Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ready To Sell Your Book In Another Language?



The most traditional way of selling a book in other countries, in other languages, is to find a way to sell the foreign rights. Shop your book to publishers in Spain, France, China, etc. You may need the help of a literary agent and that agent likely will attend the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest annual book rights bazaar.


However, you can do it yourself! Just as millions of authors have published their English-language books in America, they can do the same overseas. How, you ask?


Step 1: Get your book translated into another language.


Step 2: Put your book up for sale in countries that speak that language.


The world has 6,500 languages, actively spoken globally, but only a handful are spoken widely by our planet’s eight billion denizens. The top ones are: English (1.26 billion), Mandarin Chinese (1.13 billion), Hindi (637 million), Spanish (538 million), French (277 million), Arabic (274 million), Bengali (265 million), Russian (258 million), Portuguese (252 million), and Indonesian (200 million).


If you look purely at the number of speakers of a given language, you’d likely focus on the above 10, but if you look at who reads or buys books, maybe you would look at these markets differently. Further, there may be cultural or geo-political considerations when it comes to your book’s subject matter. Many Arab countries will not be buying books about Passover and many Russians will never see books critical of Putin for sale.


If I were you, I’d start with translating into Spanish. Just in America, tens of millions of people could become your customers, let alone in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, and dozens of other countries.


So, what is the best way to get a cost-effective, quality translation?


Artificial Intelligence and Google Translate are improving by the day, but are not quite there yet. Babelcube is a popular option, but some complain the translation is not always accurate. But it operates on a royalty basis, meaning they only get paid when books are sold. Other options include the relatively inexpensive Gengo or to fond a cheap freelance translator on Fiverr. JRLanguage is a more traditional translator – higher quality and cost – and takes longer.


Most translators charge by the work. An 80,000-word look at 10 cents a word is $8,000. If money is not object, hire a legit translator, otherwise roll the dice with babelcube.


Once you have a translated book (and cover), it is time to sell it. Get it up on amazon, Kobo, Scribd, Apple, B & N, Overdrive, and Tolino.


If you still need guidance, try these resources to get your questions answered:


American Translators Association


Scan & Translate app>app>scan


Book Translator


iTranslate Language Translator>translate?translator

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, with over 3.9 million page views, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2024. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.9 million pageviews. With 4,900+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and director of publicity positions at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America several years ago, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, Morgan James Publishing, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. His first published book was The Florida Homeowner, Condo, & Co-Op Association Handbook.  It was featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.

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