishers in my country. Anyway, I guess it was not worth the trouble to find out... and if there are good writers today they are not best-sellers (like me in that tiny nation :)
 

Gribba

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I love this, thank you for making this a sticky and summing up these questions/posts! So helpful!
 

Albdantesque

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A publisher in a tiny country wants to publish and distribute my translated novel in English. If we do that, can I still hope to find agents in UK and US, or will they not be content with the fact that my translated novel is already published in a tiny region of Europe?

Thanks!
 

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Which country does this tiny publisher want to publish your book in? If it's only going to be published in a tiny country with a small English-speaking population then it might not be a problem, but if the publisher wants world rights you'd not be able to find an agent to sell it to the English-speaking market once it was already published to that market.

And is this the translation you arranged for yourself? Because you've already said in another thread that the translation isn't very good, so I don't see why you want it out there for everyone to read.
 

SaraP

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My first thought is that you might lose First Rights that way, which is a big no-no for later trying to sell your novel to US/UK agents/publishers.

(ETA: The lovely Old Hack explained it way better and she knows her stuff.)
 

Albdantesque

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Which country does this tiny publisher want to publish your book in? If it's only going to be published in a tiny country with a small English-speaking population then it might not be a problem, but if the publisher wants world rights you'd not be able to find an agent to sell it to the English-speaking market once it was already published to that market.

And is this the translation you arranged for yourself? Because you've already said in another thread that the translation isn't very good, so I don't see why you want it out there for everyone to read.

I said I can't be sure about the quality. His English is better than mine, that's all that I can say.

This time, in fact, I need answers on publishing rights.
 
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Albdantesque

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My first thought is that you might lose First Rights that way, which is a big no-no for later trying to sell your novel to US/UK agents/publishers.

In different parts of the world different policies on the publisher's/author's rights. In some countries book trade is so pauper that even publishers do not buy the books (but prefer to share cost and earnings with the author/translator). But, let me ask you just this: do books that bear © side by side with the author's name imply that the author has the first rights on those?
 
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Old Hack

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I said I can't be sure about the quality. His English is better than mine, that's all that I can say.

This time, in fact, I need answers on publishing rights.

I've given you a general answer with regard to the problems this might cause but no one is going to be able to tell you much more unless you explain who the publisher is, where they're based, and what rights they want from you. The more specific you can be, the more information we can give you.

In different parts of the world different policies on the publisher's/author's rights. In some countries book trade is so pauper that even publishers do not buy the books (but prefer to share cost and earnings with the author/translator). But, let me ask you just this: do books that bear © side by side with the author's name imply that the author has the first rights on those?

No.

The copyright holder is usually the person who wrote the book. Who they then sell rights to is another issue entirely. And once those rights are sold, they are usually still the copyright holder.
 
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CoolWrites

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Hi all... I'm new to forums generally. So what's a Sticky? One that stays up for reference?

I'd like to ask an international sort of question, though it doesn't quite fit the remit this thread started with. Should I start a new thread?

Thanks for your patience,

CoolWrites
 

PiaSophia

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I don't know if this has been talked about somewhere before- if it has, excuse me please. I'm still finding out how this forum works :).

So I am currently in the process of publishing my first short story collection. At first, I want to publish it in my native language and own country (The Netherlands/Dutch), but I feel like my stories would be better received in other countries. Therefore I am also translating them in English and eventually want to publish them internationally. I have trouble finding a publisher, and therefore decided I'm going to self publish in The Netherlands. My question is, if it's possible to self publish in other countries as well? If so, how?
 

Albdantesque

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@PiaSophia

If you pay, you can self-publish everywehere. The problem is the translation. In EU you better compete tin the EU Literature Prize. If you win your work gets translated in all EU languages.

In Eastern-European countries you better look the Traduki website... you will find info about translators and publishers from these countries. If you are lucky, they translate & publish your work and Traduki pays them.
 
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PiaSophia

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@Albdantesque

Brilliant! Thanks a lot :)
Do you have any experience with this yourself?
 

Albdantesque

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@Albdantesque

Brilliant! Thanks a lot :)
Do you have any experience with this yourself?

Well, I write in three languages (Albanian, Greek, and English).

I have published three books in Albanian, two philosophical essays in English, and have translated my first novel in English and my second one in Greek (that is probably going for self-publication).

I have been living 11 years in the US and the conclusion I have come is to not waste my time through reading contemporary American fiction (I like American academic and scientific books a lot, and a very few dead novelists and poets) and to not translate myself in English. If I write academic essays, I better do it in English, but if I write fiction I do not seek anymore being translated into English.

With the first novel, I did the mistake of translating it... but that happened because I was new/enthusiastic into writing, I listened to bad advise, and had no idea what's going on with fiction books in English speaking countries.

From some research that took almost five years let me tell you the facts: in Slovenia (one of the most reading nations in the world) and Czech Republic the 70% of books people read are translations, in Germany 40% of books are translations, in France 30% of books are translations, in the English speaking world just 2.7% of the books people read are translations.

These and other facts have some implications. One, there is more interest in EU on what is going on with other cultures/languages. Two, since many people write English, English publishers do not find good reasons to publish and advertise translations. Three, English speaking countries (through their publishers) seem to have built a wall against literary aesthetics & thought of other countries. Four, the English book market is so enormous that some people have come to the conclusion that if you do not write English you are unimportant and English authors should be the best in the world (with great impact on nations whose secondary language is English).

This is what happening today in the world. In one or in another way, English authors, directors, playwrights, etc, are imposing their aesthetics on the rest of the world... although many English authors have no idea what the rest of the world writes about.

If you, however, come from a small country (like Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, etc.) you expect people to have interest in more than two languages. Hence, when you discuss with people from these countries you may find them versed in authors (Germans, French, Spanish, etc.) that were never translated in English. This knowledge of literary trends of other countries has brought also a divergence of aesthetics (and thought) between Europe and English speaking countries. In my country, for example, people have high regard of contemporary Spanish authors. To speak for myself, I have been always impressed by Russian, Italian, and German writers.

To conclude, if you can translate yourself in English and you have the free time to do it... please do it, but do not expect your work to be widely read. The market of English books may refer to 1 billion people and the chances of being successful in such a market depend on your manager (that I am supposing you don't have). It is better, in my view, to try to have some success in your own language and after that to start applying for some writers' residencies in EU and USA. In these artistic residencies you may meet translators, managers, and publishers and will have a personal experience on what is going on in the international book market. To arrive at that point, however, you should, at the first place, have become an avid writer... The more you write and the more you are read in your country, the more chances you have of being admitted in writers' residencies and try some success in other countries. There is also the issue of aesthetics (that is often lost in bad translation) and a Dutch writer may expect to be more successful in one country and less successful in another one :)
 
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PiaSophia

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Thank you for the elaborate answer, Albdantesque!

I have been born and raised in The Netherlands, but come from a Croatian family. My aunt is a book editor and translator in Croatia (English-Croatian and Croatian-English) and I'm actually talking to her right now about publishing in Croatia as well, as she obviously knows who to talk to and which route to take. I have translated some of my work in English and have her edit them for me. She could easily translate them to Croatian as well.
According to your answer, I more and more get the feeling this might be a good idea.

A little off-topic, but I really like your combination of Albanian, Greek and English! That's so cool!
 

AlanEB

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When I joined I got a reply from another South African author and I gave him Kudos for being published, even self published.
The reason for this is that in South Africa your local publishers are restrictive in content and genres, and your international publishers focus on specific genres of interest from South Africa while anything else goes in the same bin as every other applicant.
In essence this means that if you take up the niche then you have a decent chance, if not then you have perhaps a slightly less chance overall than a local US or European submission to those in country publishers.

The niche tends to be non fiction, local languages and / or cultural books.
I know several South African authors who thrive with that kind of work.
 

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