translating and marketing/selling a book
Thread poster: MariusV

MariusV  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:37
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Oct 2, 2007

Hi folks,

I had a very interesting proposal for translating a book about folk medicine from Lithuanian into English. This is related to the ancient Lithuanian herb medicine and treatment with herbs that comes from the Lithuanian Pagan times (Lithuanian was the LAST country in Europe to accept Christianity - it happened only at the end of the 14th century and only as a "political decision").

The situation is like that:

The woman who is very popular here for treating many diseases (and serious ones) with just using herbs, herb mixtures, and similar things (the diseases the "traditional medicine" could not treat, let alone provide an exact diagnosis) proposed to translate that book she recently wrote about these things. She is living a very modest way of life (spending all her time devoted so sick people) and her budget is just very modest. Well, I said to myself I could do it for my own interest just to get rest from all those dull technical manuals and legal contracts. But I thought about another option - I can make a translation of this book for free (err...but I will need to pay to a native speaker editor quite a lump) but I can try marketing the English version of that book...

Do you think in general it can be feasible to find a market for it in the English speaking countries? I think these "herbal treatment" things are becomming very popular now. Let alone, when there is a book written by a "Pagan witch" from a country like Lithuania (where Lithuania itself is still a mythical country known only to a small number of the "greater society" of the English speaking countries)....???

Well, I realize that my questions are really abstract, but I would be very interested to hear some ideas and proposals on how it shall be done (maybe I could find a reputable publishing house), maybe some other ways. Or, who knows, maybe there will be nothing interesting and all is just a nice idea.

I am not planning to make a business out of that. In that sense that I do not just want to have a profit for translating and using that modest woman as a source of a possible income. That would not be fair (at least). But if it works and the book can be popular, there can be some cash to improve the life of that woman and I will get my share from translation just on a fair basis? What do you think?


Amy Duncan (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:37
Portuguese to English
+ ...
A couple of options... Oct 2, 2007

Hi Marius,
You could check out some of the print-on-demand publishing companies in Google, or even Google something lke "herbal medicine book publihers." I'll bet you'll come up with some good ideas.

Good luck!



Atena Hensch  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 11:37
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
??? Oct 2, 2007

Hi Marius
I congradulate you for your kindness. I wish I could help you but the only thing that I could say is that "belive in your faith and heart". If you feel it's something that makes your heart happy, go for it. I personally look for the alternative medicine. I try to eat organic food and use herbal medicine. I treat my family in the same way. I always try to buy books in this areas and when I see an interesting book which is expensive, I try to convice the city libraries to buy it. I have been successful about that until now. If you publish the book, please let me know. I'd like to read it as well. I might be able to promote it among my friends who are into alternative lifestyle. I hope that I can support you as much as I can.

good luck


Local time: 15:37
English to Spanish
Publishing Oct 2, 2007

I would contact firms like "Llewellynn", which is the biggest (to my knowledge) Pagan and New-Age / Witchey / Herbal etc publisher.

Good luck, I think your project sounds interesting and worthy.


Tina Vonhof
Local time: 16:37
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Previous post Oct 2, 2007

Hi Marius,

Please see my previous entry at for some things you need to be aware of when trying to get a book published.

Note added: I agree with The Misha's warning below. It would be hard enough if it was your own book, but in this case the obstacles and the chance of success are minimal.

[Edited at 2007-10-02 15:08]

[Edited at 2007-10-02 15:09]


The Misha
Local time: 18:37
Russian to English
+ ...
Blazhen kto veruet (Blessed be the believer) Oct 2, 2007

Niceties aside, it's an ungrateful task. The market here in the US is oversaturated with books on alternative medicine - as on any other subject. Most of hem - even those published - remain unsold and unread. Selling anything here requires a major commitment and a substantial amount of capital to finance the promotion. In the case of an unknown author from an exotic country no one heard of (don't get offended but most Americans will probably think Lithuania is on the Moon), the problem magnifies tenfold. Do yourself a favor and direct your efforts elsewhere.


Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:37
Spanish to English
Go for it! Oct 3, 2007

It sounds like it could be an interesting book. I am surprised Misha is so pessimistic about it. It fact you have me interested already. I know quite a few people who are interested in herbal remedies and Paganism and are always buying books on the subject.

I wish I could be more help about publishing houses, but I think you should try to find publisher's who specialise in this subject and write to them.

Do tell us if you decide to go ahead with it!



José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:37
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some tips on self-publishing Oct 3, 2007

I can empathize with your situation, as I went through it a couple of years ago. A detailed narrative of the saga can be found at . Some possibly useful links included, though I haven't checked them for ages.

After all this time, I can tell you that the whole issue is about marketing. I think that if you are really good at DTP, BookSurge can still get your/her book published for just USD 99. This gets it barely published, however not sold.

If you think the subject can draw enough interest, say, by simply having a SEO'd web site leading people to buy it online, this could be the way to go.

The recipe I give there got my book quickly published in the USA and available worldwide in a matter of days. However as my book has genre problems from the outset - a Virgo bookstore owner would place it alone on a shelf of its own - sales were not impressive at all... yet! (I hope).

It took me two more years to get it POD-published in my home country - Brazil - where POD methods are almost a joke, due to their mostly makeshift nature.

So check your marketing muscle. If it will do the trick, 99 bucks will probably get you published.

Good luck!


Atena Hensch  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 11:37
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
not for profit sector Oct 6, 2007

hi again
how about if you set up a "NOt FOR PROFIT SECTOR" for this lady and fundraise for the publishing and your salary. I don't know about your country and its policy but for example in NEW Zealand, it's possible


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