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Finding publisher for translation of a book
Thread poster: Alan Frankel

Alan Frankel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
German to English
Aug 21, 2008

The daughter of a friend of mine in Germany has published an excellent book in German. I would like to translate the book into English (for pay). She tells me that her publisher only prints books in German, but an English-language publisher could buy the rights to publish a translation. The English-language publisher would then be in charge of deciding how to translate the book.

I have already translated a chapter of the book and could present it as a sample to a publisher. Can anyone give me suggestions as to how I might approach a publisher with an offer to translate the book if they were to buy the rights to publish it? Any information (names of potentially receptive publishers, examples of how this has been done in the past) would be very welcome. Thank you!


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
Russian to English
+ ...
Reference book on publishers Aug 21, 2008

Publishing houses tend to specialize, so you need to do some research before sending out proposals or queries to publishers.

There is an excellent resource called the "2009 Writer's Market." Here's the Amazon URL for it, but I'm sure you can find other sources.

http://www.amazon.com/2009-Writers-Market-Robert-Brewer/dp/1582975418

It contains useful advice on how to approach publishers, plus information on every book publisher in the United States.


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Alan Frankel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks, I'll check out the book Aug 21, 2008

Thanks. I'll take a look at the book. It hadn't occurred to me that I could use the same resources that a writer would use.

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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
Russian to English
+ ...
Try eBay Aug 21, 2008

It occurred to me that you might find it cheaper on eBay. Since publishing houses don't change much from year to year, even a year-old edition would prove useful:

http://cgi.ebay.com/2008-Writers-Market-by-Robert-Brewer-2007_W0QQitemZ330262190208QQihZ014QQcategoryZ378QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

[Edited at 2008-08-21 19:31]


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Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison
Malaysia
Local time: 19:00
English to Polish
+ ...
Check these two websites Aug 21, 2008

http://www.publishersweekly.com/ and http://www.bookwire.com/
I'm sure there's more.
Good luck


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Alan Frankel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
looked briefly at book and websites Aug 22, 2008

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. The book and websites have general advice on pitching books to publishers, but so far I haven't come across anything specific about translated books. Still, the same approach probably applies, except that it's probably easier to sell someone on a translation than a "written-from-scratch" book, especially if the original version has sold well.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:00
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It will depend on the whole setup Aug 22, 2008

Are you aiming at distribution? Or the book has a definite market that will buy it, if it's published in English?

You can get some ideas (and links) from my page http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/eof/soiwrote.htm
However consider that it's a couple of years old.

If you are in the second case above (the eager-to-buy market), and just want to get it published on your own... have a look at http://www.booksurge.com . If you are really good at DTP (and they haven't changed the setup), for USD 99 you can have it POD (print-on-demand) published and on sale at Amazon.com. But this doesn't include any kind of marketing.

Some minor expenses in getting it registered at the US Library of Congress, you'll find the link on my page.

Good luck!


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Alan Frankel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the entertaining account Aug 22, 2008

Thanks for the useful information and the entertaining account of your quest to publish your book.

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