Last week, my Russian publisher sent me the proposed cover and promo text for their translation of Sorry I Missed You—or, as it'll be titled over there, Sorry, But I Miss You.
This might be one of my favorite parts of publishing. It's super fun to see your work described in another language, what elements of the book they pull out to put on the back cover, how they translate the title—your own name made of symbols you don't understand.
I posted the cover on Instagram and some friends wanted to know about the behind-the-scenes process of book translations and foreign rights from the author's perspective. It's very long and complicated and involved, so I thought it deserved a whole blog post. Are you ready? Here it is:
So first of all, you sit there and wait for an email from either your agent or your publisher (depending on who holds your world rights) to say that someone wants to buy your book and translate it into another language. And then you sit there and wait for a contract to sign. And then you sit there and wait for the foreign publisher to send you the cover and promo text. And then you sit there and wait for your pub date, which will likely be a surprise (they might tell you which month they're considering, maybe). And then, someday, you'll see your book on Instagram or someplace and go, Oh, hey, it must be out there now! and you'll get some physical copies in the mail, if that's in your contract, and you won't be able to read them but you'll put them on your shelf and say to yourself, "Neat!"
Phew. Lots of work. Very grueling.
Are you interested in seeing the promo text? Sure you are!
“Three women. Each has an intimate question.
One letter - it contains all the answers. Who will get it?
Larry inherited a mansion, but in order to live in it, you need to follow a bunch of strange rules. For example, not listening to modern music or planting flowers nearby. Since Larry is already full of problems, he decides to rent the house.
It is occupied by three women, Maud, Sunnah and Mackenzie. It soon turns out that each of them had a person in their life who disappeared without explanation.
Therefore, when they find a tattered letter in the mailbox, where only one thing is clear - they want to meet with someone in a coffee shop - everyone hopes to see a "ghost" from their former life.
But Larry is not interested in this, he has a lot of other concerns, and he is also convinced that ghosts, and real ones, have settled in the attic. Anyway, in their usually quiet city, something amiss is going on. Someone threatens to smash the gallery where he works. There is certainly no time for mysticism!"
Is this a good time to mention that, with Halloween just days away, Sorry I Missed You has ghosts in it but is not too scary for wimps like me who don't love being toooooo too scared? Because, contrary to the Russians' promo text, there is certainly time for mysticism, and the time is certainly now. So if you or someone you love wants a Halloween-appropriate read that won't keep you up at night, you know, I'm just going to drop some buy links here. (I don't really hustle much, so please bear with me when I get the urge...)