Arranging the successful translation of a book - advice needed
Thread poster: Mask
Mar 1, 2013

As I am becoming close to finishing a work, I have taken an interest in matters of publishing, translation, and localization. However, despite my searching, I have had trouble finding information for authors who are interested in publishing. Generally, I was faced with negative stories of localization going wrong.


I would like to ask the people of this community, who specialize in translation, if you know of any way I can learn about the subject in detail, so I can make an informed decision.

Do you know of any books on the subject of arranging the successful translation and marketing of a book? Or perhaps some other way I can learn how to arrange a profitable venture for me and my translator?



Thank you for reading. Many authors I know are nervous about translation, since they know little about the matter... I hope to convince them to join me in an attempt to see our works translated.


 

Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:46
Member (2003)
French to English
Translators' Association - Society of Authors Mar 2, 2013

The Translators' Association of the Society of Authors in the UK might be a good place to start looking for advice: http://www.societyofauthors.org/translators-association

 

Mask
TOPIC STARTER
Are These Books Useful? Mar 2, 2013

Thank you for your help. I will begin looking through there.



Found some books which might be related to the subject, while searching the web.... but I'm unsure as to which ones are good. Is anyone familiar with this book, or the ones in Related Books? http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Translator_As_Author.html?id=NIJQKDjv_WIC&redir_esc=y

I'm planning to research each one to work out if any of them would be helpful to me or my friends (some of them don't even have a proper synopsis, nor authors I am familiar with).

[Edited at 2013-03-02 09:30 GMT]


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 08:46
Chinese to English
Don't trust your own instincts Mar 2, 2013

Back in the bad old days, the decision to translate a book for a foreign market was not made by the author. A publishing company in the target market would decide whether the book had the potential to sell; they would hire the translator most likely to create a version that would appeal to target market readers. The author's involvement was often minimal.

These days the internet allows you to be much more involved, but the point remains: as an author writing for Americans/whoever, you don't necessarily have much insight into what needs to be done to make your book appeal to Germans/whoever.

The best advice is just: copy what the professionals do. Try to get it translated by someone with a track record. Then try to get it reviewed and into bookshops.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 17:46
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Book Mar 2, 2013

I found this book helpful:

"Write the Perfect Book Proposal" by Jeff Herman and Deborah M. Adams (John Wiley & Sons, 1993).

Good luck!


 

The Misha
Local time: 19:46
Russian to English
+ ...
+1 Mar 2, 2013

Phil Hand wrote:

Back in the bad old days, the decision to translate a book for a foreign market was not made by the author. A publishing company in the target market would decide whether the book had the potential to sell; they would hire the translator most likely to create a version that would appeal to target market readers. The author's involvement was often minimal.



Amen to that. Never mind the translation. Concentrate on:
a) Writing a damn good book, and if you think you are good, think again, long and hard;
b) Getting published and sold in your own market. Foreign markets will follow. Hopefully;
c) Catching a lucky break somehow, because if you don't nothing will happen, period.

Good luck to you.

P.S. I speak from my own experience.


 

Mask
TOPIC STARTER
Finding a Translation Firm or Company with a Good Track Record Mar 5, 2013

Sorry for taking so long to reply. Busy weekend.


I will certainly get Tina's suggested book.


Shall work on my book to the best of my abilities, as Misha has pointed out.


Phil has offered good advice. Is there any easy way to see who has the best record for managing the successful translation of books, by country?

Assuming I am not initially published by a publisher with a good track record for language X, I would probably have my agent negotiate the rights so that I could attempt to sell them to a publisher who was known for successful translations to language X.


 


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