I’ve had the occasion to talk to several authors lately whose books have been published in foreign countries, and we have something in common – confusion.
Our agents and sub-agents do all the work and we get books with words we don’t understand to put on our bookshelves.
I was recently made aware that PAPERBOY has just gone into its third printing in Turkey by the Kirmizi Kedi Publishing Co. That’s right. Turkey. I’ve never been to Istanbul, but I can spell it on a good day. (Cover of the Turkish edition is pictured in this post.)
So far, PAPERBOY has been published in eight foreign languages. In addition to Turkish, there’s German, Mainland Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, South Korean, Lithuanian and Hebrew. There was a second printing of WORTER AUF PAPIER by Koenigskinder-Verlag, a large German publisher. (They had to change the title to WORDS ON PAPER since the connotation of “paperboy” in German is “flimsy boy.”)
I’ve had great fun working with several translators who have had to explain to their readers exactly who Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob were, that a streetcar is just a city bus and that Garrett’s is a brand of snuff, not popcorn.
So, thanks to my readers all over the world, especially to Turkey, where they know PAPERBOY as JOURNALIST BOY!