I just received a check from my publisher in China. It wasn’t much, about $2,100, but it pays some bills. In fact, I am just finishing my latest book “Happy Leap Year” and need to pay my book designer, so the money will come in handy.
My books have been published in about 20 languages over the years. They include Spanish, German, Slovac, Czech, Romanian, Bella Russian, Russian, Ukranian, Polish, Greek, French, Dutch (I think), Hindi, Hebrew, Chinese (two forms), Korean, Japanese, Norwegian (I think, or was it Swedish?) Italian, and a few more. In the old days, when my agent handled everything for me, I would get a book in the mail periodically, in some sort of foreign language, with my name on the cover. Many times, we would not be able to tell what language it was. The breakup of the Soviet Union created many opportunities to deal with small publishers who published in specific mid-Eiropean languages.
Today, my foreign rights are primarily in Chinese, Ukranian, Polish, and Hindi. Why did these four languages survive? I am not sure, but I trust my distributors in those countries, and I always seem to get a fair sales volume.
I like the foreign rights business because it is no hassle for me. My publishers in the countries handle everything. They even arrange book tours for me. I was in China twice, and plan to go there this spring for a third tour.