The Najade: “kick the Dutch out (into the world)” fund

Following my “open letter to the Dutch SF/Fantasy world” and my blog-post on the Paul Harland day, here some core info on the Dutch Najade Foundation: “Kick the Dutch out (into the world)” fund. Or in short: the Najade: KTDO fund.

This post describes the master-plan.

Short version

  1. Translate stories to English
  2. Make them available online and for free
  3. Aim to reach a world-wide audience

Note: I realized only later that Dutch SF/Fantasy artists should be included as well online. So if that part feels immature: that is why.

Kick the Dutch out (into the world)

  1. Open letter — To the Dutch SF/Fantasy world. It all started here
  2. Part 1 — The basis: This post. Get them out into the world
  3. Part 2 — A response to “Being a writer” and business models
  4. Part 3 — Calimero, Imitation and Identity
  5. Dead horses — If you think all has been tried before and things are useless
  6. Stepping stones — A post about what is missing.

The Najade: “kick the Dutch out (into the world)” fund

  1. Maximum of 6 stories — The Najade: KTDO fund covers the warranted translation of a maximum of 6 stories.
  2. Get them out there — Get the Dutch SF/Fantasy writers out in the world.
  3. English language — Why English? The base assumption is that English is the most widely read language in the world. More than i.e. Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese or German.
  4. Paul Harland Prijs writers only — The Najade: KTDO fund currently limits itself to writers joining the Paul Harland Prijs.
  5. Good example? Follow it — See: “Other writers? Fund them!”
  6. Other writers? Fund them! — If you feel other writers should be supported as well: adopt them. Fund them! Become their patron/matron/sponsor. We will help you get the work translated and will include it on the DutchSFF site if that is wanted.
  7. Publication — Finally, the goal is to get all translated stories published.  The author can choose to do this him/herself in any way possible, including on the (to be raised) DutchSFF site.
  8. Visibility — My main goal is visibility of Dutch SF/Fantasy to the rest of the world.
  9. Dutch SF/F site — This site (to be raised) will be the central place for all SF/Fantasy stories written by Dutch people and people living in the Netherlands.
  10. Promotion — The promotion is limited to: “making the content available online, when granted by the writer” and whatever curators and individuals will do.

What about the others?

  1. Not there yet? — Sponsor them. Collect money.Have them translated. Get them out there. We link. We include them. And if we like the work and it is offered for publication, we publish it on DutchSFF. (Contact us for a possible translator. Use the standard contract we will provide.) 
  2. Already there? — Notify us! We link them. Dutch and Dutchness and Netherlands-based writers readable in English are the main criteria. Not: “who was sponsored by the Najade KTDO fund?”

Najade Foundation?

Once upon a time I had a magazine. It ran under a foundation as Not for Profit. I never cancelled the Foundation.

Motivation: from invisible to visible

The Dutch SF and Fantasy stories produced in the Netherlands are much invisible to the rest of the world due to the language barrier.
“Do they write at all over there?”
Let’s change that.

The site: DutchSFF

Status: not yet there.

Short:

  1. Portal — A portal to all Dutch and Netherlands-based writers (and artists!) publishing findeable stories online, written/translated in English.
    1. Hyperlinks — Hyperlinks to stories elsewhere
    2. Publication — Publication of stories on the site and in ebook format
    3. Curating — Consisting of “my lists of favorite stories” from a selected group of people (the curators), with a list of stories and a short explanation why they like it.
    4. Available for free — All (base) stories should be– and will be available for free. In any format that makes sense.
    5. Available for sales — When and if Dutch and Netherlands-based writers have English language stories for sale, these will be linked to as well.
  2. Get them out there — Meaning: reach an audience. Find readers. Reach readers. Get reviewed. “Available for free” is an essential part of this.
  3. Showcase — The primary function of the site is that of a showcase. “This is happening in Dutch SF/Fantasy now”.
  4. Inclusive, quality — DutchSFF includes and covers all stories and art, written and produced by Dutch/Netherlands based people. Any story and work of art is welcome, can be refused and will be published and/or linked under 5 base conditions:
    1. English-language — (Story) The story is English language
    1. Dutch — Written by a Dutch or Netherlands based person
    2. Dutch-ness/unique voice — It reflects Dutch-ness (i.e. “John woke up in his apartment in New York,” is a bad start) and/or a unique voice that is non-American and non-British.
    3. Quality — It has to be a “top 10%” kind of story and/or art. Well done. Readable/nice to look at. Enjoyable. Of quality or showing clear promise.
    4. The right to refuse and/or request for edit — We can hold the right to refuse stories and artwork and/or request you to edit your story.
  5. Team — The site will be maintained by a team. Members and roles to be collected and announced.
  6. Moderated, not owned — While there will be some moderation, the site is not “owned” by one single party. The idea is to include as much as possible, including the current pro- and semi-pro publishers (as curators of their own favorites-list). To collect several voices (including writers and curators) and show a divers and good example of Dutch and Netherlands based SF/F writers and artists.
    1. Moderator reserves rights — To refuse work, refuse specific outings and request for edits of the work by the curators.
    2. Moderator is independent 3rd party — To avoid conflict of interests, the moderator is not associated to any publisher, pro or semi-pro.

Goal: create base conditions to be read/seen by the world

The goal is to get the Dutch SF and Fantasy writers and artists out into the world. To create the base conditions for them to be read and seen by people from all over the world.

What is needed?

  1. Translation — (Writers) To a language widely spread and widely used. From several options including Spanish and German I think English is the way to go.
  2. A platform — A (central) place to become visible. To be found. To be reachable.

Then what?

As the Dutch would say: “Yes, but–”

And indeed. What then? The stories are translated. Stories and art can be found online in one place. But what then? Let’s explore the possibilities:

  1. Coaching? — Maybe. While this would be nice, coaching of the writers is not part of the package.
  2. Promotion? — No. Nothing other than “Google and keywords”. To promote books and sites online is a lot of work. The Najade: KTO fund does not cover this.
  3. Access to publishers / agents? — No. We do not have this (yet). That is up to the writers.
  4. Professional publication? — Meaning: paid-for, with an editor, done by a professional publisher. Maybe. But not by us.
  5. A career of more writing? — Maybe. Up to the writer. We do not force anyone into anything. And I do not care.
  6. What about Belgium? — Yes. Follow the example. Request the manual. Create your own platform. It will be awesome.
  7. Why for free? Should we not ask money? — No. You build an audience by visibility. Offering the work for money creates a barrier. “Pay first, then read”. I deliberately chose NOT to go that way.
  8. What if the writer wants to earn money from the writing? — Yes. Very legit. Let’s first build an audience. Give free samples. Get people from all over the world hooked.
  9. But what if the writer wants to earn money? — Yes. Awesome. Go for it! Send the (translated) story to publications who pay. Inform us! When you try to sell your  story and it is already published / available online, this can be a problem in your sales. (We will ONLY publish online with written consent of the writer.)
  10. “Do I have to…” — There are no obligations in the Najade: KTDO fund. There is no force behind “getting translated”. “No I do not want to…” is fine too.
  11. Will you translate also my (other)…? — No. If you want to, find sponsors.
  12. Why do it at all / what is the use? — To change the current situation. To break the language barrier. To get more Dutch SF/F stories out there.
  13. Will this lead to the Golden Age of Dutch SF/F? — Hmmm… That is up to the writers and other people. Honestly: I [Peter Kaptein] don’t care. My goal is to break open the Dutch language barrier. To make a start.

I am aware that a lot of things are NOT happening. This is a step-by-step program.

  1. Get them out there — The central theme.
  2. Get more traction — Find people who want to support this initiative in other forms, including promotion and so on.
  3. Move it to a broader scale — My dream is to make this a European initiative. Meaning: that French, German, Italian, Portugese and Spanish (of many others) will follow as well, following the same or similar program (if it is not already happening).
  4. Keep it simple — I deliberately limit a lot of things to keep it simple.

1: Translation

I warrant the translation of the top 5/6

I decided to put my money where my mouth is and cover the cost for translation of the price-winning stories.

These include:

  1. People in top 3 — The top-3 stories from the Paul Harland Prijs.
  2. Winners of 3 additional prices — The additional prices, including the W.J. Maryson price, the NCSF Premie for the highest ranking SF story and the Fenix-price for the strongest runner-up.

In total 5 (for 2013) to 6 stories as it is likely the top-3 can and will contain a SF story awarded with the “NCSF Premie”.

More money = more stories translated and more out there

The more people chip in, the more stories can be translated.

Why would you?

Help to make Dutch SF/Fantasy stories visible to the rest of the world. Let’s break open this barrier. Let’s bring our writers out in the open.

2: A platform

This includes:

  1. A central site — A “portal” if you like, pointing to all stories available online, written by Dutch people.
  2. Existing (online) magazines — There are several English Language websites over the world, publishing short stories and offering payment as well if and when they are (semi) professional
  3. Distribution platforms — For eBooks. Making it easier to find and download e-books. Including Amazon and Smashwords

The idea is not to create yet another home-made thing, but hook into existing platforms. Repeating the simple pattern shown elsewhere:

  1. Translate the stories
  2. Get them out there

Artist-centric

In this whole thing, the artists, the writers are the center. What does this entail?

For artists

  1. Full control — You grant us a limited right to present your work and yourself. The work remains yours. It will not be shown online unless we have your explicit permission. When and if you want to have it taken off, we will comply without question.
  2. Links to your site — We show links to your site if wanted and requested.

For writers

  1. We enable — We enable several things, including the translation, but it is up to the writer what he/she wants to do with it.
  2. We help you translate — If you — the writer — cannot do this yourself, or do not have the money to do this, we will make it happen anyway.
  3. The coverage of translation cost is a sponsorship/gift — Apart from some legal limitations stated below, you are in no way bound to the sponsor or the translator. You can do whatever you want with that translation. You can use it to “sell” it to English language magazines put it on your own site, and so on, Just let us know where to link to.
  4. We centralize — We make sure that when people Google for “Dutch SF / Fantasy stories”, they will be able to find one single place through which all translated Dutch stories and writers can be found.
  5. We help you find an outlet — First option is via the “Dutch Translated SF/Fantasy” site. Second is in advice related to several online publications, offering a shortlist of publications (and their specifics) as used by Dutch and Netherlands based writers already out there.

Your basic options

  1. You can refuse — You can refuse to become translated.
  2. You can sell your story — You can sell — the rights for publication of — your story to any publication you like. If you want help in this, we will try facilitate.
  3. You can place it / have it placed online — On any site of choice, including your own, as long as you provide the link so we can link to it.
  4. You can have it published by us — We will put the story online and in e-book format.

Your (and our) limitations: translations and the law

Legally, a translation is at least considered to be a “derived work”. Meaning that — even if and when you wrote the original — the translation is “a new work of art”.

While the content is created by you and you still hold a lot of rights to that content, there now is a second player in the field.

Here in short a summary:

  1. Permission — You, the author must grant permission for the translations to occur.
  2. Shared copyright — Under the Berne convention, the author and the translator will share joint copyright on the translation.
  3. Listing the translator —  Usually, the translator of a literary work will be listed as such on any publication of the translation. “Written by: <you>, translated by: <translator>”. Assume this is the default situation.
  4. Refusal of changes by translator — Say you disagree with certain parts, or want parts removed. The translator has the right of approval/refusal for changes made to the work (editing, etc).
  5. Royalties — Often, the translator will receive royalties on sales of the translation.
  6. Waiver of claim to royalties —  Some translators are willing to waive their claim to royalties) for any subsequent sale of the translation) to the market. This is not warrented, but something that will be negotiated per situation.

Strive: freedom, waiver of claim to royalties

It is our aim to give the writer as much freedom as possible to do whatever he/she wants. The waiver of claim to royalties is an important one in this whole case.

Fear not. Respect the translator

It can be you disagree with some or many of the parts above. Maybe it is your very first time encountering a translation and a situation, where your translated story suddenly is not yours anymore. Maybe the feeling of “sharing” to someone “who simply translated” your story gives you the willies.

Unless you translate things yourself, those are the consequences. And the question is: can you accept this?

In short: your original story is still yours. The copyright over the original material is still completely yours. The translator will not forbid you to publish the translated version anywhere or be lurking over your shoulder, watching your every single move you make with your story. Most of it is a technicality with three major consequences:

  1. You are expected to mention the translator — In the translated version, as you yourself did not translate that work. Short: you can choose not to, but mentioning your translator is considered to be a professional stance (as a writer) and good courtesy / respectful to your translator.
  2. You are expected to communicate — With the translator; if you want to change things in the translated version. Like it is (very) rude when others change stuff in your work without your consent, it is (very) rude when you do that same thing in a translation that is not done by you.
  3. You might owe the translator royalties — If the translated version is sold as a paid-for publication and the contract between you and the translator does not mention a waiver of royalties by the translator.

Doing it yourself

You, the writer, can always do the translation yourself. Either via a translator of your own choice, or by you yourself.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Najade: “kick the Dutch out (into the world)” fund

    • There are some. Not in the Netherlands. Not like this.
      Idea is to give Dutch writers (excluding Belgium ones, unless part of PHP) their dedicated (jump-start) platform.
      If and when they choose other platforms (due to bigger reach) that is perfect and perfectly OK.

      Idea is to list options on the DutchSFF site as well. “Publishing elsewhere” and have some kind of ranking in the sense of reach, difficulty (to get in/published) and popularity/size of audience.
      I think you, Rochita and Tais Teng are currently the most experienced in this. So your feedback is very welcome and welcomed for that “Publishing elsewhere” shortlist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s