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Will there be a market for it?

There is sometimes an assumption that children will not warm to a book that appears to be very different from those with which they are familiar.  The Outside In World experience in fact suggests the reverse to be true. 

In our pilot workshops (and time and again throughout our 'Reading Round the World' programme) children of all ages demonstrated a very real interest in translated books and those books which offered something new and different.  Indeed, when given the opportunity to choose books from a vast range of diverse titles, the majority of the children consistently selected those which were the most unfamiliar-looking and challenging.  Teachers also took an interest in the books and were particularly receptive where there were clear ways of using them to bring something new to the classroom. 

There is sometimes a fear that a translated title simply will not have the same commercial success as well as one written in English.  Once again, our experience is that this need not be true.  By and large, the success of a new title depends rather on the quality of the book and the effort awarded to promotion, much like any other title.  

You may feel you need to carry out your own research with regard to a specific title.  For example, prior to going ahead with publication, UK publisher Phoenix Yard Books carried out some valuable consultations to assess UK attitudes towards their translation project Little Red Hood.  They removed the French words from the pages of the original book and asked for feedback from both adults and children.  The adults immediately tried to second-guess which country it was from (quickly establishing that it was 'not British' and was 'probably European') while the children simply dived into the book.  The exercise showed that for children, the wordless book was neither French nor English – it just was.

 

"We live in a global community now. Children in Britain come from all over the world. They all need books that reflect their own experience of the world – many travel in the long school holidays, or have close links to their expat community here in Britain. They are looking for books which show them the worlds they inhabit."

 Katie Livesey, Barefoot Books

 

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