@Christophersmith, international best-selling author: where have you gone?


Courtesy of ugaldew

Good day y’all!

Recently I’ve been bombarding you with my post on words and word-related issues and I’ve left my thoughts aside. Weird thing, considering that a blog should deal with thoughts – after all it’s an online diary (web-log), isn’t it? Well, when I launched my blog I told you that I was going to share my experiences and thoughts with you and I got lost somewhere on the way. I’m making amends now.

This post is about challenges. And defeats as well. It’s about my first attempt to get into the world of literary translation. Warning: I’m not giving any piece of advice, any tip on how to succeed in ‘hooking’ a novelist or a publishing house. On the contrary, it’s the story of a sound beat … at least I guess so. Here we go!

I’m a passionate reader of novels since my child years, but I went literally mad about mysteries and thrillers over the years partly due to my parents’ huge and ‘dedicated’ library. When I was just a teenager I used to devour thrillers at the speed of light, within a few hours. I was a true thriller-addict.

Ages afterwards, i.e a couple of months ago, I came to read a post on the Proz.com job directory. It was about translation of thrillers and had been posted by a self publishing thriller writer (international best-selling author as he defined himself in the post) who needed an Italian mother tongue translator for the development of his catalogue. I literally jumped from my chair when I realized it was the ‘chance of my life‘. I would love to translate novels, but translating my favourite ones was definitely ‘my dream’. There was a major problem, though: references required to apply! I had none, I had never translated books. No story of success in  such a field to report. So what …? I plucked up all my courage and decided to try. First of all, I took a few pages of his best-selling novel (the first four chapters) and translated it. Then I wrote a long, impressive and hard-hitting cover letter revealing all my toughness and determination and trying to emphasize the fact that a collaboration between us might be a mutual challenge. After all he writes thrillers – I thought – and he should be tickled at taking a leap into the unknown! Besides, the risk was minimal, considering that he is a self-publishing author of paperless books (e-books on Amazon.com), so the deal at stake for him was not that great, all in all. And he started from scratch, as I’m doing now.

He never replied. Not even a return receipt for my paperless letter. “I run a progressive company and I’m looking for partners, not employees …” he wrote in his post. Honestly, I don’t think so. If you are a  groundbreaking entrepreneur, you take up your risks, dare to do the unexpected. Even putting your reputability at stake and give Mrs Nobody a chance to step into the publishing industry. After all, you might find another translator and re-issue your books with a brand new translation, if you did not hit the sales you expected (basically, that’s the point). You might  launch a poll for your keen readers to know whether they appreciate your translator’s work, it might even be a sort of advertising campaign …

Well, probably this chance would prove no bargain for me, maybe ‘when one door closes, another one opens‘ as we say here, who knows …?

Anyway, I feel pretty disappointed, but I don’t want let that daunt me. I’m rock steady, I stand tall, I react. And I act.

I don’t know what’s next for me, maybe you will hear about me further. I do hope I’ll fly high with my ‘great expectations’.

Wish me luck, folks!

P.S.: I cannot give you any tip, but you might – how can I hook up with a novelist? Looking forward to hearing your suggestions, folks, I do need ’em!


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