The decision to go international with your books can revolutionize your future as a writer, and it’s easier now than it’s ever been to pitch your books abroad. International publishing often implies a more traditional book deal with a publisher as well, winning you the badge of “published” writing honor that so many self-published authors go without. This hybrid combination forms a win-win for many writers, but there are still a lot of general misconceptions and mistakes writers make when marketing their books internationally.
Teaming up with a publisher to release your book elsewhere can take a load off your shoulders. You don’t need to worry about everything--just prepare your book and lets someone else work out the hard parts. However, this kind of hybrid publishing can also be a trap for self-published authors who wish to remain so.
If you’re considering finding a publisher to go international with, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. You might not always know best.
You never know where your book will hit it off, so be open to the possibility of unexpected success in a foreign market. When you translate a book to a different language, you might have a country in mind--but that’s not necessarily where it will sell. You might also feel attached to a certain description of your book or a specific cover, but in other countries, things might look different.
A hybrid publisher can help you navigate these waters and often lend familiarity and support where you need it, leaving you to focus on your strong point: your book.
2. Keep your domestic rights.
International publishing is one of the more popular ways to go hybrid as an author. You can keep your rights here at home and let someone else take care of the hassle overseas--but wherever a more traditional publisher is concerned, including here, you need to watch your step. Make sure that you are keeping your rights on the domestic market and that you will maintain as much control as you want over your own publishing, or learn what specifically you are giving up while teaming with a publisher.
3. Read the Terms of Service.
Along with the concern about selling your rights is the concern over not reading the terms of service properly. This applies any time you sign your name to something, but international publishing companies can spoil the fun by slipping in unexpected conditions.
Learn what you will be responsible for in the deal, and what the publisher agrees to handle. This includes translation, book cover art, and distribution. You should also keep your rights in your own country if you intend to remain self-published or hybrid.
Is it a good idea to trust someone else to publish your book to a foreign market? In general, yes. But like signing onto any publisher, remember to read between the lines. Look at other books the publisher has produced and decide if your book would be a good fit, and make sure you don’t sign everything away in the process.
Are you a hybrid author, or have you had success publishing internationally? Please share your experiences in the comments below or join my Facebook Group for more discussion.