Category Archives: Foreign Rights

Foreign Language Translation: Sell the Rights or Do It Yourself?

Foreign Language Translation

Foreign Language Translation

Foreign language translation can help you extend a book’s fan base around the world. All the extra editions of that one book can also improve your SEO. How? Well, we know Google’s and Amazon’s algorithms both reward new content, right? Publishing the same book several times, in several different languages, is an easy way to post “new” content back to back without actually having to write new content.

But how do you get your book translated into other languages? And where would you publish these additional books? Here are two options for you to consider.

Hire a Foreign Rights Agent to Help You

Similar to how a literary agent works, a foreign rights agent is a type of broker within the traditional publishing sector. Literary agents are hired to help you sell your unpublished manuscript to a local trade publisher. Foreign rights agents are hired to help you sell the language translation rights of your published book to foreign publishers.

The business of foreign language translation can seem complicated to independent authors. This is where foreign rights agents can come in really handy. Because they know the business and types of buyers all around the world. They can also read (and write) a proper subsidiary rights contract to protect your interests in these dealings.

Alas, when you hire any kind of middleman to help you publish a book, you can also expect to share your profits. The agent will usually take 20% of the initial lump sum fee paid for the foreign language translation rights. Then the foreign publisher will only pay you a small royalty on whatever profits they earn from selling the translated title.

Translate and Republish Your Book Yourself

You can cut out the middlemen altogether, if you choose. Rather than hiring agents to find other publishers who will pay for the translation of your book, you can do it all yourself. You can hire a professional translation service and pay to have your book translated into as many languages as you want to. Then you can republish the new books yourself on Amazon, Kobo, or through Ingram Content Group. This way, much like self-publishing the original book, you will keep all your rights for every edition all over the world.

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A Foreign Rights Agent is to Authors What an Affiliate Marketer is to Online Entrepreneurs

This content first appeared on Digital Point Forum and has been republished here with permission from the author.

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So many people are publishing digital books to supplement their online businesses nowadays, and they’re using affiliate marketers as an extended sales force to help them move more of their products and services. Turning your followers/subscribers into your promoters by paying them a commission on all the sales they generate for you is a fantastic way to earn incremental income—for both the affiliate marketer and the online entrepreneur that owns the rights to the items being sold.

I’m here to tell you about another similar concept that is unique to the book publishing world, and the best way to explain it is to include this blog post by an experienced foreign rights agent named Bob Erdmann: The Importance of Foreign Rights. Basically, when you own the copyright to a book (or any other kind of intellectual property), you can increase its sales potential by selling off various types of subsidiary rights. Maybe someone in France will want to buy the exclusive French language rights to reproduce and sell your e-book in their country. Maybe a movie producer in the United States will want to purchase the exclusive English language film rights for the North American trading area. And so on, and so forth. (It’s a little more involved than that, but you get the picture.)

You can divvy up the rights to your intellectual property in so many different ways, it would be impossible to list them all here. But I’ll tell you this much: it is worth a lot of extra money to you. How much? Who knows! It could be worth thousands of dollars, maybe even millions … think Harry Potter if you’re having any doubts about that. In fact, J.K. Rowling is now a billionaire due to the sale of subsidiary rights on top of the traditional book sales of her series.

If you’re new to all this, it is best to hire an agent to help you with the promotion and sale of your rights. You can find agents and all the other information you will need through PubMatch.