Category Archives: Foreign Language Translation

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 Literary agents are hired to help you sell your unpublished manuscript to a local trade publisher.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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