by Dec 19, 2019 1187 views 22

Translations for Indie Authors. Excellent way to give another life to your book

Translations for Indie Authors. Excellent way to give another life to your book

There is only one way to turn one book into many, and it is to translate.

Yet, the amount of books that never get a chance to be translated is enormous. It is even more so in the world of Indie Authors and their baby books. If you want to taste how truly dramatic this is, imagine ocean of books, drifting away from the starving hearts of its potential readers.

Imagine Shakespeare, drowned in among those drifting away waters of words.

Imagine Kafka, never crossing the border of Germany.

As a Russian/English speaking person, I’ve read dozens and dozens of books, some of them written by my favorite American/British Indie Authors, that will more likely never be translated, and therefore will stay in that ocean, drifting away from 265 million people speaking Russian language forever.

The question is, why?

Here are three reasons:

1. Price

Unfortunately, it is true. Price for a book translation bites. Depending on geographic region and type of book genre, it usually costs a minimum of 12 cents per word, which at the end gives us a price around 7,500 dollars for a book of 60,000 words.

And whereas for successfully selling Indie Authors, this price may seem appropriate, there are plenty of amazing authors, for whom such price is beyond possible.

2. Lack of Information

How to sell and how to manage self-publishing of your newly translated book in language you don’t speak? Luckily, the biggest platforms, like Amazon, Kindle, Smashwords, iBooks, etc., are international and every Indie Author can easily sell the translated version of his/her book there. 

(We will talk about this in more details in future articles)

3. Finding a right translator

When talking about a book translation, it is important to understand that each genre demands its own specifics and nuances that not every translator can perform excellently. Some translators are amazing with non-fiction, business/motivation books. Others are great with translations for fiction. Some do fantasy better that YA, whereas some are masters with horror and mystery.

To translate a book, in some way, means to write it again. It is one thing to be able to correctly translate words from one language to another, and absolutely different to be able to give a new (in different language) life to the story inside of these very words.

So, I find it legit to say that a good book translator needs to be a writer as well. To make it a perfect alliance, the translator you pick, better know how to write the genre your book is written in. 

For traditionally published authors, none of the mentioned above reasons would be of any concern, but for Indie Authors and their baby books, these are the main three reasons why most of them don’t even attempt to get their works translated.

If this is not a sad news, then I don’t know what is.

But with right understanding of how to find a convenient way for your book to get translated, this can change. And even though, it is still impossible to get your book translated without spending a dime, there is a good chance to get a translation for a decent for you price.

If you are interested in translation for your works, please, follow me on my social media or subscribe to my blog to not miss the future posts about translation for Indie Books. In next article, we will talk on how to find a right translator for your book. Stay tuned, and don’t forget to support me by clicking the ‘Like’ button below and, maybe, share the post with your friends on Twitter.

Matt Grenwell

Matt Grenwell Dec 19, 2019

Fantastic post! "Imagine Kafka, never crossing the border of Germany."


Franka Dec 19, 2019

@Matt Greenwell, thank you for your endless support!

Tony Elon and others

Tony Elon and others Apr 30, 2020

Kafka was a Czech author, writing in German


Franka Apr 30, 2020

@Tony Elon and Others, yes, and the fact that he was writing in German is the key here. Kafka as a figure of literature for a long time was available only for German-speaking people.


Del Jun 8, 2020

Wonderful advice Franka -


Franka Jun 11, 2020

@Del, thank you ^_^

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