The right way to get a book translated

The right way to get a book translated
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Aspiring authors will often ask us how to get their book translated into another language. The first thing they should know is that they are under no obligation to have their book translated into another language, and there’s always the chance that it might not even be worth the effort of hiring someone to do it. Here are some things you need to consider before going through with a translation project, in order to ensure you get the best possible results in the shortest amount of time possible.

Go to the experts

If you have experience in translation, you may want to translate your own book. However, if you’re not familiar with other languages or cultures and don’t trust yourself as a translator, find someone else who is providing translation services —and be sure they’re certified for their work.

Check the facts

When you begin your search for a translator, it’s important to verify that they are credible. Make sure their profile is filled out, that they have references and testimonials from clients and other authors. If they don’t include their credentials, then don’t work with them! Similarly, make sure their profile is updated; if someone hasn’t uploaded an image or written anything in several months, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Think it through

First, you need to make sure your book is salable. A translator can’t do anything with an unpublished manuscript. So, first things first: Find an agent and sell them on your idea. Then make sure that you’re working with someone who has connections in other countries, so they can easily find translators there who know how to translate into that particular language.

Do your research

The first step in getting your book translated is to do your research. The translation business is competitive, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re choosing someone with experience and expertise, as well as credentials. A professional should be able to provide samples of their previous work for you to review before any money changes hands—the language quality should be clear and consistent, and his or her grasp of idioms and cultural references appropriate.

Invest in quality translation

If you’re just getting started with international sales, one of your biggest costs will be translation. Don’t cheap out here! It is worth investing in high-quality translations for your books because poor translations can result in negative reviews and poor reader satisfaction. When your book has bad reviews, it impacts all its other metrics, so low-quality translations can actually hurt you more than they help you. Quality isn’t as important if you only publish in English (and aren’t planning on selling internationally), but I still recommend hiring professional translators who have experience translating children’s literature; they may not be as expensive as you think.

main photo: McCutcheon

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