How Do I Find an English Language Publisher for My Book in Chinese? 我是怎樣爲《靜水流深》找到英文出版社的？
For a period of time, I often received questions from friends, asking “How did you manage to find a publisher for your book?” Some fellow Chinese writers even thought that I had some special connections; and asked whether I could help them to find an English language publisher too. Well, here is the “mysterious” “behind the scenes” process.
One day in 2002, several months after I escaped from China after being imprisoned and tortured in Beijing Female Forced Labor Camp for practicing Falun Gong, a friend asked me whether I’d like to attend the monthly meeting of the “Melbourne Chinese Studies Group”, as the topic of that night was about the labor camp system in China.
So I went to the meeting with several friends. They had invited a doctoral student from a university to talk about the labor camp system in China. After the presentation finished, an audience member asked a question, to which the speaker didn’t have a good answer.
As a labor camp survivor who had just recently escaped, I could see that obviously the speaker’s “abstract” knowledge about Chinese labor camps was very much “out of date” and “out of touch” of the reality. After the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, the labor camp system in China had become a main tool to persecute Falun Gong. But the speaker didn’t touch upon this at all.
But I didn’t say anything; as I didn’t know whether it was appropriate to contradict him publicly. I wasn’t invited to speak after all.
But I did feel obligated to give a more satisfactory answer to the gentleman who raised the question. So I approached him after everything was finished; and told him that I could tell him more about the Chinese labor camps, since I just escaped from one.
It turned out that this gentleman, Mr. Rowan Callick, was a senior journalist and columnist of a very good publication, “Australian Financial Review”. He later conducted an interview with me and wrote up a lengthly report of two full pages.
一番談話之後，我才得知，原來這位先生是《澳大利亞金融評論（Australian Financial Review）》的資深專欄作者和記者。他後來又專門採訪了我，寫了一個整整兩版的長篇報導。
Then Lyn Gallacher, the host of "Book Talk" program with ABC radio, read the report; and contacted me for a radio interview. During the live interview, I shared my experiences in the labor camp; as well as why I escaped: because I wanted to write a book to expose it all.
澳洲ABC電臺「談書（Book Talk）」節目主持人Lyn Gallacher看到了這篇報導，並邀請我到她的節目中做嘉賓。採訪時，我談到了勞教所中的種種黑幕，也談到了我正在寫一本書，以便向全世界揭露中共迫害法輪功的驚天罪行。
The interview was aired nation wide from Melbourne. As she was listening to it, an editor of Allen & Unwin in Sydney became so caught up and excited that she immediately jumped up, ran to her boss and said,”Hurry, we have to get hold of this book!”
節目是以現場直播方式從墨爾本向全澳洲广播的。結果悉尼一名Allen & Unwin出版社的編輯聽到了，被深深打動，立即跳起來找到出版社負責人說：「我們必須拿下這本書！」
So I soon got an email from Allen & Unwin, the original publisher of the “Lord of the Rings” by the way, saying that they got my email address from Lyn Gallacher of ABC; and that they hoped I wouldn’t mind them contacting me; as they were interested in my book.
不久我就接到了來自Allen & Unwin（《魔戒》一書的原始出版者）的電子郵件，說他們對我的書有興趣。
I was very surprised and replied, “Thank you for your interest. But I am writing in Chinese; and I haven’t finished yet.”
I thought that would be the end of the story, as they only published English language books. At that stage I really never dreamed about an English version of my book. The only thought on my mind was all about how to finish my writing in Chinese and have it published as soon as possible. So many fellow Falun Gong practitioners were still suffering the persecution day and night, and could be killed at any minute.
To my surprise, the editor wrote back by saying that it didn't matter that I was writing in Chinese; nor did it matter that I hadn’t finished yet. I could send the first three chapters to someone who understood Chinese. They would ask that person to evaluate my book. If they believed the book was good enough after they received an evaluation report, they could arrange English translation as well as publication.
So I sent the first three chapters to Sue Wiles, who had studied Chinese at Beijing Language and Culture University; and who later became the translator for my book. After reading the three chapters, Sue came up with a two page evaluation report and spoke very highly about what I wrote so far.
After reading Sue's report; and after at least two rounds of discussions within the editorial management team, Allen & Unwin decided to translate my book into English and publish it according. At that stage I had only finished about half of it.
Later on my editor Jo Paul told me that it was the first time in her career, or perhaps in Allen & Unwin's history as she was aware of, that they decided to publish a book which they didn't understand, which they had not read ; and which had not been finished yet.
後來我的書的編輯Jo Paul告訴我，在她的職業生涯中，在她所了解到的Allen & Unwin的歷史上，這是他們第一次決定出版一本他們沒看過，也看不懂，且還沒有寫完的書。
Jo only had the chance to read the translated manual script of my book about one year after she signed the publication contract with me. She said she sat in her room and finished reading it in one go; and was very much impressed. After the book, “Witnessing History: One Woman’s Fight for Freedom and Falun Gong” finally hit the market in March, 2005, it sold very well; and was re-printed twice within three months.
大約一年以後，翻譯才完成。我的編輯告訴我，拿到翻譯手稿後，她坐在家裏一動不動，一口氣看完了全書，內心深受震撼，當然也深深慶幸當初自己沒有看錯。 《Witnessing History: One Woman’s Fight for Freedom and Falun Gong（見證歷史：一位女性爲自由和法輪功的奮鬥歷程）》這本書於2005年3月在澳洲上市後，兩個月內就再刷了兩次，令她和出版社非常欣慰。
One year later, in May 2006, my book was re-published by SOHO press in the US as well. At that stage the Chinese version had also been published in Taiwan for two years. I was lucky enough to find a Chinese language publisher in Taiwan almost as soon as I finished the writing at in 2003; and the Chinese book was published in January 2004, one year before the Australian English edition. Therefore in 2006 I ended up having three different editions of my book: Chinese edition, Australian English Edition and US English Edition.
So, the above was the “mysterious” “behind the scenes” process of how I managed to find a publisher. When he learned that Allen & Unwin was going to publish my book in English, a fellow Falun Gong practitioner at my practice site, who was also a professional editor and translator in Italian language, was overjoyed, saying that I had not only find a publisher; but also THE best publisher in Australia!
以上就是我怎樣找到英文出版社的「祕密」經過。當一位朋友得知Allen & Unwin要幫我出書時，曾激動地祝賀我說：你不但找到了一個出版社，還找到了一個最好的出版社！我老爸寫了一輩子書了，到現在還一本也沒能出版呢。你太幸運了！
As a practitioner of Falun Gong, I always believe in “Doing, but without pursuit”.(quote from “Hong Ying” by Mr. Li Hongzhi, founder of Falun Gong). When I looked back at all the most important events in my life, it was crystal clear that everything was arranged, and absolutely not gained by pursuit. What I have to do is just to follow the course of nature and do what is right.
For example, to expose the persecution is always the right thing to do, so I have been trying to do it, no matter whether the audience is only one person, or tens of thousands. If I had not had the heart to expose the persecution by talking to Rowan Callick, all the things afterwards would not have happened. This, I believe, could serve as a small example of “Doing, but without pursuit”. Do what you should do; and leave everything else to the hands of higher wisdom and higher beings. Have faith; and everything else is looked after.
By the way, both Rowan Callick and Lyn Gallacher became a friend afterwards; and both attended and spoke at my book launch in Melbourne, about 3 years after they interviewed me.
另：後來Rowan Callick和Lyn Gallacher都成了朋友。我的英文書出版時，他們兩位出席墨爾本的發布會，並發表講話表示支持。這時距他們採訪我已有約三年的時間了。