I was sent these pictures by professional book-dude Tom Donegan, showing a copy of ‘Strangled Silence’ in a bookshop in Australia. This was, I’m sure, after he had kindly put it facing out – another recruit to my team dedicated to interfering with bookshop shelves. Tom had just returned from Sydney, where he had a fine time dawdling, dossing, and mooching through their impressive collection of bookshop cafes (he has a tough life altogether).
There are pluses and minuses about working with any type of publisher – and there are definitely some advantages to being published by a small but dedicated outfit. However, having your books appear on shelves on the other side of the world, without signing additional foreign rights, is one of the characteristics of being distributed by an international publisher like Random House. While my agent sells individual language rights, RHCB hold the English language rights for almost everywhere except North America . . . including, of course, Australia.
Basically, if I want to be published in places like Germany, Russia or . . . I don’t know, Namibia . . . in their own languages, I have to find a publisher in that country. But Random House hold the rights for my novels published in English, in well over a hundred countries around the world, from Jordan to Jamaica, France to the Falkland Islands.
Now, just because they can distribute them like that, doesn’t mean they do – although I think it’s standard operating procedure to release them in Australia and New Zealand. When I get my statements every year, there is very little on them to tell me where in the world my books are being sold. Also, I have no idea what kind of marketing these books get out there (seeing as I do most of the marketing for my books here and in the UK, and I don’t spend my time travelling the globe). Still, it is gratifying to know they’re getting out and seeing the world.
And seeing as, unlike half of the Irish people my age, I never did the ‘Year in Australia’, it’s nice to see my books are doing it for me, in their own small way. Thanks for the pictures, Tom.