Literary Islands

I’ve been thinking a lot about ePublishing / self-publishing and the impact it’s having on me both as a writer and a reader. I was suddenly gobsmacked by something that had never occurred to me until just now and I wanted to float it out there and see what other people think.

If “indy” eBooks are the wave of the future, will translation and foreign editions become a thing of the past? Will each country (or each group of people who share a common language) become like a literary island, reading only their own books?

Are there any self-pubbed/ePubbed authors out there currently providing foreign language versions? And if so, how do you market them and reach out to new readers when you don’t speak their language? There’s been a lot of talk about traditional publishers being essentially useless in this modern a-go-go eWorld we live in, but here’s one situation in which an intermediary/middleman is not just useful, but necessary. Kinda like a native guide. Because even if you hired your own translator, you’d also need to hire a dedicated publicist for each language. Or would you?

Foreign sales have been a substantial part of my income over the past few years. I also really enjoy that ability to reach readers that may otherwise never have heard of me. It tickles me to think of people in Finland or Argentina reading my books. I also like reading foreign writers, and hate to think that I’d someday I might lose access to those authors.

Thoughts? I’m particularly interested to hear from Peter Rozovsky on this…

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