Translate Your Book to Create a Global Demand

December 7, 2022

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The fiction and nonfiction book market is no longer limited to a single location like a district, state, or country. Now, with eBooks, eReaders, and smartphones, a writer's audience no longer starts in his hometown and can be launched worldwide. 

Professional translation services have been in demand for decades. In the U.S., for instance, there has been a spike in demand for Spanish translations for everything from smartphone conversion voice apps for travelers, to ordering prescription drugs over the phone, to voting at local polling stations, to providing surveys in Spanish translation

But now, the Spanish population, not only in the U.S. but all over the globe, wants to read their fiction and nonfiction in their native language. Moreover, they want to spend their hard-earned money on accurate translations. The same goes for many languages, including French, Italian, Japanese, and even Dutch, which are very popular regarding U.S. and U.K. English fiction and nonfiction translations. 

According to a new article from the book experts at Reedsyblog, back in 2017, the U.K. and the U.S. made up barely 34 percent of the world's eBook market. This means that anyone who published independently of the major New York publishers in English gave up 66 percent of all publishing opportunities.  

But while every author doesn’t benefit from having their books translated into Spanish, German, or French, authors who are searching for a solid reputation and sales in other countries may find it worth the effort and the cost to have their books translated. 

If you're one of these authors who publish independently and wish to create a global demand for your eBooks and paperback books, here are some rock-solid ways of having them translated. 

Find the Strongest Markets  

Reedsyblog insists that a writer knows his audience. This is important when selling your books in your own native country, but it becomes more important when selling to overseas markets. Translators of fiction and nonfiction eBooks and paperbacks are not cheap. That means you will only get a solid return on investment (ROI) if you believe you can recoup the sales. 

With this in mind, you need to have a good understanding of the global book-buying market and then start with the most ideal country or countries to dive into first. 

Most Popular Countries for Indie Authors

The most popular book-buying countries for indie and self-publishing authors are said to be Spain, Germany, France, Italy, India, China, and Japan.  

Germany is believed to be particularly popular with eBooks. That's why Amazon has opened its Amazon book advertising services to Germany before any other foreign country other than the U.K.  

Many indie and self-publishing authors are also finding great success in the Spanish, Italian, and French markets. The Indian and Chinese markets are also expanding rapidly. 

Decide which Foreign Market to Enter First

While traditionally published authors depend on their New York City publishing house to make foreign deals on their behalf (these usually never happen since the profit margin is so small), indie authors have the advantage of researching the most lucrative foreign markets. However, just because a foreign market might seem like it’s a money maker doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for your novel or series of novels. 

That said, here are some things to keep in mind while doing your research: 

--Take a good look at the general state of the foreign market. For instance, India might seem like a great place to translate your book, but there are 22 different languages in the country. Also, while you might do well with the fantasy genre in Spain, in Italy, you likely won’t do well unless you are writing noir/hard-boiled fiction, or what’s known as “narrative gialla.” 

--Examine the Amazon international markets. If you have your sites set on the German market, for example, check to see how well your niche is selling at The same can be said of every other foreign market. Remember, you will be paying for the translation, so you need to do your research.  

--Take a close look at existing international sales, or so claims Reedsyblog. If you’ve seen that English-language fiction and nonfiction are selling well in France and Spain, you might want to target these countries with translated versions of your books. If you’re already selling well in English to a particular country, then it stands to reason you will sell better if your book is translated into its native language. 

Go With Experienced Professional Translators Only

Reedsyblog stresses that you never translate your book on your own. This means don't run the text through Google Translate. So many translation mistakes will result that your readers will not only want their money back, they will give you horrible reviews, which can tank your career. 

In other words, don’t even think about making this major translation mistake. Hire only professional translators. You can contact an independent professional translator for your books, or you can go with a reputable translating company.

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