Are you fluently speaking French or Spanish beside your mother language English? Or any other language for that matter? Maybe English is your second language? This way you have a great benefit compared to those who are speaking English only: You might be able to translate your book(s) without paying top dollars for a professional chartered translator. The only expense would be the usual fees for an editor who cleans up and improves the manuscript before it goes to formatting or a print book designer.
. Why Translating Your Own Manuscripts?
In one sentence: More money, more books to offer, a completely new readership, you double your success. Even if you are not self-publishing, and going with a trade publisher, it’s possible to have your book(s) in other languages – provided you have retained your publishing rights in other languages than English. Repurpose the hard work you put into writing the English book – in all formats, such as the digital version, a print book or audio book version.
Translating also helps you to avoid “writer’s block” due to the outlook of an upcoming new book that requires less work than writing a completely new one. And while you translate, you might even get lots of ideas for your next title.
. Who Would Be Your Readers?
For example, if you translate your book(s) into Spanish, you are able to sell them not only in Spain, but in the USA, with more than 50 million Spanish-speaking citizens, and also in Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, Argentina, and many more countries. See a language map for details.
Or take French: It is the mother tongue of about 7.3 million Canadians (22% of the population). Worldwide there are over 270 million people who would be able to read your books, including France. Most second-language speakers reside in Francophone Africa, in particular, Gabon, Algeria, Mauritius, Senegal and Ivory Coast, where almost everyone uses an iPhone to read e-books. In 2015, the French language was estimated to have 77 to 110 million native speakers (mostly France and Quebec), and 190 million secondary speakers. Approximately 274 million people are able to speak and read in French.
Well, and if you are from China or you are fluent in Mandarin, I don’t need to tell you how many potential customers you could reach with a translated book: 848 million readers.
. Consider These Points When Translating:
Translating your book is not a process to translate it word for word. Don’t follow the text exactly to the point. Every language and every part of the world has its own culture. Keep this always in mind, and don’t be afraid to subtract or add paragraphs. Read as many books in your genre as you can get in the language you want to translate it into.
If your book is not yet published, translating it into another language allows you to see it from a different perspective. You might even consider to rewrite it until it flows smoothly in both languages. Another benefit: you will sharpen your editing and revising skills as well.
Translating your own unpublished manuscripts is not as restricting as translating texts that have appeared in print (either yours or someone else’s) or which have been requested by a client. Don’t force yourself to follow the text exactly. Although your first draft will probably sound like a word-for-word translation, during the revision stage feel free to add, embellish and change any word, sentence or paragraph.
The main of the translation work can even be done by a computer program. Those for professional translators might be too expensive. But there is one that can help you immensely and has even an editing program before you hand it over to a foreign language human editor who is a native speaker. MemSource Web Editor is a fully web-based translation environment. Its desktop alternative, MemSource Editor, is available as a free download. Both connect seamlessly to translation projects, translation memories and term bases in MemSource Cloud.
If you think about selling your manuscript/publishing rights to a trade publisher, you may want to mention in your cover letter that your submission is available in another language as well.
. Distribution of Your Foreign Language Book
To sell your foreign language e-books or the audio version in countries like France, Japan or Brazil through Amazon is just one more click at the upload process. Distribution of print books is a different story…
Many of the Print-on-Demand companies don’t have contracts with retailers or wholesale companies in these countries – even if they claim to distribute your book “worldwide”. An exception is LightningSource which has their own Print-on-Demand branches in Milton Keynes, in the UK and in Scoresby, Victoria, Australia.
Bestselling author and publisher Aaron Shepard wrote once:
“Lightning’s print operations are truly massive and expanding rapidly. 1.6 million titles from over 11,000 publishing clients—many of them self-publishing companies but also small publishers. As a distributor, Lightning’s importance and effectiveness in the U.S. are largely due to a unique advantage: It’s part of the same company that houses Ingram Book Company, the biggest U.S. book wholesaler. Almost all bookstores in the country, as well as many libraries and schools, order books from Ingram, and as you might expect, Lightning and Ingram work together closely.”
. Foreign Language Marketing
Expanding your website or blog for your new readers is not a big deal. Just add a new page and a link featuring the flag of the additional language. Translate the information about your book, and add sales links in these specific countries. Another benefit for your readers (and a marketing bonus for you) would be the addition of several articles about you and your books. Or just general blog posts – which could be interesting for your foreign readers.
Translate your tweets and posts for your social media appearances, always using your book’s sales links in specific countries. And don’t forget to add as many readers as you can find in these countries to your social media following.
At Goodreads and your Amazon author page (and even on LinkedIn) place the same information about you, your book and any editorial reviews (not reader reviews) to your appearance. Try to get as many reviews as possible on the sales pages of these countries, e.g. get French-language reviews in Quebec, France, etc., in order to be placed on Amazon.ca or Amazon.fr websites.
. Last But Not Least
You might even become a publisher for foreign books in your native language. Translate these foreign books into English and publish them for sale in English-speaking countries. First, you have to buy the right to translate it into the desired language. This can be obtained from the rights department of the original publisher; if they don’t have the rights anymore, they will direct you to the author or agent. Another possibility would be to agree on both sides on a commission basis, starting once the book is translated and published.
. Selling your books written in only one language, such as English, you will effectively eliminate the majority of this planet’s books from your pool of potential readers.
MUST-READ warning for writers who sell through Amazon KDP Select by David Gaughran – prompting 64 comments so far. Here are some excerpts:
“Amazon only seems to click into gear if it suffers a PR embarrassment.
Perhaps if we all got on social media and blasted Amazon for what they really are–just a way for Jeff Bezos to become king of the world, perhaps they might do something about the underlying problems. I’ve had my share of nightmares with Amazon and have been thinking mightily about taking all my books down. I’ve been garnering more sales at Kobo and itunes in the last year than with Amazon. I’m getting sick of trying to keep up with their “rules”.”
“Amazon seems to forget that they can’t have KDP without authors!”
“Going wide is also offering me opportunities to build human relationships with key players in the wider publishing scene, a process that takes time but is a worthwhile long-term strategy. And my readers can find me on whatever platform they prefer.”
“We have the power to make Amazon listen, but only if we work together.”
Read the whole story here:
On Monday, I found out that some bug hit a German e-book site causing the reactivation of long-dead listings, including one of mine, putting myself and some other authors in breach of KDP Select’s exclusivity rule.
Amazon pounced into action and cancelled my Countdown deal which was scheduled for this week, screwing up a carefully planned promotion. And despite pledging to resolve the matter and restore the promo, Amazon has not done so.
I’m going to go through what happened in detail so you can be sure that I acted correctly at all points – because there is a lot of shadiness going on at the moment – but feel free to skim some of the details if you wish.
The Verge reported a year ago: “Google received just over 75 million DMCA-related takedown requests in the month of MARCH, representing a new high. The rate at which requests to take down these sites have grown is truly staggering. Compare that to 2014, when Google handled 345 million requests for the entire year.”
. Scam Sites
This Year, the numbers might be even higher… Alone in the United States, publishers are losing sales in the vicinity of $80 to $100 million thanks to book piracy. David Kudler wrote in an article:
“It’s amazing how much money some people will risk getting a $2.99 e-book for “free.” Essentially, it’s the Nigerian Oil Scam using “free” e-books as the lure. The scam counts on the scammer knowing that they’re doing something dishonest and therefore taking chances they wouldn’t take on a legitimate site. The site requests a credit card number but assures you that it won’t be used. Then you find out that you not only can’t get the content you wanted to download, but now you can’t stop your credit card from getting charged — sometimes a few dollars a month (so you don’t notice), and sometimes thousands of dollars.” Or they use the site to spread viruses to the internet.
. Fighting, Suing – Or Just Let Go?
There are many “real” piracy sites – unfortunately, there is not much you can do — they are mostly operating out of countries where US and European intellectual property owners are not bound, e.g. China, India, Russia, Vietnam, or some exotic islands. They can create hundreds of URLs that seem to offer your book, often linking to other sites.
. Seeing it as Book Exposure?
Someone downloads your e-book may end up buying one of your other books later on. After all, using Amazon’s KDP Select, allowing people to download your title for 5 days in a 3-months period is technically almost the same as getting your book downloaded via pdf free download. It gives your book and you as an author exposure
David Kudler: “You can take some solace in the thought that your fans are showing enough interest to track down your book. If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can use P2P sharing and file-sharing forums to distribute promotional freebies — free excerpts, prequel stories, etc. Include links and other promotional calls-to-action in the e-book to drive readers toward your site, where you can give them incentives to sign up for your email list by giving them more freebies. You’ll turn these erstwhile pirates into fans by creating a relationship with them. There are some incredibly successful authors doing just this, among them Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow and Guy Kawasaki.”
. Helen Sedwick, author and copyright lawyer in California suggests in her article:
“Sooner or later, every writer or blogger will find her work reposted or republished without permission. Those sites, offering cheap or free PDF’s, are typically scams downloading malware or stealing credit card numbers. Anyone who clicks through on those sites was unlikely to buy your book anyway…
Don’t get caught up in a game of whack-a-mole. While it’s upsetting to see your work stolen, the theft may have very few economic consequence to you. You could waste a lot of time chasing these low-lives. As soon as you deal with one, others may pop up. Your energy may be better spent creating new work and finding new readers.”
Encrypt Your eBooks and Manuscript Files
There are encryption programs, such as LockLizzard or EditionGuard available for e-books that will only allow the file to be read by authorized users. This can help prevent a transfer of the original file because the file wouldn’t be readable to anyone but the original purchaser.
This method wouldn’t protect your book because anyone can make a screen photo of each page and sell that as a pirated copy. There may be some e-book retailers that don’t support encryption, which could limit the availability of your book.
. Track Your Books, Using Watermarks
Trade publishers are protecting their e-books with invisible watermarks and you may have similar security available as a self-publisher. While the watermark technology doesn’t prevent anyone from pirating your book, it does allow you to track the copy of your book. The watermark isn’t visible and is more like a tracking code embedded in the book code. Anti-piracy services scan the internet for the code and report when a pirated copy of your book is found.
. Don’t Allow File Sharing
Readers who purchase your e-book can share it with a friend. If you turn this option at online retailers off, people won’t be able to share your book. Prohibiting file sharing is a double-edged sword because you are losing the opportunity to gain a new reader! Someone who borrows a book from a friend may end up buying one of your other books later on, so if you have numerous titles planned, allow file sharing on your early books.
. Here is What You Can Do If Your Book is Pirated:
It’s YOUR Copyright!
As an author, you are responsible for uncovering pirates and enforcing your copyright by filing a lawsuit. Set search alerts for your name and your book’s title, and for unique text strings that appear in the first 10% and last 10% of the book through Google Alerts.
It’s a good idea to search for yourself once a month – not only for your titles but also for significant expressions in your manuscript. And if you find pirated copies of your book, do not click any links or the download page, you might get a virus. These pages can be moved or deleted easily. Gather evidence of the piracy. Type the main page of the seller in a separate search, and try to get as much information as you can about the website, make screen shots, and bookmark the page.
. Collect Evidence of the Pirated Work.
Monitor the internet for your work and immediately report pirated copies you see. Pirates also will scan print books to make digital copies. Take screen shots, write down direct web addresses, and get web archive copies if possible. Research the site’s visibility, how much traffic does it get? Run a search for the website’s main URL at https://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php for Google PageRank, and for Alexa Rank.
These sites will give you information on the site’s traffic and how high up the page would appear in search results and an idea of how many people potentially have downloaded a pirated copy of your work.
Find the owner of the domain through the WHOIS domain registry at https://whois.icann.org/en. It will tell you who has registered that domain. If the owner hasn’t enabled identity-blocking, it will give you their address, phone number, email address, and IP address.
If the domain owner has an identity-blocking service enabled, the information you get will be the address and contact information of the domain registrar, not the individual owner. However, you can still use this information to contact the registrar regarding the pirated copies.
. Send a Cease-and-Desist Letter
Here is a template for such a letter: https://jux.law/cease-desist-letter-template-example-sample-forms/#copyright
If you were able to find the owner of the domain, write a polite letter informing them of the pirated copies of your book available on their website. Take the attitude of assuming that they were unaware of the piracy, and will be willing to work with you.
In your first communication avoid accusing them of stealing your work, and don’t threaten a lawsuit. Simply provide information about the piracy you’ve found and ask them to work with you to rectify the situation. Give the owner a deadline to respond, but remain informal. You may get a response that is less than helpful. They may blatantly refuse or they may ignore your letter. In that case, you may want to talk to an attorney and send a more formal letter.
. Google Can Take-Down the Web Link
Send take-down notices to search engines, such as Google and Bing. Ask them to stop linking to your pirate book on those sites. Include information that proves that you are the copyright owner of the intellectual property in question — and you need to do it for every single pirate link.
. Get Help from Social Media
Social media sites like YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Facebook have online forms for reporting infringement and sending takedown notices. Look under links titled Legal, Copyright, Report a Problem, or Help.
. Contact Their Web Host
In the U.S., the law requires web hosts, such as WordPress or BlueHost, to have a DMCA agent who can be notified regarding pirated content. Find the link to their copyright page. You’ll find a form you can fill out to notify the site’s DMCA agent. You must provide your name, address, and phone number, along with your copyright information, as well as about the pirated content. The DMCA agent will review your notice and if they agree with you, they’ll remove the content themselves. You’ll typically hear back from them within a day or two.
Contact the domain registrar and hosting company. If you can find the name of the company that registered the domain or provides hosting services for the website, they also may be obligated to take down pirated content. Companies located in the United States are required to remove pirated content if they are notified of it. Send copies of your takedown request to the domain registrar and hosting company.
. Amazon Will Compensate You
According to the Kindle Direct Publishing Terms of Service
5.7 Rights Clearances and Rights Dispute Resolution:
“ If you notify us through the procedure we provide on the applicable Amazon Property for making claims of copyright infringement that a third party has made a Digital Book available for distribution through the Program (or for distribution in a particular territory through the Program) that you have the exclusive right to make available under the Program, then, upon your request and after verification of your claim, we will pay you the Royalties due in connection with any sales of the Digital Book through the Program, and will remove the Digital Book from future sale through the Program, as your sole and exclusive remedy.”
But you need to file a notice of copyright infringement through Amazon’s online form or through written communication with Amazon’s legal department. Their rules, addresses, and contacts can be found at their dedicated website for copyright infringement of digital books.
However, their subsidiary company CreateSpace does not!
. PayPal Might Help Too
WikiHow: “File a report with the payment processing company. Some payment processing companies, such as PayPal, will ban or suspend users who receive money for pirated content. If the website you found is taking money for pirated copies of your work, you can potentially take away their ability to make any money off of it while you evaluate your other options.
Look on the website for logos of payment processing companies they use. Go to that company’s website and look for a legal or copyright link that will give you the information you need to file your report.”
. Contact Their Advertisers
Jennifer Mattern, a top blogger on freelance issues, suggests you contact the site’s advertisers as well. But you have to be 100% certain the site is actually infringing your work, otherwise it could backfire.
. Follow-Up on Your Infringement Reports
Just because a website or host removes a particular link or page, there’s no guarantee that the pirates won’t simply repost your content. It also won’t stop them from going to another website and uploading the same content there. Keep up with intense monitoring of the internet and revisit sites periodically to make sure the pirated content doesn’t return.
Without proper protection, work you have created could end up making money for someone else. Photographer Jeremy Nicholl wrote: “Some time ago I began registering all my photographs with the US Copyright Office. Like all photographers, I have witnessed a massive increase in theft of my work in recent years. And, like others I have found it difficult, if not impossible, to get reasonable compensation for these infringements, especially if the infringer is in a foreign country. But one country, the US, provides very hefty penalties for copyright theft – so long as the work has been registered prior to the infringement in question”.
. However, this is all theory – if the theft is committed in a country where suing is very difficult and costly – or the criminals cannot be caught, or don’t have the means to pay penalties. Read more about copyright registration here.
. Register Your Copyright
If you still aren’t able to get rid of pirated copies of your book on the internet, you can sue the pirates for copyright infringement. The registration of your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office has to be before you find out about the criminal actions. Be aware that it can take as long as eight months to process! Better start as soon as your e-book is available in .pdf, .epub or .mobi version – even before it is uploaded to online retailers.
To file your copyright, you can find registration applications and instructions at the Copyright Office website at and you don’t need an attorney to register a copyright. The application is simple and you can complete it online in a few minutes. If you’re the only author of your book, the filing fee is only $35 (by credit or debit card), provided you complete your application online. The copyright registration application must be accompanied by electronic copies of your work, which will be filed with the Library of Congress.
. Legal Proceedings
If you’ve exhausted all other options, such as take-downs by Google, Amazon or the web host of the pirate’s site, you may want to consider suing in court. If you lose considerable amounts of book sales, hire an attorney who specializes in filing copyright infringement lawsuits, and get their opinion on your case. K eep in mind: Federal court proceedings are time-consuming, expensive, and stressful. Think about it: Is it worth the effort, suing pirates for copyright infringement? It means you could spend thousands of dollars on legal fees before your case even gets a trial date. Consider it as a last resort, or if they’ve been selling thousands of pirated copies of your work and made a lot of money.
One law firm that is specialized in copyright law is Hoffman in NYC, but you will find them in almost every state. There are websites, such as Findlaw.com that sort them by cities too. Some lawyers will even work for you on a contingency agreement for a percentage of any settlement; as long as you have registered your writing or your image correctly.
How Much Can You Charge:
What’s An Infringement Worth? Attorney Carolyn E. Wright who is a specialist in copyright law has an interesting graphic on her website that shows the average amount of damages the perpetrator has to pay:
Ordinary Licence Fee
Attorneys fees & costs
If you are an author in the U.S.A.: copyright laws allow punishment for removal or alteration of copyright information a substantial statutory damage – $2,500 – $25,000 – for each image or text.
. Don’t forget: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. And: copyright infringement can even be a source of income for you if you charge the thieves : )
30% of all e-books sold in the United States lack an ISBN number and are not listed in library and book stores – nor in market surveys or reports by Bowker, AAP, BISG, and Nielsen. So, why do author-publishers don’t obtain their own ISBN’s? Could it be to they want to avoid the fees?
. After all ISBN’s Belong to the Publisher!
If you are the one who has complete control over your book, doing the marketing and distribution, then consider getting your own ISBN. Each version of your book – e-book, paperback, hardcover, or audio-book – needs a unique ISBN. Order at least a block of ten numbers. ISBN numbers are assigned by a group of agencies worldwide coordinated by the International ISBN Agency.
. Benefits of an ISBN
As an author, you may have received offers from distributors, POD companies or “Vanity-Publishers” for a discounted ISBN. Don’t fall for these traps explained in this article!
Only the one who purchases their own ISBN from the official distributors is considered the publisher! Or self-publisher.
You can list your book worldwide with Bowker to be in all databases of libraries and bookstores around the globe.
One of the most important reasons to have your own ISBN is that an ISBN helps to cement your publisher brand and makes it easier for the bookstores and libraries to carry your book or e-book.
In Italy e-Books that do not contain an ISBN are charged 22% VAT – while e-books with an ISBN are charged at a rate of only 4%.
. What Do All These Numbers in Your ISBN Code Mean?
ISBN is the International Standard Book Number, a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books published anywhere in the world. Parts of an ISBN are:
group or country identified
and the check digit
To sell your e-book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple or Kobo doesn’t necessarily require an ISBN, but it will be necessary, as soon as you start your book’s print version. Any book on your book shelf, at libraries or in book stores has a mandatory ISBN.
111Publishing was named after a series of guidebooks, who's titles are all starting with "111 Tips" and is a sequel of a book and magazine publishing company, founded in the 1980's in Europe. At that time the focus was on technical manuals, guide books and magazines in the aviation and travel sector, and expanded now into a wide variety of non-fiction books, travel guides and short stories. Our publishing company is located in Nova Scotia, Canada. We are committed to publish & market books and to help authors on their way to success.
“Nobody ever made money writing a book – only by selling it”. Are you one of those writers, hiding behind your laptop, terrified at the thought of “marketing”, because your skill is writing – not marketing? Authors need BOOK PROMOTION, but don’t want to appear like a “used car salesman”. Even if you are signed up with an international publishing house: You have to do your own book marketing and run a viable social media presence! We can help: Individual training and customized marketing consultations for your book and your author platform. Register for the online consultations and start your road to success!