Re: RARA-AVIS: Small World

From: K Montin (
Date: 10 Jul 2000

The shortage of foreign crime fiction in translation is an economic question more than anything else, although it is obviously related to the tastes of the buying public. Publishers simply don't feel there are enough buyers to make publishing translations worthwhile. There are not many general fiction titles in English translation, either, compared to the number of English titles translated into German, French or other languages.

Technically, it would be feasible to download books and print them on the reader's printer. I think you're right about the low cost of making a word-processing or PDF file available. It makes a certain amount of sense to publish that way if your only goal is to get read. But I'm not sure how the author and translator are going to make any money, even if they publish themselves. First, they have to get set up to accept credit cards, not an inexpensive proposition. Then, a few customers might pay, but once an electronic version is floating around, it would be like MP3 files. No one feels any compunction about trading them and the publishers, let alone the artists, don't get a cent.

Karin Montin (certified translator)

>Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000 14:32:36 EDT
>Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Small World

> Their production and the marketing costs can be limited to such a degree
>that a book selling no more than a couple hundred copies can sometimes pay
>for itself (not counting the cost of the translation), and a 5000 copy
>can be a big winner for everyone (except, perhaps, the author) No writer
>will make any real money unless his or her book takes off and does much
>better than that, but what else is new?
> Jim Blue

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