With more than 35 million copies in print worldwide, debut author Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy clearly won over YA readers across the globe after its 2011 launch. Those fans will have concurrent access to her latest novel, Carve the Mark, on January 17, when the book will be published in 33 languages – among them Bulgarian, Swedish, Thai, and Portuguese – in a simultaneous global release. Kathleen Ortiz, director of subsidiary rights for New Leaf Literary & Media, negotiated the translation deals on behalf of Joanna Volpe, New Leaf’s president and Roth’s agent. HarperCollins’s Katherine Tegen Books, the U.S. publisher, has a two million-copy first printing on order for the novel, the first of a duology set on a planet where violence and vengeance rule. The second novel will follow in 2018.

Volpe noted that having a book published simultaneously in so many languages is, in her experience, “very atypical.” She viewed the large-scale global release as “a testament to Veronica creating such widely relatable characters, and also a testament to her fan base. Veronica visited nine countries in the past year, and fans in each one of them are so tremendously passionate and devoted! They’re what make such a remarkable publication feat like this possible.”

According to Volpe, her firm submitted a pitch for Carve the Mark to publishers in every country that initially published the Divergent series. “We had a strategy going in for every territory, based on previous enthusiasm and sales in the individual markets,” she said. “Divergent was published in more than 40 languages over the life of the series, and we expect to get there eventually with Carve the Mark as well. It’s important to remember that Divergent was Veronica’s debut series so, as with most first-time authors, the translation sales did take some time to build since she was initially an unknown author.”

That’s no longer the case, obviously. And Volpe expects that Carve the Mark will further expand Roth’s international fan base. “I think a number of factors give Veronica’s new series a more universal appeal,” she said, “including its stronger crossover potential, the expansive universe and complex characters she has created, and her already robust foundation in the global market. But it also helps that sci-fi fantasy has become so popular in the mainstream, thanks to the success of properties like Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, and Star Trek. People are looking for new worlds and adventures to get lost in!”

A Plot Solidifies at Last

Roth has been immersed in – if not lost in – the world of her new novel for quite some time. The Chicago native disclosed that Carve the Mark grew out of a story she’d been writing “over and over again” since she was 12. “But I could never quite figure out how to make it work,” she added. “I wanted to tell the story of a boy who is kidnapped, and finds himself fitting into the place where he’s taken more than his home. I mean, what do you do when your nation has these bitter enemies and you have an affinity for them? What does that make you? The story has changed a lot since then, of course, but that plot is still there.”

Roth’s fans will discover that Carve the Mark diverges from the author’s earlier series in several ways. “For one thing, it’s not about good people doing the right thing to save the world – it’s more about desperate people doing whatever it takes to get what they want,” she said. “The trick, for them, is figuring out just what that is. Carve the Mark is also set in a big, expansive universe with a rich history and multiple languages and mysterious phenomena. It doesn’t have the claustrophobia of a dystopian setting. And it’s certainly nothing like our world.”

The author says she is pleased that her readers across the globe will have the chance to leap into the new world she’s built at the same time. “I’ve toured overseas twice in the past year, so I’ve been to some of the places where Carve the Mark will be published, so this feels especially significant now,” she added. “I know more about the readers, the publishers, the booksellers, the actual shelves. So it feels more real. And there are parts of Carve the Mark that are very much about how precious a person’s mother tongue is to them – how, even if you can speak or read in another language, there is nothing quite like your own. So this amazing thing – 33 languages! – feels particularly fitting for this book.”

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. HarperCollins/Tegen, $22.99 Jan. 2017 ISBN -0-06-234863-0