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Choosing the right book

Selecting the right book is crucial and you will of course need to set out your own criteria. 

It goes without saying that any book you choose needs to sit comfortably alongside your existing titles.  A translated title needs to complement your publishing house's own style, criteria and ethos and what is hopefully a cohesive but distinctive list. 

Choosing a book can of course be difficult if you do not speak the language in question and are therefore initially relying on other people's opinions. 

It can be worth seeking out books which have already received critical acclaim in their original language.  You will want to research winners of international prizes.  Some of the awards you might look into could include: 

  • the Hans Christian Andersen Award

  • the Bologna Ragazzi prize

  • the Prix Sorcières (France)

  • the Astrid Lingren Memorial Award

  • The IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Honor List

  • the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature

  • the Gouden Griffel (or golden pen award – Holland)

  • the Super Dash Novel Rookie of the Year (Japan)

  • Malaysia's Calistro Prize for Children/YA fiction.

You may want to check the lists of international best sellers in the relevant country. 

You will also want to make use of literary scouts and translators – they may well be aware of possible titles. You will want to try to go with the opinion of someone you know and trust.  If you have existing relations with a translator, they might be able to provide a comment or an excerpt of a book you are considering.


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