italian children-book for the UK market
Thread poster: DefeoG

DefeoG
Local time: 08:28
English to Italian
Nov 13, 2007

Dear all and everyone,

this is my situation. I have written a children book in my language (italian) which I think would go well on the british market (I live close to London). Since I transalate I know that my english is fairly good but not good enough to translate it myself.

What would you advice?
From my preliminary contacts it seems that UK agents and publishers obviously consider a manuscript only if it's written in English (unless it has been already published and it has been noticed by the foreign right department). Or is there an exception to this rule I don't know of?

Of course I could pay some professional to tranlate it, but I wonder if publishers/agents wouldn't find it queer, to evaluate a book that has passed trough such an elaborate process.

Do you think it is possible to approach a publisher/ agent with a foreign language manuscript? Or would you advice translating it and then contacting an agent?

Thanks

Giovanni


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 01:28
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Look at previous posts Nov 13, 2007

Hello Giovanni,

Before you translate the book or have it translated by someone else, you need to write a book proposal and find a publisher first.

If you look at these previous posts, even though they are not about the exact same situation, you may find some information there that may be helpful:

http://www.proz.com/post/501084#501084

http://www.proz.com/post/312953#312953

Good luck,

Tina


 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:28
Italian to English
+ ...
I could put you in touch with a possible translator Nov 14, 2007

I have a friend (not a Proz user, so she's unlikely to see your topic) who has experience in translating children's stories from Italian to English. Please feel free to contact me through my profile if you'd like to be put in touch with her.

Unfortunately I'm unable to provide any answers to your questions, as I don't work in this field.

Good luck

Marie-Helene


 

DefeoG
Local time: 08:28
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
more questions Nov 14, 2007

Tina Vonhof wrote:

Before you translate the book or have it translated by someone else, you need to write a book proposal and find a publisher first.



Dear Tina, first ol all thank you for your advice.
The problem is: at what point of my proposal will I have to disclose the fact that the book I have is not in English? Or should I do that later? In othe words: what chances do you think I will have if a publisher is approached by a proposal that since the start regards a book that is not in English?
I know you may not be able to answer this, but this is the reason that why I haven't yet approached a publisher (or an agent). I just feel I should find our more about this possibility before I send any proposal or first chapters.. I am also not really sure what will happen later: if I the publisher, based on the proposal, will sign a contract and find a suitable translator for me (quite unlikely), or if he will just show some interest and ask for a complete translation...

G.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 01:28
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
You'll just need to take the plunge... Nov 14, 2007

DefeoG wrote:

Dear Tina, first ol all thank you for your advice.
The problem is: at what point of my proposal will I have to disclose the fact that the book I have is not in English? Or should I do that later? In othe words: what chances do you think I will have if a publisher is approached by a proposal that since the start regards a book that is not in English?
I know you may not be able to answer this, but this is the reason that why I haven't yet approached a publisher (or an agent). I just feel I should find our more about this possibility before I send any proposal or first chapters.. I am also not really sure what will happen later: if I the publisher, based on the proposal, will sign a contract and find a suitable translator for me (quite unlikely), or if he will just show some interest and ask for a complete translation...

G.


You'll just need to take the plunge and be prepared to get "no" for an answer. You may have to approach many publishers and some may not respond at all. Do your research ahead of time as to what publishers have put out books that are similar to yours, aimed at the same age group, etc. Explain from the beginning that the book will be translated and include at least one finished chapter to give the publisher an idea of what it is going to look like. I think you need to find a good translator first and include that person's credentials and CV in your proposal. Above all, you need to let them know what is so special about this book that will appeal to children in the UK.


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:28
Italian to English
Partial translation Nov 14, 2007

Hi Giovanni

I have no relevant experience other than being half way through translating an Italian novel (on spec) and having done a bit of research on the prospects and processes involved.
I cannot see that the fact that the original was in Italian has any relevance to a publisher nor to the potential reader / purchaser, unless the author is already well known.
You don't say whether your book has been published in Italian. If so, my suggestion would be to send a copy of this, with a sample translation of, say, two chapters to selected publishers of children's books, not forgetting the American market.
Good luck.


 

DefeoG
Local time: 08:28
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
Published Nov 14, 2007

Yes, my novel has been published by a medium-size yet critically acclaimed italian publisher. However what has been published is just 1/3 of the story (300 pages in total), which is one of the main reason why I broke my relationship with my publisher. I have again the total rights of the book. I am not sure though if sending a novel they could not possible have heard would be a good strategy, expecially since, as I said, it is just one third of the story and I could not benefit with my relationship with my publisher any longer. Anyway, thanks for the encouraging words and for your advice!

Giovanni


 

Magan  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:28
English to Spanish
Different options Nov 16, 2007

Hi Giovanni,

I am a children's writer and I also translate my own stories although I aim firstly to the UK market and then (later) to my own (the Spanish market). Since you have been published in Italy, and are lucky enough to keep the rights, I would try to sell the translation rights to a UK publisher. Translate a couple of stories/chapters as a sample and add them to a query letter with a synopsis of the whole work so the publisher can situate the part of the story into the whole, you could translate it yourself and have someone to review it afterwards, if the publisher is interested he will buy the rights and he will get his own translators, you don't need to do anything more.

I aim to the UK market so my stories are written from the beginning in English, as I am not a native I have them double checked by a critique group. If you want to translate your whole writing into english it would be worth to consider joining a critique group as you will get invaluable feed back onyour writing.

Another third alternative (definitely not worth) would be to pay for translation, or translate it yourself and pay a proofreader ( if your english is good enough). Or...offer some kind of co-operation/ deal to someone who can help you with the translation/ review.

I don't want to take too much space but feel free to contact me should you need more information if I can help you.

Inma


 


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