Hi everyone! Hope you’re well. We are — we’re just peachy. Everything has been very busy, but here’s a little update.

Last month, our first foreign edition was released, in Italy! It was published by Guanda, a pretty major Italian publisher. (Click any of the images for closer looks)

It’s gorgeous, folks. It’s simply amazing to imagine that a group of people half a world away took your book, thought about it, rendered it into their native language, designed and packaged it, and put it on sale. Their book looks nothing like ours, but it is ours!

Even down to the friendly postscript on the last page:

If you speak Italian, or know folks who do, or just want to own this amazing thing, you can get a copy of La Macchina Della Morte in either paperback or Kindle edition via Amazon.it.

Next is the German edition, due out in March, and I believe the Spanish edition is out in April.

What does this mean? It’s hard to say. All of this is mostly out of our hands at this point; we dearly hope that the books do well for those foreign publishers (and hopefully the recent frequency of Italian-language results in Google Alerts for MOD indicates that they are) — not only because it will expose new folks to the work, but it’ll also make those publishers more likely to pick up the translation rights for Volume 2 and future projects.

This is probably as clean an experiment as we’re likely to see judging how well MOD would have done with a traditional publisher. As best as I can tell, the foreign publishers we’re working with are big-name — for example, Heyne Verlag, the German publisher, is part of Random House — and so they’ll put as much (or little) promotion behind their editions as we could expect from anyone.

Still — how big are their print runs? What are their performance expectations, and were they overinflated by our strange initial success here in the States? How much will the book stand out without our own weirdo promotional machine behind it? How has the Italian version sold so far?

We don’t know the answers to any of these questions, nor, in all likelihood, will we ever. It’s a bit strange to be out of the loop, but at the same time, it’s kinda nice to not have the burden of responsibility either. Our contention all along has been that the work itself has enough merit to be worth the reader’s while, and we hope that will shine through, no matter what language it’s read in.

Contributors: We tried to exercise a clause in our contract that allowed us to buy discounted copies direct from the publisher, but were told that (a) that clause is never exercised and (b) the publisher doesn’t want to try to figure out how to deal with foreign credit cards. Kind of hilarious, actually. So if you’d like a copy, I think Amazon.it or the various publisher-recommended online shops might be your best choice, unless any Italians can recommend anything different.