Any ideas on finding publishers?
Thread poster: Parrot

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:48
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 28, 2014

I've been browsing this section of the forum for ideas, but haven't found much for a specific case.

I DO work with certain (academic/scientific) publishers. And normally I work on a per-word basis.

I have no complaints about my income. I stand firm on my rates and that has carried me through many years of successful and profitable freelancing. In fact, you could say I'm exploring a more leisurely form of semi-retirement.

Namely, I've found an author I'd like to share with friends and wouldn't mind (in fact, would like) sharing with the world at large. A worthwhile message is part of it, of course -- not just selling products or churning out fine-tuned half-truths for lawyers and politicians. I'm not a bad literary critic either, and have in fact correctly predicted four literature Nobels. What I'm saying, in short, is that this will be worth it, if only for a much-needed message (cum entertainment).

So I've gotten in touch with the author, and he has literally given me his blessings. And in his language market, he does have a select readership and good reviews. But he doesn't write for money, follows certain strict standards of scholarship and doesn't spend time marketing with literary agents. If I wanted to publish a fair use chapter or excerpts on the web, he'd be okay with it, but that's all the publicity I can offer.

How would I go about calling publishers' attention to a translation project like this one?

Any ideas welcome...


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:48
Chinese to English
Not telling us enough Aug 28, 2014

Poetry? Prose? Fiction? Short stories? Reportage?

If you're serious about finding a publisher then you have to think as they think. What is this writing and who will read it? Who is serving those readers now?

There are publishers for almost every kind of writing. But if you want someone to spend money printing and binding your author, you might have to accept that someone somewhere along the chain will have to dirty their minds with grubby commerce. When you talk to them, it'll help if you're not despising them.

As to how to find them, standard practice is to start with magazines. Publish something in a webzine, then you have something to show a magazine that pays, then you have something to show a book publisher.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:48
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It's all on the www. Aug 28, 2014

Parrot wrote:

How would I go about calling publishers' attention to a translation project like this one?

Any ideas welcome...


Depending on the language it has been translated into, just check for publishing houses in the respective contracts of the particular genre (if you wish). Just send them a query letter and offer the book.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:48
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Novels Aug 28, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:

Poetry? Prose? Fiction? Short stories? Reportage?


Several historical novels.


There are publishers for almost every kind of writing. But if you want someone to spend money printing and binding your author, you might have to accept that someone somewhere along the chain will have to dirty their minds with grubby commerce.


I had assumed that. And no, I don't despise anyone at all -- would I be asking this question if I had not in fact resolved my own bottom line first? (I DO work with literary colleagues, and I have to say their feedback is not encouraging. The only positive factor here is EU law on translation copyright, and that's not very promising either. You practically have to screen possibilities). That said, a considerable part of the current readership is in e-books.

As to how to find them, standard practice is to start with magazines. Publish something in a webzine, then you have something to show a magazine that pays, then you have something to show a book publisher.


That's a good one. Thanks.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:48
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sounds original enough to work Aug 28, 2014

Thayenga wrote:

Depending on the language it has been translated into, just check for publishing houses in the respective contracts of the particular genre (if you wish). Just send them a query letter and offer the book.


And my author is totally untranslated. Only originals in print.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:48
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Then go by language Aug 28, 2014

Parrot wrote:

And my author is totally untranslated. Only originals in print.


In this case, I would seek out only those publishing companies that serve a market of the novel's language.

And yes, this does work. It's how I found my first publisher.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:48
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Prep work Aug 28, 2014

It helps if you do some prep work: write a book proposal containing the following points:

What makes this book worth reading?
What is the target audience?
How is this book different from others on similar topics?
What is your timeline?
An outline of the chapters.
Brief bios of the author and translator.
If possible, include a couple of pages of the first chapter.

In other words, you need to 'sell' the book to potential publishers.
Good luck!


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:48
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Gee, thanks @Tina! Aug 28, 2014

That sounds neat and digestible!

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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:48
English to German
+ ...
Publish it yourself Sep 1, 2014

Have you considered publishing one of his books yourself, maybe jointly with the author? It's not too costly if you restrict it to ebooks and print on demand at first. The main cost factors are editing and design. You can share the cost and share the revenue. But you'll have to do your own marketing.

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:48
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'm considering all angles, thanks! Sep 3, 2014

It's nice to be able to see everyone's ideas on this. I have my reasons and my angle, but so many other eyes are better than two... or four.

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