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Are you a writer and/or translator? Would you be interested in starting an international publishing co-operative?

I have experience from a small publishing co-op in a small country and know something about what works and what doesn't work. One main problem is small sales, so an obvious way to try to get bigger is to go international.

This is a very preliminary idea, but could it be doable to publish the same books ~simultaneously in several languages? And still operate as one legal entity?

There wasn't space for hashtags, so here they are. Look for the first toot in the thread.

@Stoori i have like zero experience here but it is intriguing.

@SallyStrange Great!

Do you know any other languages than English? I guess this is one of the important questions with this kind of business idea, so that there could be as many writers also capable of translating.

@Stoori I speak French well enough to do some translation. My Spanish and Hindi are rudimentary though.

@SallyStrange Excellent!

This is kinda low key project at the moment, right now I'm just looking if there would be enough interested and likeminded people to go further with the planning.

I'll keep you on the list of interested people, and possibly I'll be posting more about this later, let's see where this is going. Don't expect anything concrete to happen until next year. :)

@reinderdijkhuis Excellent!

One of the important questions would be, what languages the members can read or even translate. And good interpersonal relationships are important too, I've learned that from experience.

This is kinda low key project at the moment, right now I'm just looking if there would be enough interested and likeminded people to go further with the planning.

@Stoori Professionally I am strictly English-Dutch except translating for short texts from German if the subject matter is right for me. After English, my non-native languages are, in fast declining order of proficiency:
German
Various Low Saxon dialects
French
Frisian
Latin
Ancient Greek
Danish
Norwegian
Swedish
Only the first four of those are at a level where they're at all useful, but for the others, the potential is there to get up to speed relatively fast./1

@Stoori As for simultaneous multi-lingual publishing, the European comics industry has done that for decades and for some of the biggest blockbuster novels of the aughts (Harrry Potter) it was also done that way IIRC. Dunno how well it works at smaller scale.

@reinderdijkhuis Wow, your language list is impressing! I'll certainly keep you informed about when the more detailed planning would begin.

And yes, this would be small scale publishing in any case. As I see it, there could be national teams in a few countries, formed so that at least someone in every team can translate from some other team's language.

At the moment I guess the main hurdle is to find people that can translate from Finnish, whereas the Finnish team could be easy for me to find.

@Stoori Well keep in mind I threw in anything that I can read even slightly. I'd put the cut-off for 'usable for translation' under Various Low Saxon Dialects. Then French is the only one I can still say a few things in; reading it tires me out. Below that, it's literally 'give me a comic book in the language and I'll figure out the dialog using contextual clues' with the odd ones out being Latin and Greek, which are…meta-useful? I use what I learned at school to pick up other languages faster.

@reinderdijkhuis Sure, I wouldn't expect anyone to translate from more than a few languages on professional level. :)

And not everyone needs to be able to translate. It helps a lot if the rest can at least read some of the other languages the co-op is operating with.

@Stoori The reason I listed them all is that I am a fast learner and a strong language puzzler and I've been able to adapt, say, a comic script in Norwegian by basing the translation on an English version from the author side by side with the Norwegian so I'd pick up tone and idiom from the Norwegian version that was missing in the English version.
I wouldn't do that for translating at the standard my employer expects, but it delivered results at the time.

@Stoori
Well, if you yourself need someone to handle making you software to produce the postscript files for printing and all, I am quite confident in my capacities to use LaTeX so I can likely make a software to generate a LaTeX file for pre-printing

@Archivist From my experience DTP is not the bottleneck, and there are several doable free tools out there to use already.

Would you otherwise have interest in being a member of a publishing co-op, which would mean taking part in daily operations and investing your own part of the capital?

@Stoori I’m rusty but I got a German degree and took 7 years of Spanish courses.

@Ethancdavenport Great!

This is a low key project for me at the moment, I'm mostly just reaching out to see if I can find people who are interested in this kind of idea.

So, if you could think participating in the daily routines and investing your share in a publishing co-op, I can add you to the list of interested people.

I'll post more about this later this year, and nothing concrete won't probably happen until next year in any case.

@Stoori put me on the list for sure, although I am chronically low on spoons lol.

@Ethancdavenport That won't be a problem, I'm not a regular performer myself either, nor many others who have shown interest.

@Stoori
I write in English and have a little experience with Mandarin and North American Spanish. This sounds fascinating and I would like to get in the loop.

@DialMforMara Excellent!

I'll put you on my list of interested people. This is a low key project for the moment, and I'll get back to this later this year when I've got some idea about where there would be enough interested people.

@Stoori The Free Workers Union (FAU) in Germany has a section for language workers. Might be worth contacting them. They are very friendly towards co-operative ideas. :) fau.org

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