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Translating your book into other languages would offer a wider audience but is it worth the additional resources?
translating book, language translation in books, pros and cons book translation
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Lost-or-Found-in-Translation

The Pros and Cons of Translating your book

Depending on the genre of your book, you might consider whether it’s worthwhile getting it translated into another language and therefore exposing it to a potentially much bigger audience. The world is changing rapidly and what might be a relatively small market today can grow in leaps and bounds in just a few years or even less. If you think your book has global appeal and you are contemplating taking it up a level linguistically, the following points might be helpful:

Advantages:

  • Access to a much bigger market.
  • No matter the proficiency level, non-native speakers often prefer to read in their own language.
  • Do the math – Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world.
  • Spanish is the second most spoken language in the US – not to mention its dominance in South America.
  • There are specific eBook sites for different languages which also widen the net.
  • Emerging markets offer valuable and still relatively underdeveloped marketing opportunities.

 
Challenges:

  • Finding a good translator.
  • Finding a good proofreader and editor.
  • Negotiating fees and/or royalty deals if applicable.
  • Making sure your work is as compelling and readable in another language as it is in English.
  • Entrusting your work to somebody else and trusting they will do a good job.
  • Do you have the additional resources available in terms of time and money to devote to self-publishing in another language? Even going the eBook route requires an investment of time and effort.

 
Like all aspects of your self-publishing journey, careful research is needed and maybe some testing of the water. Social media can offer good feedback and the opportunity to target specific language based audiences.  Using connections you have in different countries can also be beneficial in gauging opinion and providing input. Talk to your print consultant for recommendations and advice.   Translating your book may present you with a whole set of new challenges but it can also open up a wealth of opportunities.  If you have valuable knowledge or expertise that you are sharing than why let language be a barrier to reaching and informing as many people as possible.

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

Mary Vaux-ClarkMary Vaux-Clark is a freelance editor, proof-reader and writer. Her areas of interest include current affairs, travel, history and sport. She has travelled widely and worked in Hong Kong as an editor and ESL teacher for over ten years.

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