In the maelstrom of visits, book fairs, editing jobs, other jobs, reading and reviewing books, I was checking posts I’ve published elsewhere and was surprised to realise that I had forgotten to share here a post I published in Lit World Interviews about translations that had quite a few comments and I thought, in case you’d missed it, it was worth sharing here too. See what you think.
See what you think and I’ll keep you posted on everything.
As some of you may know, apart from blogging , mostly about books , I am a writer and I translate books from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English. A few months back and as part of a book fair I was asked to talk about translations and I prepared a few notes. Although the full speech is a bit lengthy for a single post, I thought that in preparation for further interviews with author translating their books (and by the way, any authors who’ve had their books translated to Spanish, I’d be more than happy to share them in my blog after the summer. Just get in touch) I thought I’d share some of the thoughts I had on possible reasons to get one’s books translated.
Why would anybody want to have their books translated?
- We all know how big a competition we face to try and sell books. Making it available to a wider audience is always a great idea. In the case of Spanish, it has 518 million speakers across the world, 427 as a native language. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. It is also used as an official language by the European Union, the Organization of American States, and the Union of South American Nations, and by many other international organizations.
- These new markets are also less crowded. Although the offer in Spanish is increasing, the number of e-books available in Spanish is much smaller than that in English. And of course there are retailers that will be more interested in Spanish books.
- The same as is the case in English, there are blogs, Facebook pages, reviewers, reporters, critics, writers and readers looking for books in Spanish. I can say that with regards to other writers, I’ve found it easier to get in contact with writers who are best-selling authors, even across the whole of Amazon, in the Spanish language, than it is getting to know the big sellers in English. (Of course, some markets like Amazon Spain or Mexico are smaller, but still…)
- One never knows when chance of pure luck might strike. I know a Spanish writer called Enrique Laso, whose books have been translated to many languages and who told me that although he has no idea why, his books translated to Greek have been great hits there. It’s impossible to know what might strike a chord with readers in a particular market.
- I’ve read many posts by writers talking about how exciting it is to see your first book published and, in the case of paperback, have it in your hands. Well, I must confess seeing one of my books translated to Chinese made me feel equally excited. (Although you won’t be able to buy it in Amazon.Chn is also available in Amazon.com…) And I had to share it here.
- I know of authors who are working on the idea of publishing their books in bilingual editions and indeed they might provide a good option for marketing as an aid to language learning.
Thanks to you all for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed the post, I might share some more bits of the full original, and please, share, like, comment and CLICK!
Olga Núñez Miret
Although I’m busy at the moment with translations (mine and other authors’ as well. By the way, don’t forget my promotion), my brain has been focusing on writing too. I think I already mentioned that I’d finished the draft of the next story in the thriller series ‘Escaping Psychiatry’ (and if I don’t change my mind it’s going to be called ‘The Case of the Swapped Bodies’) and now I’m correcting it and translating it. I have ideas for several stories on the series, fairly detailed for the next one. I also have a romance that every so often pops up asking to be written but it hasn’t managed to get me writing yet. My mother keeps trying to convince me to write sequels of some of my stories (and I have some half-baked ideas for possible ones). We’ll see if she manages.
For some time now, I’ve been wondering about non-fiction. I’ve read quite a number of posts on writing about what you know that might be of interest to others, and more recently, one of the Webinars I attended asked about the unique area of expertise that one has that others need to know about or would find interesting and useful. And that got me thinking. I had an interesting conversation with Teagan Geneviene where we talked about expertise, careers, jobs, and noted that some of the skills one acquires might not be stuff easy to teach (I can’t teach anybody to become a doctor or a psychiatrist by writing a book, there are great books on literature and criminology and I don’t have a particular expertise born out of years of teaching or working on either subject, and with regards to writing or publishing books, other than suggest you don’t do things the way I have, I don’t have great wisdom to share).
I had a thought. I live alone and have done so for many years (sometimes I’ve shared accommodation in hospitals or colleges but that’s not the same as living with somebody) and have had people (women mostly) tell me they wouldn’t dare to live alone, or they wouldn’t do many other things by themselves, like go travelling, go to the cinema or to the theatre alone, go to a restaurant… Although I don’t think I have much of an expertise on the subject, at least I have some experience and came up with quite a few topics I could write about related to it. I checked, looking for books about it, and found some readers complaining that most of these books (not that many) seemed to focus on women who had to live alone after their relationship ended and much of their books was about how they tried to find a partner, rather than showing living alone as a voluntary choice and a happy one.
I’ve written a few notes and have some ideas on what I could write about, but wondered if you had any thoughts. Not only about that topic, but also: what’s the non-fiction book you’d like to read? Or what topic you could (or are planning to) write about?
If you’re avid readers of non-fiction: what characteristics do the books you’ve enjoyed most share? Where do you discover these books?
And if you’ve written some non-fiction books, did you find it a totally different experience? Any thoughts or tips (both on writing it and on what you did next)?
Oh, and another question: Would you be interested in reading some posts where I explore some of the topics I’m thinking about covering in the book?
Thanks so much for reading , and please, like, share and comment. And all suggestions will be very welcome.
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know that apart from writing, reviewing books, and talking about books, I also translate book from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English. I started by translating my own books because I wanted to make sure my parents and my friends back home could read them, (although I’m Spanish, from Barcelona, I’ve lived in the UK since 1992) but in the last couple of years I’ve also been translating books by other writers. You can check some of those here.
Due to family matters I haven’t had much chance to promote my services until now. To get things started I’ve decided to offer a special promotion. 50% discount of all translations. It is a time limited offer.
My usual tariff is $40/1000 words but this will be slashed in half. If you’re thinking about translating your book in the near future, you can take advantage of this offer and reserve a spot at this price for a deposit. If you’d like to discuss your project in more detail, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As an author, I know we live for our readers and want to ensure that our books can reach readers wherever they are and in whatever language they read. I won’t lie to you. There are other options to get your books translated, like Babel Cube where you can offer your books for translation for a split royalties’ deal, but you have to give control over the process to Babel Cube and they control the production of the book and the distribution rights for five years. I know quite a few of us are self-published authors and we are used to being in charge, or at least closely supervising, all aspects of our book production, so this might not be an attractive option for all. There are many places where you can find translators, including Fiverr if you’d prefer to be in charge of the process and you have the funds to invest and the time to check and vet. It’s your decision.
As you know, I blog in Spanish and English and I’m happy to share the books I translate with some of the readers and writers groups I belong to and to write a feature about them in my blog. But I’ll happily do that even if you get the translation done elsewhere. You only need to let me know.
Thanks to all for reading this and I’d be specially grateful if you like it, share, and comment. And send me an e-mail if you want to ask me any questions. (Ah, I’m happy to check translations done by others if you want a second opinion or a second pair of eyes).