Appenidx 14: Levels of Internationalization


As Human Kinetics strives to reach an increasingly international audience, we want to start thinking about what this means for all aspects of product development. For example, do we simply add metric units of measure, or do we take further steps, such as editing the text differently or selecting photos, covers, and art differently? How should this change our marketing copy and sales strategies?

To facilitate communication of these issues, we will add the "Level of Internationalization" section that follows on this document to our Acquisitions and Editorial Transmittal (ETM) forms. At the acquisitions stage for each product, acquisitions editors (with input from division directors and subsidiary directors) will decide the appropriate level of internationalization for that product based on its potential sales worldwide.

The acquisitions editor would then share that information with the author so it can be taken into account while the author is writing. Later in the process, the level of internationalization will be communicated to the developmental editor or managing editor in the ETM form so she or he can help assess whether the manuscript has been written at the appropriate level. If necessary, DEs and MEs would communicate this level to the freelance copyeditor so that further necessary edits could be made during the copyediting stage.




Level of Internationalization

Level 1: No internationalization necessary.

This would be our least-used level. The product will be sold in the United States only or in the United States and Canada. U.S. measures only. No metric. No expectation of sales by HK subsidiaries. No cost added to internationalize.

Level 2: Minimal internationalization required.

Metric is a must. Add metric equivalents and avoid terms that have inappropriate or offensive connotations in other English-speaking countries. (See appendix 12 and appendix 13 of the freelance style guide for lists of inappropriate terms.) Products at level 2 and higher always include metric units of measure, either as the sole form of measurement or with accompanying English units. No other obvious steps are to be taken to internationalize the product. The cost for internationalizing a product to level 2 standards is negligible and doesn't need to be accounted for.

Level 3: Be internationally sensitive, within reason.

Metric is a must. At level 3, we will be internationally sensitive with text, art, photos, cover, marketing, and cover presentation, but we will not take extreme measures to make the product internationally appealing. Authors would point out when statistics are from U.S. samples (e.g., "Physical activity has declined from 33% to 30%" becomes "In the United States, physical activity has declined from 33% to 30%"). We may request some revisions to accommodate international readers, we will select photos with an eye for balancing American images with those from other countries, and we will try to use words and images on the cover that are internationally sensitive. But we will not take this to the extreme. We will do what we can within the budget and time constraints of the project.

Level 4: Extreme internationalization desired, but product will still be sold in the United States.

Metric is a must. All areas, all departments are to accommodate international concerns. We are willing to pay for the development costs that this will require, and these costs are significant. Some examples: As in level 3, authors would point out when statistics are from U.S. samples (e.g., "Physical activity has declined from 33% to 30%" becomes "In the United States, physical activity has declined from 33% to 30%"). At level 4, authors would also be asked to add a comparable number of statistics and examples from other countries so as to broaden international appeal. Editors would review the products with international audience needs in mind. The copyeditor would follow an international style sheet. We would balance the use of photos with obvious American-only connotations (brand names, stores, or even situations and backgrounds such as grilling burgers by a lake or having all rock-climbing photos be at American sites) with photos from other countries. Subsidiary staff would be free to change the spellings of certain terms, such as using behaviour instead of behavior in marketing copy within their subsidiary-specific marketing pieces.

Level 5: The product is to be developed for a non-U.S. audience (no U.S. readers).

A level 5 product is one that will not be sold in the United States. Instead, it will take on all of the characteristics required for sales in the country or region stipulated. This will apply not only to the language used in the product but also to design, photos, and marketing. Interestingly, it is less expensive to develop English-language products at this level than to develop English-language products at level 4. Products at level 5 might be created for a certain English-speaking country (e.g., using programme and behaviour for the UK or a European audience), or they might be translated into a language other than English. Such translation, of course, is expensive.