My first two novels, Bloodlines: Cove Point Manor and Bloodlines: Of Noble Blood, have officially been published and on sale in China for almost a month.
The translation and publishing company I worked with to have the books translated and published is Fiberead (www.fiberead.com). It has been an interesting experience, and one which continues to be "interesting".
Communication with both Fiberead and the translation team has been less than stellar throughout the 14 month process. Now that both novels are published and being sold through Amazon China (and, possibly, other Chinese e-tailers), getting any sort of information from Fiberead or the project manager is, well, difficult.
For starters, I only happened to discover that my second book was published on Amazon.cn when I clicked on my name beside my first book. To my surprise, up popped my second book, yet I had received no notification that the second book had been approved and published. To make matters worse, my project manager also had no idea, and two weeks after I found the book had been published, she wrote me to tell me it would be published in China "soon - be patient". Not impressive.
I publish my English language books with Amazon and find that their online reporting system, while not perfect, does provide valuable and reasonable sales figures. When I enquired with Fiberead as to why my Fiberead account showed zero sales when I had proof of numerous sales (I have a number of friends in China, all of whom were only too happy to send my photos of them with my e-books), I was told that Amazon China is slow to report. I didn't, and still do not, believe that Amazon China operates so differently from all other Amazon worldwide sites that they don't track sales in real-time, or at least within a day or two of confirmed sales.
When I pushed Fiberead for a better answer, the one I received was one that stated that they report sales once a month, and may delay up to two months. I find this unacceptable, especially since Fiberead requires a written request from the author to receive payment, which, in turn, can take one or two months to process.
My first book's ranking on Amazon changes almost daily (usually increasing in rank), indicating sales are being made. My second book ranked as high as #3 in its genre, which is a popular genre in China, meaning I must be selling a lot of books. Unfortunately I have no way of knowing if I have sold 10 books, 100 books or 100,000 books until Fiberead decides to tell me. Not impressive.
Finally, I have asked Fiberead what paid advertising options are available for me to further promote my books in China. I asked this question four days ago, and as of the writing of this blog, I have yet to receive a response.
Time will tell if my efforts to sell my books in China will be worthwhile financially, but it looks like this will be an uphill battle to get Fiberead to start communicating quickly and clearly.
If clear and quick communication and up to date sales reporting are important to you, make sure you research your translation & publishing partner carefully.