Back in 1989, when we published the first trade book about the internet, “The Internet Companion,” our publisher Addison Wesley sold the foreign rights to other trade publishers. We got a lump sum payment for these rights deals, and about a year later would receive some free copies of exotic books — in Polish! Japanese! Arabic! — to put on our shelf.
Today, with the aid of cloud-based Translation Memory (TM) software and Print on Demand (POD) technology, publishers can better control their target languages, and thereby reach those markets directly. Instead of selling rights to foreign publishers, today’s publisher is empowered to keep the translation process in-house while outsourcing print and distribution, simultaneously reducing production cost and expanding market reach.