I see you published through Amazon. It has a mixed reputation in the US, both enabling many new, novice writers and dominating the market. How is Amazon perceived overseas?
In Europe, Amazon.com is seen as a world-wide book selling company. The many other products that they sell in the U.S. are not available abroad, only the books.
When the dollar fluctuates down in value, many Europeans order books directly via Amazon.com in the U.S. and have the English-language books shipped to Europe to their doorstep. Doing this, they easily undercut their local bookstore’s price for the translated version of the same book.
For that reason, Amazon.com has a very good reputation in Europe with readers, but not with those publishers who have purchased the local-language-rights. Amazon.com has helped bring down the prices of books. Amazon has also set up warehouses in Britain and in Germany, so shipping costs are reduced.
How do other publishers practice in Europe? What is their reputation?
Like in the U.S., each European country has their dominant publishers who have dominated the markets for generations. And there are Vanity Presses too, for those who wish to self-publish. But the print-on-demand option is still quite new in Europe.
Print-on-demand is most advanced in Britain, where you can actually enter a shop in London with your book PDF on a memory stick, and leave the shop, not long after, with your printed book.
There are many photo-book online sites, linked to shops, that will either mail you the finished photo-book, or let you collect it in the store.
But the print-on-demand services are fewer and generally more expensive than in the U.S. And none of them are linked to a retailer like Amazon.com’s CreateSpace company is. When you create a book with CreateSpace, the company automatically prompts you to put it up for sale at Amazon.com as a paperback and a Kindle. It even automatically converts your book file into a Kindle file for you!
Copyright and permissions is a big issue in the US, in part because of piracy. Are there any legal or area of sensitivity to be aware of in European publishing?
Each country has their own system of copyright. But if your work is copyrighted in the U.S., it is protected around the world. So many European writers copyright their work in the U.S., which can be done electronically, and can be paid via credit card.
I noticed when promoting my book that a lot of bloggers are in the UK. What’s the support from the online community throughout Europe? Are readers a big part of the online community?
The English bloggers like to promote English writers. Irish bloggers like to promote Irish writers. Scottish bloggers like to… I think you get the idea. The bloggers and their followers tend to be very nationalistic when it comes to culture.
And there is resentment toward the dominant popular culture country, the United States. Not just U.S. books in translations dominate, but music, TV shows and films, too. They will cheer on a local sooner than a foreigner.
Traditionally, everyone goes on vacation in August in Europe. Got any plans this summer? What places are must-sees? What places should be avoided?
Everywhere popular should be avoided in August!!! No, really!!! Many countries are trying to vary the vacations so they can avoid the traffic jams and long lines, but it is still a mess. It is best to visit Europe in Spring and in Fall, unless you are coming for a ski vacation, of course.
Personally, as an Italophile, I think there is only one “must-see” in Europe. It is the most beautiful and evocative city in the world: Venice. Everything else pales in comparison. Unfortunately, Venice is a dying city that is now pretty much just an amusement park for adults. And it is managed by some very jaded Italians, who can make the trip-of-a-lifetime pretty horrible. I’m sorry, but that is the sad truth. The city itself, however, is a must-see. A once-in-a-lifetime trip.
I am just back from a trip to Spain. The country is beautiful, but the economic situation is very sad at the moment. They are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. And Greece is bankrupt. And Italy is pretending that it is not bankrupt. And Iceland and Ireland are recovering from bankruptcy. And… oh, I think you get the idea. But at least there are books to help us escape from all those troubles, at least for a little while…like books about leprechauns!
Thank you, Candidia, for sharing your ideas and insights with us and best of luck as you continue to navigate the big, wide world of publishing!