Apparently I jumped the gun by suspecting Google Books of creating some of my recent visibility problems, as publicly debated and recanted in the Publisher's Obsession blog. I expect some of it was misdirected anger towards the recent Blogger changes, but that's all moldy hay in the barn now. I did find a silver lining in spending the last two weeks exercising the keyboard when I ran some Advanced Searches in other languages, something I'd never thought to do before.
What do Estonian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latvian, Slovak and Slovenian have in common? Of the thirty six languages currently supported by Google, they are the six that don't have any native results for a search on my fonerbooks domain. In a few instances, the native results are merely versions of an Open Directory page that includes a link, but others look pretty interesting, and many of them are apparently publishing discussions. Of course, I can't read most of them, so maybe they all start with "For an example of a REALLY bad publisher's website..."
Here's an example from a Japanese posts discussing Chris Anderson's Long Tail:
And a Swedish post that's either about print on demand or a 1996 Volvo:
Plus a French site with a title I can almost read in English about printing one copy at a time:
I usually don't look for the web pages of non-English publishers that show up in my site statistics, but I spent some effort last year tracking down the landing page for a foreign referrer which turned out to be a leading Jihadi site. Since I've published an online guide for visitors to Jerusalem, I was concerned somebody might be using it for nefarious purposes. It turned out that my sudden popularity with that crowd was due to something I'd published about replacing a CD drive:-)
Speaking of all things international, it turns out there is an International Publishers Association of which the local (US) branch is the Association of American Publishers. I check their website from time to time for studies on book sales, and I've considered joining, but the application process is too much work. Well, it's not so much that as I hate admitting to zero titles published in the last year, not to mention the sin of not publishing a catalog. So if any of my readers were wondering, I'm not part of the international publishing conspiracy. I'm just a verbose self publisher with an Internet site.