One of the surprising aspects of my writing career is how quickly I established a loyal fan base in countries outside of North America. I was really surprised when I was writing the online serial of AS THE WORLD DIES when I was contacted by readers in England, Scotland, and Australia. Now I hear from fans all over the world and I'm just staggered that the books have had such a far reach.
And it's just not AS THE WORLD DIES that has drawn fans from other countries. PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES and TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE have both drawn the attention of people from outside of the United States. Frankly, when I heard from both Romanian and Hungarian readers that they loved THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE I felt like I had won an award. I tried very hard to depict their beautiful countries as accurately as this Texan could manage and that they enjoyed the story was a great honor.
As my international fanbase grows, I am being asked a lot more often nowadays when I will have all my books translated into X language. I would love it if all my books were translated into the language of preference for all my fans, but to a great degree my hands are tied.
THE FIRST DAYS is already published in Italian and will soon have a Danish version sometime this year. So far those are the only two translations. My foreign rights agent says there is some concern by European publishers that a book set in Texas won't have appeal in their countries. I find this surprising and out of touch since I have so many fans from the European continent and beyond. The foreign rights agent is trying, but if the publishers don't think the book will sell in their country, there isn't much she can do.
As for my self-published novels, my hubby and I have started to seriously discuss what we can do to provide foreign translations. The requests are starting to gain momentum, so it's time for us to consider our options. So far the most requested language translations are Italian (for my vampire books), Romanian, and French. If we do this ourselves, we'll have to find a way to fund paying a translator. This will have to come out of our pocket, so this is not something we can just rush into.
I am also asked about audio books of my self-published works quite a bit. I would love to have this happen! Audible.com is now providing a service via Audio Creative Exchange (ACX). I have signed up a few of my books and need to finish signing up the rest. The idea is to bring authors together with producers and narrators to create audio books. Also, if the author wants to narrate their own book and has the audio equipment to do it, they can load up their own audio book.
I don't have the time, the tech, or the talent to narrate my own books. I just don't. I marvel at people's ability to narrate. It's a real talent. I tend to stumble over words and lose track of what I'm doing very quickly. That's why I signed up with the program in hopes of finding a producer to take on my work. I don't mind profit sharing with someone who can produce a quality work for my fans to listen to. So far, I have no one showing interest, but we'll see what happens.
If you are a translator, narrator, or audio book producer, please feel free to contact me at rhiannonfrater @ gmail.com.