Re: RARA-AVIS: Foreign HB novels

Date: 02 Aug 2002


Re your comments below:

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

Jeremiah Healy, who's a wheel with International Association of Crime Writers, spoke of this at MWA's Of Dark and Stormy Nights symposium in June. His points coincided with your almost exactly.

Most European editors are multi-lingual, so if an British or American mystery is submitted to them, they can read it in the original language, decide if they want to publish, THEN pay for a translation.

By contrast, most American editors are uniligual, and must pay to have to expensive translation done before they can even CONSIDER publishing the book. The inevitable economic consequence is that many European mysteries end up not getting published here.


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