It seems simple. You want to sell your book internationally, so you need to have your book translated. Between your Spanish co-worker, Portuguese sister-in-law and French professor, it shouldn’t be so hard. Maybe you can pay them a bit or barter services. Simple, right? Not so fast.
Here are the translation pitfalls you’re not thinking of:
1. Translation can put your copyrights in danger
A little-known fact is that a translator can claim the copyrights to their work. Surprisingly, this is legal! According to their site, the U.S. Copyright office may consider “a translation of a novel written in English into another language translation” a “derivative work,” and its rights available to be claimed by the translator.
In order to prevent this, we recommend that you have a legally-binding agreement with your translator drafted before the work begins, which clearly delineates who will retain rights to your work.
2. Translation must include localization
Even a perfectly accurate translation can miss the mark. Why? Because localization is just as important. Localization is the process of evaluating your manuscript through the lens of the local reader. Do your examples make sense? Are your jokes still funny? Are there references that are acceptable in English, but offensive in another language?
In her post, What You Need to Know About Translating Your Book, Daniella Levy states:
Localization is a term used in the business world to describe the process of adapting a product to an audience in a new locale…
A good book translation is more than simply saying the same thing in a new language. It requires careful adaptation of the tone, message, and structure of the piece to maintain the power of the original without causing misunderstandings.
In order to localize your manuscript, Ms. Levy recommends that you hire a professional translator:
Not every native speaker makes a good translator! Because you usually don’t read in the target language or know a native speaker, you may never know the quality of your product. Your best bet is hiring a reputable translation service with good credentials.
3. Don’t forget the marketing!
Let’s think about all the work you have (or will) put into getting your book into the hands of English-speaking readers. Market research. Paid promotion. Building social media platforms. And so much more. These efforts will need to be replicated in your international markets as well. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that simply publishing your book in another language will ensure sales.
For this reason, before you begin the translation process at all, we recommend taking a big-picture view of international marketing to ensure that are ready to make such a commitment.
Surely now it’s obvious that your Portuguese sister-in-law is not going to be up to the task of translating your book, no matter her mastery of the language. It’s time to turn to a professional. Here’s where Certa can help. We recently launched our translation services.
First-rate book translation is now offered from English into the following languages: Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. Not only that, we are also offering editing, proofreading and typesetting services in these languages.
Spanish is currently the most popular language pair for publishers and authors in the United States. If you have considered expanding your work to reach the Hispanic population—but didn’t know how—the time is now! The number of Hispanics in the United States is growing exponentially, with over 50 million Latinos in the US alone. Certa Publishing can now help you reach this vital market. The doors to new opportunities are now open!
Let the words the Lord placed in your heart be seen by the eyes of many. Even those you never thought you could reach. Contact us today!