kindlebooks Remember the early days of eBooks? I do. I was so excited about my Kindle. No more waiting until the books were shelved. I could just wake up on the release date and there it would be, ready to read. Except it wasn’t that way -so many of my favorite author’s books weren’t available as a digital release. Sometimes I had to wait a couple of weeks, and sometimes months. Then when that issue was resolved, I had to deal with the fact that I could buy the paper copy of the book for less than the digital copy. Now that these issues are getting taken care of for the most part, I have another request, simultaneous book release dates. Oh, I know it a pie in the sky wish right now, but surely it can be done.

Nora Robert’s The Perfect Hope is due to be released in Australia, Canada, U.K. and the U.S. all on November 6 even though she has contracts with two different publishers. For Canada, the U.K and U.S. the paper copy of the book is being released by Berkley Trade. In Australia, the paper copy is being released by Hachette. In the U.K., the digital copy is being released by Hachette Digital and Amazon Canada doesn’t have the Kindle version available yet. I agree that Nora Roberts definitely has the proven track record to justify having multiple foreign contracts and all with the same release date. Still, I can only think that if authors’ book were available worldwide at least digitally, then many would gain name recognition in countries different than their own.

Better yet, I wish that since I have an Amazon Kindle, I could go to any of Amazon’s sites and download books, or that the publishers who have the digital rights would make them available to all. I just discovered two books available on Amazon.com (the U.S. web site) by Roisin Meaney. The publisher is Hachette Books Ireland. So see it can be done. It’s just a question of navigating the rights maze.

I admit that I don’t buy many non-U.S. authors’ books but there are several that I do buy. And the ones I do buy I really like, so much so that I hate to wait for their books. Lucy Dillon, Susanna Kearsley, Jill Mansell, and Roisin Meaney are just a few that come to mind. I fell in love with Lucy Dillon with Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts, In May 2013, One Hundred Pieces of Me by Ms. Dillon will be released in the U.K. Although she has had two books published by the Penguin Group here in the U.S. and one is due to be released in 2013 (one that I already ordered from the U.K.), I don’t see this one listed yet. So I plan to order it from the U.K. rather than waiting for US publication.

Susanna Kearsley has had eleven books published and for years you couldn’t buy them in the U.S. I also ordered many of her books from Canada. Luckily, thanks to Sourcebooks, they are more readily available in the USA. Although, I know I shouldn’t gripe, especially after such a long wait for The Rose Garden, but her new book The Firebird is out in May 2013 in Canada but not released in the U.S. until June. Jill Mansell’s A Walk in the Park was released in the U.K. earlier in 2012, but its U.S. release date is November. Her new release, Don’t Want to Miss a Thing will be released in the U.K. in February 2013 – and yes I will be ordering it then, especially since I don’t even see a U.S. release date either on this book.

It seems strange to me that I can eat a kiwi fruit easier than buying a book by an Australian or New Zealand author. I discovered Lisa Walker with her release of Liar Bird. And I would love to read other authors from New Zealand or Australia but I rarely seem to find their books.
I can’t complain about this without giving thanks, though. Without publishers like Sourcebooks I wouldn’t have discovered these authors at all.

Some of you are probably thinking that there are plenty of books released in the U.S., so why does it matter? Well, I am impatient. Once I discover an author whose books I love, I want to read them when they are released. Plus reading books by authors from different nations is my way of getting a view of their culture. Even if the characters’ emotions mimic mine, their daily lives are different as are the food they eat, the places they go, and the way they express themselves. For example, I have never eaten mushy peas (I can’t say that I have a burning desire to do so either), but from reading I know about the dish now. If I had never read a book by a British author then I probably wouldn’t have a clue.

There is so much potential for wider distribution out there through the digital format medium. And hopefully someday soon, consumers all over the world will have access to the same product at the same time. Do you read many authors that are from a different country? If so, what authors do you read? Are you able to easily find their books? If not, do you have them shipped to you?

– Leigh Davis