Sunday, November 9, 2008

A World View for My Book?

Got interesting feedback on my book. A publisher outside the country took a quick look at it is has expressed interest. He likes the subject and believes it would fit his titles. But he has an issue; he said that a have a USA book, not a world book. Hmm, that's interesting. He elaborated that I needed to see my subject as encompassing the world, not just the United States. Some three examples:
  1. I spoke of celebrating the New Year in Times. As he put it, "New Year's is New Year's. Unless you have a specific reason for mentioning Times Square, don't. Let it relate to your reader's experience of New Year.
  2. I spoke about the US economy as "our economy." As he explained, "Many of your readers may be US citizens, but many will not. The economy touches the entire world. When you talk about 'our' you set a barrier between you and anyone who is not a US citizen, which is most of the world's population."
  3. To make a point, I used a baseball story. He made the point that if I specifically needed to talk about baseball because it is the only way of making the point, then it may be okay. But if the same point can be made in a more universal way then do so. But I should forget individual teams. (In this case, I talked about the famous Red Sox collapse in 1986.) "For most of the world, these teams are just names," he explained. "Think of universal terms which will grab your reader with relevance wherever they happen to be: London, Sydney, Frankfurt, Singapore or Savannah, Georgia. If you don't, you limit not only your readership, but also your own authority on being someone who is a world expert on the subject."

Wow, good feedback. It's so easy to fall into the narrow American view of the world. I wasn't even thinking about world publication until I met this gentleman. Now that it's a possibility, I'm willing to do what needs to be done.

Anyone else have experience with international communication? I do, but I never thought I could apply it to be first book (still unpublished). Promising stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment