Things to Consider Before Translating Your Book

Have you just completed your non-fiction book? Are you wondering whether publishing it in other languages would be okay? Depending on where you live and your target audience, this might be a crucial aspect to consider. For instance, if your target audience is the residents of Los Angeles, you should know that there is a huge Spanish-speaking community out there. In this case, you might need to hire the best book translator so more people can benefit from your book. This way, you will grow your brand, build your business, and make more money.

List of Potential Considerations

Have you written self-help, a business book, a memoir, or some other book that will help people and can do so in many languages? Maybe someone told you there could be a great market for your book in another region or country. Now, before getting your book translated, there are some important considerations and potentially a much more desirable route for you to go with your book.

Here are the considerations:

Are You Familiar with the Language?

Now the first thing you might want to consider before getting your book translated is whether you speak the language you want to translate your book into. If you are fluent in the language your book will get translated into; the entire process will be much easier. However, it will be a little difficult if you don’t speak the language. So, think about the process:

First, your book will actually get translated from English to whatever language it is. It comes down to your personal choice whether it is done by artificial intelligence or human – it doesn’t actually matter. Once it has been translated, it needs to be read, proofread, and edited. Things don’t always get translated perfectly. Imagine what happens when your book doesn’t get translated perfectly – all those 50 thousand words? Obviously, someone is going to need to read it and edit that translation. If you don’t understand the language, you aren’t going to be able to make the word choices with the editor. On the contrary, this will strip you of your power as you will have to rely on someone’s decisions completely to get your message across in another language.

You Are Going to Pay a Translator

Since you aren’t familiar with the language, you are going to pay a translator. And because you will need a true professional, you will have to pay a lot for this to happen. If you thought your book editing was pricey the first time, you are in for a big surprise. It is important to mention here that you are not only paying for editing and translation, but you will also need the services of a proofreader. Also, your book cover will need adjustments – either to change the language or if it is in another country, you will certainly have to change the book cover. If you look at the same books across different countries, you will notice that they have different covers. Besides – the layout has to be redone too with the new language. As mentioned before, there will be some major issues if you aren’t familiar with the language, as you won’t be able to check the errors. Nonetheless, you can overcome all these hurdles with effort, patience, and money.

Part time work compromise

Think About Marketing

If you don’t speak the language you want to translate your book, how are you planning on selling the book? Sure – the easiest way to sell a book these days is through Amazon. But this is only possible if you have book sales currently – and people are already demanding your book. And if your book is topping the charts in English, there could be potential momentum that could translate into another language.

Suppose your book is doing great in English and you have a huge market in English in India; in this sense, you are all good with getting your book translated into their regional language. Now the only potential scenario where all of this would make sense would be in the case you have a connection to a group or a company that is going to buy in bulk – like, thousands of books from you. So, the other potential scenario to have your book translated is if you speak the language, have strong demands that demonstrate a potential market for other languages, or have a connection that makes it absolutely worthwhile to spend the time, effort, and money.

Opt for Selective Licensing Agreement

One great option for potential authors who aren’t in any situation that we mentioned previously would be to pursue a selective licensing agreement. In other words, their best option would be to give a publishing company in another country the right to translate the book and then market that translated version in selected markets. Selective rights licensing is an amazing option for authors – when you are independent, you own your rights, and you are the CEO of your book, you can also license those rights out – if you want. A contract known as selective licensing delimits the term, territory, and time to give out those rights. This way, you can give your precious intellectual property ownership to any trade publisher or rights buyer for a certain time.

Don’t Use Google Translator

Never make the mistake of using Google Translator to translate your book. Only use Google Translate when it is in context and also for only one or two words. Don’t use Google Translate if you are translating twenty thousand words or your non-fiction self-help book. The quality of your translated book is going to be awful. So, now you know the potential things that you will want to consider before translating a book. Once you have translated your book, you should know that some will sell well – while others won’t – just like any other book. And with any other book – irrespective of the language you choose – make sure you still do your research. Because you are translating a book, it doesn’t mean it will start selling.

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I'm Hayley and this is us; working parents to three tiny wild ones. Whether it's travel, food, lifestyle or just a healthy dose of parenting reality, there's something for everyone here. So sit back, get comfy and start scrolling!

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