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Lost in translation

Well, so far HOTEL has been (or is in the process of being) translated into German, Dutch, Portuguese, Norwegian, Italian, Complex Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Turkish––but it’s still not available in the UK, which is a bit of a puzzlement. Word is, the manuscript is bouncing around publishing houses, but hasn’t found a home yet. Who knew it would take forever to be translated––into English.

My guess is that UK editors see it as a platypus––they just don’t know what to make of it. I’m told some perceive it as, “American” history, which apparently isn’t terribly popular across the pond, but the main characters are Chinese and Japanese, further confusing things. Who knows?

What I do know is that I have an avid fan in one Rebecca Woodhead. A fellow author that was recently crowned Ms. Twitter UK, campaigning with the cheeky slogan, “The Pen versus the Pin-Up,” beating numerous reality TV vixens. (Go Rebecca!)

Here’s an interview.

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    Response: uk escots
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Reader Comments (7)

Maybe you should re-write one of the character's dialogue into Cockney and introduce some rhyming slang... Just a thought.
August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndy
I found my way here thanks to Rebecca's campaign!

I have heard so many good things about this book, so I tried to get a copy from the library. It was unavailable. I put this down to the terrible library system here in the UK, but now I know the truth!

I really hope a UK publisher picks it up soon. I'm sure that if they do they will be well rewarded!
August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJackie (Farm Lane Books)
I've heard that before about books and the UK. Maybe they're still mad at us for seceding from the Union, so to speak. I've heard of holding a grudge, but sheesh :)

On behalf of Rebecca (not that she needs me to speak for her, but anyway), thanks for mentioning her success in the contest. I consider her a good friend, and it's really cool of you to give her props here.

Oh, and congrats on so many translations throughout the world. I've tried to keep up as you inform us, but wow - you're swarming across the globe like a bullet.
August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEric Stallsworth
This isn't a National/International issue and I think publishers over here would be shocked to read that anyone would think that: UK publishers love literature that deals with cultural identity (a novel published in England called Q&A a.k.a. Slumdog Millionaire is a recent case in point), that's why it is so amazing that this book hasn't been picked up. It's just publishers missing something for some reason. I predict the moment the 'penny drops' there will be a bidding war. It just hasn't dropped yet. People who love the book just need to make it easier for that penny to drop (by bringing the words 'UK Publishers' and 'Jamie Ford' closer together on google for example.) A few good natured blog posts and tweets can't hurt.

It probably is what Jamie says - they have got confused about how to define it and with the market being what it is at the moment they may be trying to work out how this book fits into their budgets. There may also be a huge influx of novels following the success of Slumdog Millionaire that crowd that space in the market. If not, they'll kick themselves. I can't imagine they've read it yet as I'm sure the moment a UK publisher picked up the book and read it cover to cover it would be published in a heartbeat.

Jamie: Thanks so much for linking to my blog from here. I was in such shock that you still haven't been published over here in the UK that I had to dart around and drum up some intrigue. Have put up a blog post on the Word Nerd Army blog about this http://tinyurl.com/wn-troops1 Someone from US publishing world has already expressed disbelief. Will keep ear to ground and keep you posted.

So excited by the thought of the next book. You have the best 'elevator pitch' line. If I were a publisher I'd pick it up on that alone. The moment I read your answer I thought 'I NEED to read that!' When can I read it? :)

Thanks again,

August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Woodhead
Thanks for all the support! One of these days...
August 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie
Interesting that the UK hasn't picked it up but like you and others have said, they probably don't know how to classify it.

Congrats though on having your book translated in so many other languages. That's wonderful!
August 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDara
potentially promising UK-related news - check your DMs :)
August 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca Woodhead

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