« Discussion

Call for Stories: Seeking Translation Publishers and Those Selling Direct

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

Over the past several years we’ve been tracking the upsurge in new publishing houses focusing on literary translation, including Open Letter Books, Glagoslav (discussed in today’s feature story, “Bringing the Best of Russian and Other Slavic Literature to the West), Le French Book, & Other Stories, Barcelona eBooks, and Stockholm Text, among many others.

The digital publishing revolution has flattened the world and as a consequence many if not all of the aforementioned publishers are using this to sell directly into overseas markets, rather than remaining merely local. Even some of the big publishers are getting into this game, foregoing selling foreign rights in favor of translating their own works and IP and selling it direct.

We’re looking for news and information about all such publishers and projects. Tell us about yourself. Are you a Japanese publishers translating your own books and selling them directly into America or China? A South African start up working on pan-African titles from tribal languages? A French-Canadian publisher translating your titles into German? Maybe you’re a self-published author who has paid for the translation of your own works, a la Bella Andre?

Let us know in the comments and email us. We want to hear from you.

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  1. Posted February 18, 2013 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    We are translation publishers focussing on East Asia (Japan and Korea for the moment), Russia and Eastern Europe. I clicked the email us but couold not get to the link.

  2. Posted February 18, 2013 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    We have published picture books from Norway, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, netherlands and Switzerland into Hindi and English…We are not for profit working in Himalyan villages. Children enjoy these for the novelty and as a window to the world other than their own.It’s rewarding seeing them enjoy these and improving their newly acquired reading skills!!

  3. Posted February 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I can say that publishing translations is a challenging undertaking. First, you have to get the translation right (an art in itself), and then it is simple not enough to choose the bestselling books in one country and put them in the market in another. Readers have different expectations. Specific knowledge of the “target” culture is needed to choose titles that could potentially succeed. The other issue is that marketing books truly differs from one country to another.

  4. Posted February 19, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    As an agency for children’s book illustrators and writers, we also actively pursue the representation of the North American/World English translation rights of children’s books from Europe, Asia and South America. In addition, we hold the translation rights of most of our clients’ books and sell those abroad. It’s definitely a challenge to sell a project from another country, language and culture but when we do, it’s very rewarding to bring something unique and different onto the American market.
    We agree with Le French Book that specific knowledge of the “target” culture is needed to choose titles and we make a continued effort to attain that knowledge and expertise, by attending the book fairs in Bologna and Frankfurt for instance.

  5. Posted February 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    We at Gallic Books publish French fiction in translation (and a little non-fiction). We are based in the UK but are launching in the US this September. We are best known as the UK publisher of Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, but also have great crime, noir and other contemporary fiction.

  6. Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Hispabooks is a newborn publishing house based in Madrid focused on publishing Spanish contemporary fiction in English-language translation, both in ebook and trade paperback format. We hope to have our first two books in the market by May and continue to do so for a long, long time!

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