This is the unexpected (but true!) story of how a Facebook message became the Russian version of ANGELBOUND.
It all started about a year ago when I received a message from a young reader in Moscow. She loved ANGELBOUND and wanted to translate it into Russian for fun. But before she got started, she wanted to know if I was comfortable with the whole thing.
Comfortable? I was floored.
Mastering the English language is enough of a challenge for me. I could hardly imagine tackling both Russian and English. Plus, Valya is a teenager. At her age, I spent most of my free time brainstorming ways to torture nuns with obnoxious questions (example: if God can do anything, can he make a ball so big he can’t pick it up?) Meanwhile, the teenage Valya wanted to invest effort in sharing a story she loved. Her brand of productive chutzpah deserved encouragement, so I informed Vayla that if she translated the book, I’d pay her a little something for her time and then I’d publish it as a free ebook. She agreed.
After that, I figured there was a real chance that regular teen stuff would take over her life.
Every month or so, I’d receive a progress update on Ангельские узы (that means Angelbound in Russian). As many of you know, this no small tome. Valya ended up translating 120,000 words. BOOM.
Time to keep my promise.
I told my distributor that I was publishing Ангельские узы and not charging anything for the ebook. At this point, I was informed that my plan was NUTS. Wasn’t I aware that Russia was a huge market for YA ebooks? (Spoiler alert: I wasn’t aware.) Long story short, I now knew there was a market for the manuscript. That said, for all I knew the book said ‘ha ha silly American’ 120K times in Russian. What to do?
Enter Arely Zimmerman, Publishing Assistant Extraordinaire and Finder Of Unusual Things. Arely sourced an amazing professional translator to review the book. The verdict? Ангельские узы was a superb translation. Color me CRAZY impressed. Some months ago, I put Valya under a revenue share contract. Ангельские узы is scheduled to launch in March of 2019. If you know anyone in Russia, please spread the good word.
And to the lovely Valya and everyone who enjoys my books: I consider this entire experience proof positive that simply put, I have the best readers in the world 🙂 Thank you.