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Category Archives: foreign happenings

Columbus Ohio and A New Edition to the Family

Okay. First and foremost, I should mention a reading/signing that I have thrown together in true spur-of-the-moment Rothfuss fashion.

On May 31st, at 7:00, I’m going to be in Columbus Ohio.

Here are the salient details.

May 31, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Reading, Q&A, and Signing
Barnes and Noble The Ohio State University Book Store
1598 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43201
Facebook Event

I haven’t had much time to spread the word about this one, so if you know someone in the area who’d be interested, I’d take it as a kindness if you tipped them off. I don’t know when I’ll be back in the area.

In other news, look what’s happening this week in China:

(Click to Embiggen)

The Name of the Wind is coming out there this week. I haven’t actually seen the physical copies of the book yet, but they did send me these pictures.

They broke it into two volumes because of the length, but as I understand it, they’re selling them together. So there won’t be a wait between volume one and volume two.

Aren’t the covers gorgeous? They make me feel much classier than usual.

pat

Also posted in appearances | By Pat69 Responses

Fanmail FAQ: Size Matters or Breaking Up is Hard to Do…

Several months ago, I got a bunch of e-mails concerning the German translation of Wise Man’s Fear. They all had a similar theme: specifically, people were upset that the book was going to be broken into two volumes.

Whenever a bunch of people contact me asking the same question, I try to respond on the blog. This is doubly true if people are unhappy about something, and triply true if they’re unhappy for the simple reason that they don’t have all the facts at their disposal.

So I started writing my response blog. I e-mailed the publisher, did some research, talked to some German fans, did some more research….

Then I got the news about my dad and decided I didn’t give a shit about writing blogs for a while.

But now I’m back, and since I know some people out there are disgruntled, I feel I should do my best to gruntle them. Failing that, I can at least make sure folks have all the facts about why the German translation of The Wise Man’s Fear is getting broken up into two parts.

So here we go….

First, here’s a fairly good example of what the e-mails were like.

Pat,

Many of your German readers are very disappointed that “The wise man’s fear” appears here in two parts. There is the long waiting period part 1 and part 2. Worse, we have to pay twice for expensive book. The publisher says, “Patrick Rothfuss agrees with this plan.” But this seems wrong to me. I read your blog, and you do not seem like a person who would make this sort of brazen rip-off.

I am sorry my English is not good. Please forgive my mistakes.

J.

Actually, that’s a very polite example of the e-mails I received. This one is not, for example, accusing me and/or the publisher of maliciously fucking you, the loyal, loving reader out of your hard-earned money.

Let me reassure you.  This isn’t just the publisher trying to chisel money out of you. I wouldn’t stand for that.

The problem is that my books are long. Really, really long.

Take my first book for example. It was over 250,000 words. That’s more than double the length of most fantasy novels.

To put things in perspective, The Name of the Wind is almost as long as the first three Harry Potter novels put together.

It’s for this reason that many publishers (Swedish, Danish, Slovakian…) broke it up into two volumes.

Other countries, namely Japan and Korea, broke it into *three* volumes.

They didn’t do that in Germany. My German publisher printed it as one great, gorgeous, high-quality book.

What’s my point? My point is that The Name of the Wind was 250,000 words long, which makes it a really big book.

Okay? Okay.

The Wise Man’s Fear was even bigger than that.  A lot bigger. The Wise Man’s Fear was nearly 400,000 words long. Almost 60% longer than my first (really massive) book.

How long is that? Well… to put it in perspective, The Wise Man’s Fear is more than twice as long as the final Harry Potter book. It’s longer than all three books of the entire Hunger Games trilogy (Which is barely 300,000 words all stacked together.)

Or how about this: the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, including the appendices, is about 450,000 words long.

Yeah. My second book by itself is almost longer than the Lord of the Rings. I was a little shocked when I found that out.

Anyway, earlier this year, my German editor contacted me and asked if it was going to be okay if they broke the book into two parts. Their main reason was the fact that when you translate something from English to German, it tends to get about 30-40% longer. For example, the US hardcover of The Name of the Wind was 662 pages. The German hardcover was 864 pages.

This meant that since the US version of The Wise Man’s Fear was almost 1000 pages, the German version was going to be upwards to 1400 pages.

I agreed that 1400 pages was a pretty crazy length for a book, and that breaking it up seemed like a reasonable solution. This wasn’t a startling development for me, because, as I’ve said, several other countries had already broken up The Name of the Wind.

That’s why they’re broke it up. 1400 pages is a really insane length for a book. Physically, it’s hard to bind durably so it doesn’t fall apart. It’s harder to ship. It’s harder for bookstores to fit it on shelves. It’s heavier to carry around.

This does mean, unfortunately, that folks in Germany will have to buy two books. And in some ways that sucks. It’s more expensive.

But you have to consider a few things:

1. You’re getting more story.

Take a look at The Name of the Wind and Volume 1 of The Wise Man’s Fear side-by-side.

You’ll note that they’re the same size. That’s because they’re almost exactly the same length. (861 pages vs. 859) You can’t really claim you’re being ripped off. It’s not like we’re cutting a ham sandwich in half and selling it to you twice. This is a full sandwich full of book. Or something. You know what I mean.

I mentioned before that The Wise Man’s Fear is 60% longer than The Name of the Wind.  That extra 60% is, effectively, what’s getting printed in the second volume. Yes, you’re having to buy a second book, but that second book contains… well… an entire second book’s worth of story.

2. Breaking the book into two parts means you get to read the book sooner. Since they’re treating it as two books, the publisher didn’t have to wait for the entire translation. That’s why the the first, larger part of the story came out a week or so ago. If they printed it all at once, you’d probably have to wait until February of next year to get hold of it.

3. The publisher asked my opinion as to where they thought the best place would be to break the story. We agreed that we didn’t want to leave people with a cliffhanger, and chose a natural resting place. When we had a slight difference of opinion, they let me have my way. Which you have to admit is pretty cool of them.

4. You also have to give Klett-Cotta (my German publisher) credit for not dragging their heels with the release date of the second half of the book. Conventional publishing wisdom says that they should wait at least six months between volume 1 and volume 2. But they aren’t doing that. The second half is coming out as fast as it possibly can, in January of 2012.

So there you go. That’s why the German translation comes in two volumes. There’s also a German article about it over here if you’re interested and can verstehen die Deutsch.

More soon,

pat

Also posted in Fanmail Q + A, Things I didn't know about publishing | By Pat96 Responses

New Additions to the family….

We have a few new additions to the family that have come in over the last couple months, so I thought I’d share them here.

This one is really new, and just showed up a couple weeks ago. It’s the Taiwanese translation of The Name of the Wind.

As always, it’s more than a little baffling for me to see the book in an absolutely foreign character set. I can’t even pretend to sound it out. Even harder for me is the fact that I don’t know how to type in those characters into babelfish so I can find out what that 79 on the cover refers to.

The Taiwanese translation is in complex Chinese. The simplified Chinese translation will be coming out in China pretty soon. I saw the cover art a about a month ago and it was pretty cool.

Next we have the Serbian translation:

This one’s pretty. I love it when the publisher goes out of its way to do a new cover for the book. I don’t know what to make of the different spelling of my name, though.

The next one is Hungarian:

I dig the cover. It’s subtle. And I couldn’t for the life of me tell you why, but it looks a little magical. I think it might be because the vines behind the title have a cleverly implied pentacle in their shape.

Either way, I like it.

Lastly, I can’t remember if I posted up the Brazilian version of the book before.

Just in case, here it is:

This one is an odd hybrid for me. The cover is the same as the French version, and the language is the Brazilian dialect of Portuguese.

I think this brings the translation total up to…

<pat goes to look at his vanity shelf>

Wow. 21 translations of the book. 22 if you count the UK version. I wouldn’t have guessed that many, if you’d have asked me.

I know we’ve sold the translation rights for The Name of the Wind to about 30 countries, but when you do that, it doesn’t mean 30 foreign copies of your book show up at your house in a week. Even after you make a deal with a foreign publisher, it takes a long time for the book to come out.

First there’s the paperwork, then they have to translate it, proof it, lay it out, pick a cover…. They have to fit it into their publishing schedules and market it just like we do here in the US. All of that takes a long time, and sometimes it takes me a month or two to get my author copies after the book comes out in these other countries.

As a result, the translations have sort of trickled in one every couple months over the last couple years. So yeah. 22. It’s weird if I think about it too much.

That’s all for now.

pat

Also posted in translation | By Pat71 Responses

Retro Kvothe?

So my UK publisher, Gollancz, is having its 50th anniversary.

In celebration, they’re holding a poll/contest… thinger.

Let me explain more clearly than that.

They’ve picked 50 of their top novels from the last 50 years. 25 in fantasy and 25 in science fiction. Flatteringly enough, The Name of the Wind made that list.

They’re asking people to vote on their favorites, and the top five novels in each category are going to be published in special retro-style collector’s editions.

Normally when there’s some sort of online poll like this, I try to resist the urge to point y’all at it, howling, “Fly my pretties, Fly! Vote for me!”

I did that sort of thing fairly often back when The Name of the Wind first came out, because…. well… because I was pretty excited about my book. And it’s nice to win things, even if it’s just an online poll in someone’s blog.

These days, I try to restrain those impulses. Mostly because my inner Midwesterner isn’t entirely cool with that sort of self-aggrandizing behavior. I always felt kind weird afterwards.

That said, I have to admit I’m curious what a retro edition of The Name of the Wind would look like. I think that would be pretty cool.

Here’s a link to the Gollancz poll, just in case you want to, y’know, go over there and, like, look at it. Or whatever.

pat

Also posted in contests | By Pat103 Responses

Citizen of the World

Well I don’t know about y’all. But I’m considerably more relaxed than a couple weeks ago.

Don’t get me wrong. I love running Worldbuilders.  I also love working on my book and getting ready for Christmas. I even love packaging t-shirts believe it or not.

I just don’t love doing all of those things at the same time. That was not so much with the fun.

At this point, we’ve dealt with most of the aftermath of the fundraiser.  About 3/4 of the prizes have been mailed out, but I haven’t contacted the winner of the Golden Ticket or Gaiman’s Snow Glass Apples yet. That will happen sometime this next week.

So if you see an unfamiliar number on your cell phone in the next couple days, you might want to answer it….

The t-shirt madness is largely over. We shipped a bunch last week, and I packaged up another 60 or so yesterday night. That means with the exception of about a dozen packages, we’re pretty much entirely caught up on mailing out everything people have ordered from the store.

Needless to say, I’m surprised at how well the t-shirts sold. Whenever we thought things would start tapering off, we’d sell another couple hundred. Because of this, we kept running out of specific sizes and have to re-order more shirts. That’s the main reason some orders ended up shipping later than we would have liked.

Speaking of which, we’re about to put in one last order of shirts for a couple months. So if you really want a shirt, this might be the best time to order one. Why? Because the next time we run out of a size, we probably aren’t going to be in a big rush to re-stock it. We might not re-print some of these shirts at all after this next order, and instead focus on other things in the store.

Consider yourselves fairly warned.

In other news, we have a new addition to the family.

(Click to Embiggen.)

It’s the Hebrew translation of The Name of the Wind. As an added bonus there’s some bacon in the picture.

Yknow, only as I typed that last sentence did I realize the weirdness of that. Because…. y’know… Hebrew.

I would just like to state for the record that this happened by accident. I wasn’t trying to be ironical or anything. I was just making a BLT…

I still love seeing the new versions of my book. I don’t think it will ever get old for me. I think this one is the 18th translation of my book to get into print. I should be seeing copies of the Bulgarian version soon, too. And after that should come the two different versions of Chinese: complex and simplified.

When I opened the package and picked up the book, the first thing I did was try to remember what the different Hebrew letters were called. I could identify about half of them, which is better than I can do in Japanese or Russian.

This made me feel very savvy and cosmopolitan. I was a citizen of the world.

That feeling faded when I tried to put the title into Google Translate to see if I could get a literal translation. It said that what I typed in meant “Name Crank.”

So I guess my Hebrew alphabet could use some work…

Erasing my final shred of cool-feelingness was the fact that shortly after picking up the book I experienced two seconds of cold-sweat panic when I realized that somehow a major printing error had happened with this edition. Somehow they’d printed the cover upside-down. It wasn’t just one book, either. It was *all* the books that had been sent to me….

Then I remembered. Hebrew is right to left, not left to right.

Yup, that’s me. Citizen of the world.

More soon,

pat

P.S. For those of you who live in Michigan. I’m going to be doing a reading/signing Q&A session at McLean & Eakin on January 20th at 6:00. For more details you can check out the Facebook event or hit Mclean & Eakin’s website.

Yes, there will be some Princess books there. And yes, I’ll be reading something from The Wise Man’s Fear….

Also posted in appearances, The Tinker's Packs | By Pat68 Responses

A New Addition to the Family: Tuulen Nimi

Guess what showed up in the mail today?

(Click to Embiggen.)

It’s the Finnish translation of The Name of the Wind. Huzzah!

I suppose I might get jaded about this stuff eventually. But the truth is, I still love seeing the new editions of the book. I love trying to figure out how to pronounce the title. I love seeing which map they end up putting in the front. (Usually it’s Nate’s version, but not always.) I love flipping through the book and seeing if I can figure out what’s going on.

And I *love* the versions with new covers. For this one, I’m willing to bet that the artist actually read the book. I can tell because of how the lute looks. The pegbox isn’t cantilevered, and there’s only three pegs on this side (so four on the other side would make seven.) I also like the hood of his cloak.

That’s all for now, T-shirts will be showing up soon. So keep an eye out here if you’re looking to vote on which ones are your favorite…

pat

Also posted in book covers, cool things, Nathan Taylor | By Pat52 Responses

A New Addition to the Family – Russia

Every once in a while, I get a package from my agent. And honestly, it’s always a little like Christmas.

I spent so long trying to get an agent, you see. Now, not only do I have an agent, but he’s a really good agent. And the people he works with at the agency are really good too. We get along really well, and they help me sell my book all over the world.

So when they send me something, it’s cool by default. They could mail me a gum wrapper and I’d be happy. Why? Because getting a gum wrapper from your awesome agent is roughly a billion times cooler than getting form-letter rejection from yet another agent rejecting your book.

It doesn’t hurt that I’m new enough to this whole professional writer thing that everything is still fresh and new.  Foreign contracts are still interesting to me. I get an envelope in the mail and think, “Yay! I get to read an 8 page contract detailing the sale of the Brazilian rights of my book!”  Even the cryptically opaque royalty statements are fun.

But my favorite things to get in the mail are new foreign editions of the book.

I’ve talked about some of them in previous posts. The German version. The Portuguese version. Japanese, French, Danish

I love them all. Even the ones I’ve gently mocked.

But just a couple days ago I had a new experience. A book showed up and I couldn’t figure out what country it was from.

(Click to Embiggen.)

Usually if I don’t know which country a book is from, it’s not that hard for me to figure out. If worse comes to worst,  I just google the publisher’s name. For example, if I search on “Argo” and “Rothfuss” I find out that “Jméno Větru” is the Czech version of my book.

But this book had nothing on it that I could use. The foreign character set completely flummoxed me. Normally when I get a book, I can at least read my name on the cover. Not so with this one.

I was pretty sure it was Russian. I needed to be *really* sure. If I was wrong I’d look like a real idiot. It would be like introducing your own child using the wrong name.

Eventually I took an educated guess and decided that Патрик Ротфусс was a transliterated version of “Patrick Rothfuss.” But even then, it took me a long time to figure out how to type “Патрик Ротфусс” into google.

So, after a little bit of research, let me introduce the Russian Version of the Name of the Wind: Имя ветра.

It’s a pretty book. Good paper and a nice binding. It doesn’t have a book-jacket either, the art is printed directly on the cover of the book. I kinda like that.

Also, join me in enjoying the cover art. It isn’t to-the-letter accurate, but it’s not that bad, either.

I’ve become philosophical about cover art over the years. I know that its main job is to catch the reader’s eye. If the picture isn’t entirely true to the story Kvothe tells, if it over-dramatizes a bit… I can live with that. I comfort myself with the knowledge that if the cover doesn’t fit Kvothe’s story perfectly, it’s probably pretty close to the version Old Cob would tell….

Later folks,

pat

Also posted in book covers, translation | By Pat70 Responses
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