As a writer, I would love to see my books in as many countries as possible. There’s a certain thrill in seeing foreign languages on the cover, along with my name. There’s a definite curiosity in seeing cover art, figuring out what works in one country, as opposed to another.
With my fantasy novels, I have fought long and hard to keep the rights for foreign distribution. Publishers in certain countries (e.g., Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia/New Zealand) pay as much or more for distribution as U.S. publishers pay. Publishers in other countries might not deliver huge advances, but any extra money is “found” money.
The publisher of my “fun” and “passion” novels (all of the Jane Madison Series, the As You Wish Series, and my Special Editions) was Harlequin. Harlequin was not willing to forgo foreign distribution; they insisted that they have rights to translate and sell my works worldwide. That insistence was not a deal-breaker, in part because Harlequin has a huge, worldwide distribution system.
Under my contract with Harlequin, they are required to send me two copies of each book published abroad. Alas, that doesn’t always happen (there are at least two books that I did not receive). Nevertheless, I often receive “care packages” from Harlequin, with unexpected foreign editions.
The most recent of these arrived late last week. It was The Daddy Dance, published by Mills & Boon, with English-language text. I did not realize, though, until I added the edition to my website, that the book was actually published for the Indian market! So, now Mindy Klasky books are available in Germany, France, the U.K., and India (along with the U.S. and Canada…) I can’t wait to see the next package that arrives! (The complete list is available here: http://www.mindyklasky.com/index.php/books/printable-list-of-all-novels/
(I have a writer-friend, Stephanie Dray, who has a tradition each time she sells foreign rights on one of her books: she dines out at a restaurant that serves food from that country. I think this is a grand tradition, and I think that Indian food just might be on the bill of fare soon…)