A stack of foreign language books from Island Press

Island Press Around the World

Rebecca Bright, Associate Editor and Rights Manager at Island Press, shares a look into her work with international publishers.

Island Press works with publishers around the world to help our authors’ ideas reach a larger, global audience. Sales of international rights fulfill a worldwide need for resources about solutions to environmental issues like climate change, wildlife extinction, and pollution. Through this work, our books have been published in at least 25 languages, including Arabic, French, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.

Just as we do, international publishers consider many factors when deciding whether to translate and publish a book, including the topic’s uniqueness and relevance to their readers, the author’s prominence in the country, the cost of translation and publication, and the potential for sales. Some countries are more likely to publish books about certain topics. For example, many of our urban design titles have made it into Chinese bookshelves given urbanization trends and a growing interest in sustainability. 

One unique element of international rights is the opportunity to speak with publishers about the book markets in their countries, what has been working for them, and what hasn’t. Each publisher has a unique perspective on our books and on the issues—and it’s fascinating to see how we all look at things differently, and similarly.

I feel honored to work with many committed international publishers to share these ideas in many languages. Below is a sampling of recent or notable Island Press books in translation. 

Where Our Food Comes From by Gary Paul Nabhan