Saturday, September 23, 2017

Foreign Translations: Should you do it? Can you do it? Why or why not?

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When my debut novel, SHATTERED LIES came out, I looked for all avenues of promotion available to me to bring awareness to it, and of course, make a few bucks. Within a few months, I learned of a way to promote it abroad in different languages. I toyed with the idea for a while until a few months ago when I actually decided to go ahead and try it. On December 12, 2016, I signed up with Babel Cube. I uploaded my book and author information. I waited. I heard some good things about this website. Posts by other authors having had success using it. They liked it. What is Babel cube you ask? It’s a website where writers sign up and post their books. Translators looking for projects to translate sign up. They may choose to translate your book. They may initiate contact with you to do so, or you can initiate contact. The translator does a small sample of your book into your chosen foreign language. Babel cube offers translators doing translations in over a dozen different languages that they offer through their sales channels. 
Once a translator and you agree to a translation your project, you both negotiate payment, sign an agreement and proceed with the translation. Fifteen percent automatically goes to babel cube. The rest is up to you and the translator to agree to. Sounds pretty simple, right? Oh, and babel cube holds your foreign rights on your book for five years once an agreement is signed among all three parties. Oh, yes, I also forgot to mention that the translator is required to market your book in their country. Makes sense. Once they translate the book, they now have a monetary interest in it, right? Some have complained that they’re translators not promoters and feel it isn’t fair. Many writers feel the same way. I know I’d rather be writing than promoting my book, but I have no choice.

     I didn't expect anyone to jump on my novel, SHATTERED LIES, but I did expect a bit better than what I did receive: Nothing to date. Nothing to speak of. To date, I’ve had one Spanish translator contact me about translating my book only to cancel the request the same day. Since then, I reached out to two different German translators to translate my book, SHATTERED LIES into German. I received no reply from either. Not even a cordial rejection. I contacted one Italian translator who informed me that she was interested, but “she had to think about it”. Mind you these are people looking for work, which is why they are on babel cube. Same reason that I placed my book there: To get someone to translate it to make money. I have no idea why no one has inquired about translating my book into their language, or even wrote back to decline. Perhaps, my book is a bit too old. Perhaps, the subject matter is too intense for them. Perhaps, they’re looking for an easy way to make money. Perhaps, no one is looking for work at all. I can't say anything good or bad about Babel Cube except for the one time I had to contact customer service, no one replied. Made me wonder if the site even worked.....
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     Then, I heard the reply from the Italian translator above. Should you put your book out there in a foreign language? Why not? Just because my experience wasn’t a positive one doesn’t mean yours won’t be. You may find an entire new market out there waiting for you. Reading is an universal activity. Everyone does it. I know one writer that had great success with Babel Cube. At least with an Italian translator. Not so well with a Spanish one. Thanks to the Italian translator, his book was one of the top 100 books on amazon because she promoted his book. The Spanish translator did no promotion. Be aware going in that you may or may not get someone interested in actually translating it and/or marketing your book. I may or may not go with Babel Cube if the right translator comes along and we can make a deal. We'll see....
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Of course, I could always pay someone outright to translate my book and do everything myself. There are lots of sites offering to do that. I inquired on several sites about doing just that, which offered quotes. To translate my book would be more than I care to spend. Off the charts. Perhaps, my next book may pique someone’s interest enough to translate it. Perhaps, one day pigs will fly. That’s my take on it. Do you have an experience with translating your book? Was it a positive or negative one? Are you interested in having your book translated and sold into other markets? Why or why not? Did I mention that when you choose to translate, you must also decide whether the language you chose is native to the translator or not? There are some German translators that can translate into Italian, and vice versa, but is that what you want? 
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Thank you all for visiting with us. It’s always a pleasure to meet readers and authors. Until next time, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!

S. J. Francis, Writing is my passion, but animals are my world. 
Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.

In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers. "Some secrets should remain that way."

                     Shattered Lies is a Finalist in the 2016 Wishing Shelf Independer Book Awards.

                     Shattered Lies is a winner in the Fall 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Book Awards for Women's Fiction. 

                     Shattered Lies is a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Best Book Award Competition.
                     Shattered Lies is a 2016 Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Women’s category.  

                     Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.

                     Shattered Lies was chosen as General Fiction Official Selection in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards.

                     The 2nd, new book cover design for Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 2016 Authors dB Best Cover Contest. 

                     The first, original book cover design for Shattered Lies was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Authors dB Best Cover Contest. 

My Black Opal Books Author Page:
       A Book Review 4 U:
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                  One for the Animals:


             Good Reads:

And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2017 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

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