Have you ever considered that your book might find an audience in a country where English is not the first language? As comedian Judy Tenuta says: “It could happen!”

Although there’s generally little market for fiction in translation, nonfiction, such as location-specific history or biography; metric-measure cookbooks; business practices; or culturally acceptable how-to books, might find readers abroad.

Some time ago Adams Press published Japan’s Road to Popular Empowerment, a collection of Japanese newspaper articles, translated into English, that were written by Celine [Shinbutsu] Nisaragi, an American woman who has lived in Japan for more than thirty years and is fluent in the language. Her original thought was that her book would be helpful to Americans trying to understand Japanese society, particularly its politics. To her surprise it turned out her best market was Japanese students trying to learn vernacular English before traveling to the United States. Translations are like that: They often find unintended audiences.

For an interesting article about American publishers on the lookout for foreign-language books with American market potential, click here.

Note: Your book written in English may already have a much broader market than the United States alone. The English-speaking world—and English language book buyers—now includes British Commonwealth countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; Ireland; much of Scandinavia, Germany, and Austria; India and Pakistan; Hong Kong and western China; Israel and much of the Middle East; large portions of Africa; and just about any good-sized university city anywhere in the world. JK