I had word from Norton’s foreign rights department this week that THE HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD has now been sold to three foreign publishers. This week’s offers came from Prozorets of Bulgaria and Paidos of Spain.

I REALLY wish I could read Bulgarian.

These aren’t my first foreign sales. The Korean publisher Theory & Praxis bought translations rights to the entire series before the book even came out. In fact, my chldren’s series The Story of the World has been available in Korean for several years. Our Korean partner does a BEAUTIFUL job with the books–here’s Ancient Times,

and here’s a look at the inside.

It’s slightly embarassing to admit that their production values are much higher than ours. The Story of the World will also be out in Chinese at some point; the rights have sold, but the translation takes quite a bit of time.

Last year, I also got a package in the mail with Dutch postmarks…and opened it to find a Dutch version of my second novel, THOUGH THE DARKNESS HIDE THEE.

This was unexpected because, although I’d signed some papers my agent sent along, for some reason it hadn’t registered that the book was actually being translated. The most fun was opening it up and seeing a map of where I live (the book is set in my home county)….in Dutch.

After seeing it I went back and dug out a copy of the original. Funny thing about my books…I never go back and reread them, once they’re published (not unless I’m revising, or need to look up a recommendation, or am preparing a talk). Up until the point they come out in print, I read and read again and tinker and polish; I practically dream about them. After I look through that first author’s copy, the book is like an old boyfriend. I can remember being interested in it, but it doesn’t have any hold over me any more.

Anyway, foreign rights add a bit of prestige…and the money paid over for foreign rights is “passed through,” which means it comes directly to the author instead of being applied to the advance. Not that there’s a whole lot of money involved, especially since Norton gets something like half of it (I’d have to pull my contract out to be sure). But enough to buy shoes.

Shoes for me, that is, not the kids.

Showing 9 comments
  • Susan

    What kind of shoes? Susan

  • A Circle of Quiet

    I still think a sequel to TTDHT would be worthwhile. There’s plenty of story left…even if there aren’t many people left to kill (-: Granny Cora is worth it; she makes me smile.

    Running shoes? Spikey-healed, night-on-the-town shoes? Tell, tell.

    Your niece is adorable. It’s great to have a dad that is a superb photographer. Everyone wins.


  • Charlie at Peace Hill Press

    Oooh. Yes. A sequel to TTDHT. And, if anyone options the movie rights, we could play ourselves. Cinéma vérité!

  • melissa in VA

    That’s GOT to feel pretty good. The books looks beautiful, too.

    Living some old college memories here today. 🙂

  • Colleen in NS

    Oooh oooh oooh! My soon-to-be-brother-in-law in North Carolina is from Bulgaria!! If you like, I could ask him if he’d be able to help you out with the language.


  • Anissa

    Susan, I just finished reading Ancient World. I really liked it. I am looking forward to the next one… Have a great day, Anissa

  • Heather in Virginia

    The presence of a map is, I always find, a good indication of whether I will enjoy a book. So, if I could read Dutch, I’d be taking your book on vacation.

    I like what they did with the translation of Chicahominy River. Wonder what they could do with Appomattox or Rappahannock? When I was in college (a school which shall remain nameless) in Central VA, I met a girl who pronounced Appomattox “Ap-pom’-uh-tux”. It was disturbing, not only for her lack of poor pronunciation, but also her lack of American history knowledge.

  • Pavel from Israel


    I am this week in Virginia on a business trip and on my spare time I am visiting the different bookstores in the area. Normally it’s Borders and Barnes and Noble, but this time I was really courageous and drove to DC to spend some time in the bookstores around Dupont Circle – a really nice experience.
    I saw your book on Ancient History – all the stores I visited have it. I bought it and I am really enjoyig it.
    I would like to buy my kids your History books for children. Do you know if they were translated to hebrew?


  • Susan


    I’m sorry to say that they haven’t been translated into Hebrew yet. Maybe an Israeli publisher will show some interest….


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