Translations

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My book was released in Germany last week, and my editor very kindly sent me a stack of the German editions. Upon seeing them, I was reminded of how much a writer needs a thick skin to survive in this business. When you’re beginning, you have to accept criticism and learn from it. When you finally sell your work, you have to work with an editor and make changes. When the book hits stores, you have to deal with some reviewers not loving what you wrote. And when your book comes out in another country, it may not look quite the same as you expected.



Yep, the cover is different. It’s a good deal more “fantasy” and less “pirate”. And there have been amusing comments about where dear Kestrel got that mysterious staff of power she’s wielding (although some wise folks have suggested that’s a Danisoban who’s chasing Kestrel down.) I’m not complaining, though – it’s attractive and will sell books. The title is also different. Even if you don’t read German, it’s apparent Die Magieren des Windes doesn’t translate to Mad Kestrel. Once again, I’m okay with that. If that title draws more readers, I’m happy.

The third change we noticed right away was Kestrel’s name. The editor changed her name to Falkin, which I’m advised is the German word for “kestrel”. If any of the changes were going to upset me, that one might have been it. Curiously, it didn’t. I rather like the name, myself, and might use it along the line if I can work it in.

I could have had a far worse cover, or more drastic changes. Shucks, there may be more changes in the text, but since my German is limited to a couple of greetings, counting to five and the lyrics to Dank Sei Dir, Herr, I have no way of knowing. Still, I’m blissfully happy about this, changes and all. That thick skin is serving me well!

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22 comments to Translations

  • Congrats on the foreign edition! Aren’t they cool? I recently got the Danish audio book of Mask of Atreus and there was something very surreal about listening to MY book in a language I don’t speak, all these odd sounds dotted with my character names… Pretty neat.

  • Wow, that’s really awesome!!! Congrats!

  • Congrats! If I recall correctly George R. R. Martin has all of his various covers on his website, so you can see A Game of Thrones in the many interpretations of what sells in other countries. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, that’s awesome for you (though I must admit I prefer the US cover better). Congrats again. 🙂

  • Thanks guys!

    AJ, I would love to hear an audio version, even if it was impossible for me to understand. That would just be neat! One of my friends is hosting a Swiss exchange student, so she and he are going to sit down together, she with the English version and he with the German, and see how close they are. I might get them to invite me over to listen…

  • Yea, Misty!!!!! Beautiful cover. Love the Greens! Yes, the staff is odd, but I agree it will sell books. Yea for German rights!!!!

    ((My AKA once had a book about a Creole character and the German novel had an Afican American woman on the cover, looking out a window and gasping. Or screaming. I’m still not sure.))

  • Congratulations, Misty! Welcome to the wonderful world of free money! I love getting translations checks, because chances are I didn’t have to do anything for them. Was your contract calculated in Euros (converted to dollars, of course)? Several of mine have been — that used to be a better deal than it is now. Blame Greece. And Portugal. And maybe Spain and Ireland, too….

    Again, congrats. This is great news, and the book looks fantastic.

  • David said, Blame Greece.

    David, I think I should go over to Greece and fuss at it for a week or two. In a lovely hotel. By the water.

    *laughs*

  • Wolf Lahti

    Heh. Since when does it take a foreign edition for a cover to completely misrepresent the interior of a book?

    But what a great attitude – “If it helps sell more copies…” 🙂

  • Congrats, Misty. That’s a great cover. I think it’s fantastic when a book is picked up in other languages. Great stuff!

    -NGD

  • Beatriz

    Just as long as my favorite DM doesn’t start passing out strange staffs of power, I’m okay.

    The cover is striking even if it doesn’t much conjure up what I picture when I think of Kes.

  • Aww, but strange staves of power are fun!

  • Alan Kellogg

    Daniel,

    Depends on how strange the stave is.

  • Yeah, I guess. One that creates a two second shower of stale oatmeal cookies or creates a two foot pile of dirty underwear probably wouldn’t be all that fun. Definitely strange though. 😉

  • Not fair, Daniel. Now I’m wishing for a Staff of Neverending Snickerdoodles!

  • Got an ever-full flask of milk? 😉

  • Beatriz

    *envisions a Staff of Neverending Snickerdoodles*

    *imagines being buried alive under a cookie onslaught, or drowned by the milk tidal wave*

  • No, no, you have to see it as a positive thing…I shall rule over my majestic Snickerdoodle Mountain, protected by the Cold Milk River.

    And I’ll never be hungry!

  • Alan Kellogg

    Daniel

    True story.

    Our party was trapped in a dead end by a bunch of trolls. The party mage rifled through his bag of holding and pulled out a wand. Thinking it was a wand of fireballs he activated it and got, a stream of butterflies.

    Yep, a wand of wonder.

    In the ensuing confusion we managed to sneak away.

    I later told the story to Marion Zimmer Bradley and she subsequently included a different version in one of her stories. So if it sounds familiar, that’s why.

  • Hi Misty

    I’m from Denmark – a tiny country just north of Germany (you probably don’t know it)and I speak some German.

    If no one have translated the title for you (or if you haven’t guessed it), here it is

    The magician of the wind

    The word *Die* and the *in* in the end of *Magierin* tell us that the magician is a woman 🙂

    Oh, and by the way many congrats on getting published in Germany.

    Annette

  • Sorry – Of course the translation is – The magician of the winds – (added an S due to the plural in the German text – Des and s in windes..)
    Sorry – my bad!!

  • Hello Juliannette! I do indeed know about Denmark – such a beautiful country! I’m hoping to someday visit there!

    Thank you for the help with my title. I used to sing in a choir, and many of our songs were in German, so I love the sound of the language. I never had much chance to learn to speak it, though. 😀

  • Haha! @Alan –

    I had some players use a bit of ingenuity with a Bag of Tricks once when they ran afoul of a hungry Greater Mimic. They made a deal with it. Food for safe passage. Then they opened the Bag of Tricks and started tossing the animals in. It was so amusing that I had to allow it to work. In essence they were feeding it magic, which it didn’t mind.