Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Lord and Spymaster in Russian

A fine bit of news. My Lord and Spymaster will be translated into Russian. The publication date is estimated at eighteen months from now.

I do not look a gift horse in the mouth. I am grateful to the Berkley subsidiary rights folks. Yeah, subsidiary rights!!

But why Russian?

I had never thought about this one way or the other, you understand, but is Russia full of Romance readers?

... oh
Since I've got the message open,
the status report on Maggie is:

18400 / 120000 words. 15% done on the second rough draft!

I think Maggie is going to end up at 120,000 words. I've figured out how to simplify a plot point or two late in the story. And I de-created a minor character.

I stopped today halfway through Chapter Eight. Tomorrow I should finish refining that, and then Maggie and Doyle (and Hawker,) take to the road.

The rabbit scene still lingers within the manuscript, glaring defiance, daring me to extract it.
I have not.
This is weak of me.


  1. Congrats on your good news! Russian should be interesting. I don't speak it, but those who do are scarily passionate about it. Maybe they could explain "why Russian".


  2. The Russians are widely known as a passionate people.
    (jo ponders)

    And they read a lot. Something to do with sub-zero days and a meter of snow on the ground.

    In Moscow, apparently you get tickets if your car isn't clean.
    Or that might be one of those urban legends.

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  4. Hi! I'm glad you're working on another book! The other two were terrific!

  5. Anonymous12:01 PM

    Keep the rabbit!

    In our library (suburban DC area) when you look in the online catalog for romance authors you often find copies in Russian (at least, what looks like Russian to me.) So maybe so...

  6. Russian? How very cool! So, do you get copies of your translations? They would make nice additions to your bookshelves, even if you couldn't read them.

    Linda G.

  7. Congrats, Jo! That's exciting news.
    I've linked you to my shiny new blog.

    Kimberely (from the forum)

  8. Hi Dixie --

    I am so very glad you liked them.
    Yes ... I'm working on another book. This one is Doyle and Magie's story, set in 1794.

    My progress is slooooow progress.

    -- Hi DLS,

    Russian language must be a tremendous market. Look at the size of Russia.

    Though I'm surprised there are large communities of Russian speakers in the States.
    I had no idea.

    I will admit I'm mostly thinking of the Russian edition in terms of seeing a new cover with a new picture on it and those square letters.
    They usually give you a strange translation of the title, too.

    -- Hi Linda.
    (jo waves madly)

    Everybody says I will get a copy of the translation.
    I don't believe them necessarily, but that's what they say.

    -- Hi Kimberley.
    Thank you so much for the kind linkage.
    Nice blog. (Did I already tell you that?)

  9. Hi Jo,


    My first foreign rights sale was to Russia, a total surprise--for me that is, since it happened a year before Private Arrangements hit the stores.

    But I actually hoped to sell to Russia at some point. If you go to Julia Quinn's website, you will see under her foreign covers section that she's sold quite a few of her historical romances to Russia.

    Now I am thinking I should sell to Netherlands, because my agent's foreign rights subagent has managed to sell Dutch rights for every last one of her clients. Or so it seems. :-)

  10. Hi Sherry --

    There is apparently an active Historical Romance readership in the Netherlands. Lots of English-Language readers there, too.

    I am greedy to see new covers with unreadable languages. Just to hold them.

    For any home gamers,
    What it is ...

    When the agent sells your book to a publisher, what she is actually contracting is the right to print the book and sell it in certain markets under certain conditions.

    Most often, the agent sells English Language, North American, rights.
    But there's a slew of other rights the agent may or may not sell. Among these are foreign language rights.

    My agent sells these Foreign Language rights to Berkley, (tied up with various monetary strings.)
    This is because my agent is a one-person shop. Selling to Beijing and Berlin and Buenos Aires is specialized and highly-skilled work she would have to hire an expert to do.

    Berkley, (may its shadow never grow less,) already possesses an eager and skillful Foreign Rights Department just sitting around waiting for my book to land in their laps.
    "Yipee," they cry, and run off to sell it in Moscow.

    (I'm extrapolating a bit here.)

    When Berkley sells Foreign Rights in Moscow, they collect an advance from the kind folks in Russia and help themselves to a quarter of the advance. They send 75% to my agent, who takes a further delicate and well-deserved nibble, and sends it to me.

    S.T.'s agent evidently does Foreign Rights sales in-house, with in-house experts. When that agent sells S.T.'s manuscript to a publisher, the Foreign Rights are not on the table.

    These are both good ways to deal with Foreign sales. It's one of the things you talk to your agent about when you sign on.