Some interesting and exciting personal writing news to enter into my writer’s diary blog this week. Rope Enough (The First Romney and Marsh File) is now available as a German translation on Amazon.de. as well as .co.uk and .com. It is titled simply Dover. That’s the German cover up top.
A few months ago I was contacted by Daniela Brezing. She said she’d read the first couple of R&M Files and wondered whether I’d like to enter into an arrangement with her whereby she translated my books and we split the proceeds. She wasn’t without experience of translating English to German in book form. She said that the R&M Files might go down well in Germany. I thought that sounded like a great idea. Who knows, they just might and if you don’t try you never know. So we drew up a contract. Daniela has done the translation and the rounds of her beta readers and this week she uploaded the book to Amazon.
More than just the excitement of having one of my books (hopefully more to come) available to be read in the German language I’m thrilled to be part of, dare I say at the forefront of, a development in the evolving self-publishing scene. And I didn’t even do anything.
Not so long ago, with all the financial issues and language barrier issues and editorial issues and printing issues and distribution issues, if you weren’t being published by a proper publishing house who would organise and pay for everything to get your physical book translated into a foreign language and into foreign bookshops then forget it.
But today with Amazon’s dedicated markets all over the world people are seeing and seizing opportunities. People like Daniela. Bi-lingual people who have a passion for books, who are ready to embrace technology, who have a good entrepreneurial business idea and who aren’t afraid to ask the big question and then do some work to create and develop a market.
I think that I’m right in saying that Daniela is not a professional translator just like I’m not a professional author. We both have families, other commitments on our time and other responsibilities before we can find time to sit down and devote some of our ‘spare’ time to our sidelines. Part of my point is that today you don’t need to be a professional, as in it’s your main occupation and main source of income, to be able to succeed in the ebook market place. So long as your approach is professional and your commitment is professional then the gap between professional and semi-professional is closed right down.
Technology, self-publishing and platforms such as Amazon have levelled that playing field for those of us who want to make the effort to close the gap.
I have no idea how far advanced is the practice of people like Daniela and me – non-professionals from different cultures, countries and languages, and who are quite unknown to each other – getting together and going on to collaborate on translation projects of self-published books. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there wasn’t a lot of it about at the moment. Equally, I won’t be surprised if such practices don’t become more and more common. And why not? There’s Amazon France, Germany, Italy, Spain for starters. Millions and millions of readers who are going to come to the ebook and ereaders sooner or later – it’s all going to catch on and catch up like all technology – and most of these people will want to read books in their own language and a good lump of them might like to read good old British police procedural novels set in Dover that are being offered for sale at a fraction of the price of the translations being offered by the big publishing houses because our overheads are so much less, while our product is able to compete. (I’ve had enough feedback on the R&M Files now to know that readers generally enjoy them, the cover is professional, the translation’s professional and we’re all using the same technology.)
Anyway, viel glück (that’s good luck in German) to us for our venture and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if a few of my self-publishing chums read this and thought it’s worth getting involved too. I’m sure Daniela would be pleased to hear from you…after she’s finished mine. 🙂
Just in case I have any followers who crave a German language copy of Dover aka Rope Enough it’s free to download from the following Amazon outlets over the weekend. Just click on the links.