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Carving up the English-speaking world

This week I signed and sent off the contract for the U.K. edition of Bad Monkeys, which will be published by Bloomsbury. The most interesting part of the document, as usual, is the territory schedule listing every place in the world where English-language novels are or conceivably could be sold, and specifying which ones are reserved for Bloomsbury, which are reserved for HarperCollins, and which ones are open to competition. Some of it is obvious -- the American publisher gets exclusive marketing rights in the U.S., Canada, Guam, and American Samoa, while the Brits get the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand -- but some of it is eye-opening or amusing, at least to me.

Markets reserved exclusively for sales of the U.K. edition:
British Antarctic Territory

Markets open, at least in principle, to both the American and U.K. editions:
Saudi Arabia
North Korea
"Ex-Yugoslavia" (Yes, that's literally what it says)

One big change from previous contracts is that India is now open territory. It used to be the exclusive domain of the Brits, but apparently the market got juicy enough that the Americans demanded in (the Brits still have a lock on Pakistan, though -- we're hoping for double-digit sales in Islamabad).

Oh, and if you're wondering how we can divvy up the marketplace like this without violating anti-trust statutes, the answer, of course, is that copyright is a legal form of monopoly. Remember that the next time you hear a professional writer complaining about Big Oil or the De Beers cartel.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
The Hasselhoff Factor
Who gets Germany? And are you big in Germany?

(there's at least one copy of FotH over there that I gifted my friend)
Jan. 5th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
Re: The Hasselhoff Factor
Most of Europe is open territory, except for Cyprus, Malta, and Gibraltar, which are U.K.-edition only.

I am in fact big in Germany -- better-known and more popular than I am the U.S., though not quite Hasselhoff caliber. So there'll be a German-language edition of Bad Monkeys as well, published by Carl Hanser Verlag.
Jan. 5th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
which engl. version will i get in germany?
Jan. 5th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
oops - didn´t read the comment above...

look, how much you´re sought after in germany ;)
Jan. 5th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
As noted above, could be either one, although I imagine Bloomsbury would have an edge as far as distribution costs to the continent. On the other hand, with the dollar dropping like a stone and the British pound and the Euro headed skywards, the American edition might end up being cheaper even with the shipping costs.
Jan. 5th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
of course... i´m not surprised there´ll be a german version as well - just prefer the ov :)

gah, the 'hoff will haunt us forEVER. :/

Jan. 5th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
oh and i was wondering - the differences... do they go just as far as spelling - or beyond that?

(sorry - can´t seem to do the 'collect all thoughts in one comment' thing today ;))
Jan. 5th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
The texts of the American and British editions should be identical, including the spelling. I know there are cases of novels being "translated" between American and British English -- the most famous case being the Harry Potter books -- but I don't believe it's standard practice. (I also suspect it's much more common with British novels being republished in America, since many of us still don't know what a "queue" is.)
Jan. 5th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
i see (whew)
Jan. 6th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
I already pre-ordered the HarperCollins edition on amazon.de (dutiful fan that I am :), because I want the hardcover. Bloomsbury's edition is just paperback.

What bothers me is that the Bloomsbury one will be available earlier than the HarperCollins. ;( That's not fair !

*drums fingers impatiently*
Feb. 5th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
English paperback beats US hardcover
i just visited amazon, and was, too, left wondering by the release dates.
Is there any specific reason why the British paperback beats the US hardcover in terms of release date (July 2nd vs. some time August)?

Not that I really mind importing the cheaper paperback version to Germany (also prefer the original; and yes: we will NEVER ever get rid of that hasselhoff stain), I just thought the hc would be first, and the us market would be, too...

5 more months... *camping in front of the bookstore starting today*
Feb. 5th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
Re: English paperback beats US hardcover
Not to crush your faith in the Internets, but the Amazon.uk listing is wrong. The Bloomsbury edition is -- according to Bloomsbury -- coming out in August, not July. This is as it should be -- the American hardcover is supposed to be the true first edition. (Sorry to make you wait a little longer, but hopefully it'll be worth it.)
Feb. 6th, 2007 09:03 am (UTC)
more camping
Hm... faith in the internet... faith in the internet... hold on for a second I think I read about that thing somewhere... probably just another urban legend.
No, actually this sequence confirms the tiny bits I thought to know about book publishing

Well, I guess I'll be patiently waiting until August then - all this means is another month of camping ;)
Jan. 5th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
British Somaliland was part of the British Empire so it is not surprised it might be on that list.
Somalia as it is, in principle, now was formed by the union of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland.
However, the formerly British part declared independence in 1991 but this hasn't been recognised by anyone (except Wales :-) http://www.unpo.org/article.php?id=3905 ). It is apparently quite peaceful.
Jan. 5th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
I imagine the explanation for Iraq is similar, although I'm holding out for the possibility that this is what Tony Blair got in exchange for supporting Bush.
Jan. 5th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
Do you mention them in particular because you are angling for Iraq, Somalia and the British Antarctic Territory as a signing tour?
Jan. 6th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
Yes, that would be my Jihad and Penguins World Tour, with Salman Rushdie and the frozen corpse of Robert Scott joining me at select venues.
Jan. 8th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
Mind if I friend you?
I have been a fan for a long time! Great writing!
(but I didn't realize you had an LJ)
Jan. 8th, 2007 03:37 am (UTC)
Mind if I friend you?

Go right ahead.
Jan. 8th, 2007 03:43 am (UTC)
cool! thanks!
Jan. 9th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
What about Russia?
Jan. 10th, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
"C.I.S. (formerly USSR)" is open territory.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
What about Italy??
Who's gonna publish the book in Italy?
Jan. 25th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
Re: What about Italy??
Italy is open territory for English-language editions. The Italian translation will be published by Fazi Editore.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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