With woodworking books, it can take years for publishers to decide if they want to translate a title into a foreign language. With technical information, publishers want to make sure that the information is worth translating and reprinting. Translations are shockingly expensive.
So it was gratifying that immediately after “Sharpen This” was released in September 2022, both French and German publishers approached us about translating the book. And now, one year later, both translated editions have been released.
“Einfach Scharf” (Simply Sharp) was translated to German and published by HolzWerken. The German publishers went to some extra trouble with their edition. They replaced the vintage English advertisements on the book’s endsheets with German advertisements. And they added a ribbon bookmark.
“Manuel d’affûtage” (Sharpening Manual) was translated to French and published by Editions Vieux Chene.
Both editions reproduced the “pocket size” of the original, are printed on offset presses and have sewn bindings. It’s nice when publishers don’t try to cheapen your work (like the foreign publishers did for my first book on workbenches, which looks like it was printed on a 1970s photocopier with a case of the runs).
I know that lots of people disagree with my sharpening methods, particularly the fact that I use a honing guide for chisels and plane irons. That’s OK. I’ve had far more people tell me that this book changed their woodworking for the better.
And the reach of the book might just get even longer. This week a Chinese publisher contacted us about translating “Sharpen This.”
— Christopher Schwarz