Na zdrowie! Winds’ first foreign sale!
Flash back to last year, after I'd gotten "the email" letting me know I had an offer on The Winds of Khalakovo and I had yet to find an agent. On the first conversation I had with Russell Galen (our "feeling out" talk), he mentioned that Winds sounded like it would be a great fit for foreign sales, particularly eastern Europe and Russia. Needless to say, this got me excited. The thought of having your books translated and sold around the world is a dream I think all authors share. As a young author, it was something I thought was possible, but that might not come for years—after I'd built up an audience—and to hear Russ talk about it like it was a real possibility… Let's just say I was buzzing after that conversation.
Now fast forward to the early part of this year. I pinged Russ to see if foreign sales were moving forward. He advised me (wisely) that you have to be very careful about when you start your push in foreign markets. First of all, not all markets are created equal. Some you can approach early, others are more cautious, forcing you to wait a bit. The book market had also taken quite a hit in the global recession. Ebook sales were up, yes, but they hadn't filled the sizeable hole left in the physical book market. And so, naturally, many publishers have been more cautious. So he said the right thing to do was to wait and choose our timing carefully, probably something like a few months after the book actually came out.
Now fast forward again another six weeks—to yesterday, in fact. Russ informed me that the sub-agent that handles eastern Europe was so excited about the book that they'd begun their sales efforts, and it had paid off. Proszynski Media has bought rights to publish The Winds of Khalakovo in Poland!
I don't quite know how to put this in words. To say I'm excited would be a pale comparison to the way I vibrated through the minutes and hours of the day. If you know me, you know I'm not outwardly demonstrative, but inside I feel like I'm about to burst with joy. I went out and got a bottle of good Polish potato vodka last night, and Joanne and I sat and sipped and talked about the publishing journey we started back when we lived in California. It's been a long road, but boy, when things start moving, they move fast.
I've already exchanged a few polite emails with the publisher. I'm excited to start working with the translator, and I'll be sure to post the interesting things that are sure to crop up in our exchanges. For now, though, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy this feeling.