Thursday, March 20, 2014

BEA's Global Market Forum: Books in Translation take Center Stage

BEA's 2014 Global Market Forum (GMF) explores the world instead of focusing on a single country or region as we take on the genre of Books in Translation.  The GMF tagline  Wanderlust for the Written Word fits nicely because the definition of Wanderlust the strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.  That is so wonderfully descriptive of what books in translation provide for readers, it is indeed perfect.

When BEA looked at translation as the subject of the GMF, we realized as a theme, it went beyond being timely or compelling but that is was critical for BEA to support bringing literature from around the world and across languages to American readers.  While the US market is by far the largest book market in the world, equal to the next 2 combined (China + Germany), totaling around $27 billion, the share of translations sold in the US is a meager 3 percent of all newly released titles.  Globalization is as much a factor in the world as is digitization.  That is not a challenge that is exclusive to the publishing industry and is indeed a challenge for almost every functioning industry.  Still, the figure of 3% is a woefully low and inadequate share of what Americans read and consume.  This not only impacts our culture but how the US understands and disseminates what is happening in the world around us.  Hence the importance of BEA shining a spotlight and raising the stakes for books in translation.

BEA’s Global Market Forum 2014 will explore ideas and issues from this genre that will generate new opportunities for authors, agents, publishers and translators.  We need thank and acknowledge the international group of minds that helped BEA shape the program as well as the speakers and authors that are indeed global luminaries in the publishing world.  Ruediger Wischenbart, who oversees the GMF deserves much credit as well.  Allow me to acknowledge as many people as I can here, knowing that I will unintentionally miss someone that is very deserving of BEA's thanks and praise.

Below are some of the brilliant publishing professionals that were key contributors, I have also included some some of the topics each will speak on in the GMF program.

Susie Nicklin, The Marsh Agency, UK: How will digital change the sales of translation rights
Susan Harris, Words Without Borders: Building an audience for translation in the US
Maria Campbell, Maria B. Campbell Associates, Inc.: How to find books for translation?
Susan Bernofsky, Director, Literary Translation, Columbia University School of the Arts: Preparing the ground for translations 
Riky Stock, German Book Office, New York: Bridging the gap between foreign authors and American editors 
Tina Weiner, Yale Publishing Course
Chris Kenneally, Director, Author Relations, Copyright Clearance Center
Chad Post, Publisher/Editor at University of Rochester

Notable speakers and panels you can look forward to:

Carol Brown Janeway, Senior Vice President, Senior Editor, International Rights Director, The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group: Why – and how – translation matters for a publishing house. 
Ross Ufberg, co-founder, New Vessel Press: How to found a publishing house specialized in translated literature meant for a wide audience  
John Siciliano, editor, Penguin: Editing and building a program around works in translation. Mariusz Szczygiel (Poland , author of “Gottland”, published in translation by Melville House 2014) with Antonia Lloyd-Jones (translator) and Sal Robinson (editor, Melville House Publishing)
Marco Malvaldi, author (“Three Card Monte”, “Game for Five”), with Michael Reynolds, publisher, Europe Editions
Joel Dicker, author (“The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair”, Penguin`)
Marcos Giralt Torrente, author (“The End of Love” et al.), speaking on the new translation of his books in three US publishing houses, Farrar Strauss and Giroux, McSweeney's, and Hispabooks)
Vladimir Grigoriev, deputy head, Federal Agency for Media and Mass Communication, Russia: Building a global campaign for Russian literature
Javier Celaya, CEO, How to reach the Spanish language market and its 500 inhabitants with translations through ebooks. A strategic perspective.

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