The Beauties of Multi-national Publication, or “Why Can’t I Get That in Germany?!?”
With the recent publication of THE EXILE, the debut of OUTLANDER: The Musical, and the giveaways of OUTLANDER paperbacks and ebooks, I’m getting a number of queries/complaints from people who live in other countries—all to the effect of, “I tried to get this, but it’s not available in the UK/Australia/NewZealand/Germany, etc.!”
Well, see, the way that publishing works is that a publishing company buys certain specific _rights_ to a book. If you have a decent agent, you _don’t_ sell “worldwide rights” to your manuscript; the agent makes separate deals with individual publishers in different countries. Each publishing contract defines exactly which rights you’re selling—and the “exclusive territory” in which the book can be sold.
Which means that not all publishers buy all books at the same time—and not all publishers choose to promote the books they have in the same way, either.
Right. Now, with respect to THE EXILE, only three countries have so far bought that book: the US (Random House), Canada (Random House Canada), and the Netherlands (De Boekerij) (their translation is not yet released).
You aren’t getting it in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand because Orion—my UK publisher (whose “exclusive territory” _includes_ Australia and New Zealand) is not yet convinced that there’s any market for graphic novels. Ditto Blanvalet Verlag, the German publisher. They doubt many people in their countries would buy it—so they haven’t made an offer for it—and you don’t get it, unless you order it from the US, via Amazon.com, The Poisoned Pen, or some other way.
As for the giveaway of free OUTLANDER paperbacks and ebooks—that’s something that Random House (US) has chosen to do, so those offers are only available _in_ the US. If any of our other publishers choose to do likewise, we’d be very pleased—but I can’t –make- them do it.
Now, the OUTLANDER: The Musical CD’s are a little different, because those are not being distributed by a publishing company, but rather by the producers themselves—that being Mike Gibb and Kevin Walsh, in Scotland. I’ve got them an Amazon.com account, to facilitate the CD’s being more easily available in the US, and _should_ have an iTunes account going pretty soon here. Next step [g] is to see about getting an Amazon.de account, for those German fans who’ve been having to order CDs from Scotland. But that, we _can_ do without it having to be done through a publishing company; it’s just a matter of me or Mike having time to establish all the different avenues of distribution—and I’m on a book-tour, and Mike’s up to his eyeballs in writing the libretto for the stage production of OUTLANDER: The Musical. So it may take us a little while, but we’ll get there. [g]
Meanwhile, if you’d like to let the UK/Australian/NZ/Germany publishers know that there _is_ a market for this particular graphic novel, at least…
I hesitate to put down any publisher’s personal email address here, but here’s some general contact information:
Orion (UK, Australia, and New Zealand – you might want to tell them which one you’re from):
Blanvalet Verlag (Germany):
http://www.randomhouse.de/blanvalet/index.jsp (there’s a link for “Kontact/Service” on the left