Best Practices in Global Book Sales
Jorge Pinto Books has handled the international publication of many successful titles (including, recently, Alan Greenspan’s memoirs, “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World”), as well as doing “reverse translation” of art and architecture books originally published in Spanish for the American market.
Recognizing International Potential
When it comes to managing publishing projects, however, Pinto––also a professor of international business at Pace University in New York––appreciates the advantages of being able to handle translation, distribution and marketing in-house. Yet publishers rarely approach him, and he has to scour catalogs, book stores, trade shows and book reviews to discover new releases that are worth translating.
Except for the big best sellers (such as Alan Greenspan’s book), “publishing houses often do not have a very good process” for determining which books might do well in foreign markets, Pinto says.
“They are missing a huge market,” he continues, especially when it comes to niche titles. “It’s worth their while to go into as many languages as possible, even if for just a few thousand copies,” he says, because of the opportunity for increased exposure and brand expansion.
Pinto’s company plans a multinational publishing strategy from the time negotiations begin with authors. In his niche market, being in tune with developments in the worlds of art, science and design allows for quick shifts in marketing to anticipate a potential sudden jump in sales, such as when an author is mentioned in connection with the annual announcement of Nobel prizes or if a book is reviewed in The New York Times.
“What a reviewer says in New York may have an impact in Beijing. Book reviews read around the world have a spillover effect,” he notes. “From a marketing standpoint, we’re always ready to respond.”
Translated Editions Made Simple
For Deska, outsourcing translation work was a logistical challenge, but the process was made easier by smart integration with manufacturing. Different versions of text were “dropped into” black-and-white sections of the book, while color pages (usually featuring images/illustrations) were unchanged, allowing editions in several languages to be done on a single print run.