Oct 22, 2009

Your Book Must Travel

The importance of being universal: your books must travel:

Although the first time I heard the above statement the agent speaking was referring to children’s books, it rings true for all categories of writing. I will admit that I wasn’t quite sure what she was referring to at first, but once she elaborated I realized it was another little nugget of information that made absolute sense once understood.

Bear with me while I reiterate as simple as possible for you.

On viewing the picture depicted above, the words that instantly popped into my head were “have words – will travel” and you know something, that’s pretty much what I am referring to here. It’s all fine writing your book and getting it published, but for your book to be truly successful it needs to appeal to the masses and be universal.

Put simply – if I as an Irish author wrote a story about Leprechauns for example, would a child in India know what I was talking about if the book were translated into their language? Not lightly. So we need to be careful not to bury our stories too deep in the peculiarities of any particular culture or nationality.

If on the other hand I write a story about dogs, cats, magic, make-believe, monsters, ghosts, or vampires, chances are pretty high that they will be understood by all nationalities – thus the story is universal and will travel.

The Cinderella type stories are universal. Harry Potter is the modern day example of books that appealed to the masses, and Twilight not only had wings it also appealed to a wide reading age.

Just a thought.


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