Re: RARA-AVIS: Foreign HB novels

From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 29 Jul 2002

Joy Matkowski wrote:

> 1. We USians are at fault for being English-only. If I weren't
> linguistically incompetent, I could go to, etc., the way I go to
> (although I encountered some language barriers there, too).

You hit the nail on the head, Joy. Time to take that French class I've been meaning to take. If the mountain won't come to Mohammed......

> 2. From what I've heard novelist acquaintances say, the income they get from
> their books is peanuts.

Well, I don't know who your acquaintances are but most of the novelists I know are getting quite a few peanuts. Certainly not what they deserve (in most cases), but enough to do the math and realize that a translation could easily be factored in to the advance a publisher paid a good foreign author and the publisher would still come out ahead if the book found an audience. Since the U.S. publishers don't buy a lot of foreign product that would make this a buyer's market for them, thus making it easier to lowball the writer in question. You know, just like they do here.

> Translating isn't cheap, and you probably couldn't
> get a good (above Babelfish level) translator to work on a possible
> percentage sometime in the future, the way writers do.

You're right there. I doubt they work on spec the way writers do.

TL, who just can't seem to shut up on the subject.

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Jul 2002 EDT