My strategy for the last couple of years is increase the income streams for my already-published books by branching into international publishing, libraries, and translation.
I’m about to publish my first translated book, A Dyeing Shame, in Spanish. My translator is the gifted Alfredo Moyano-Barroso. I was lucky that Freddy not only speaks Spanish and English fluently, but he lives in the US and was easily able to convey Southern US customs and traditions to a new audience. Right on that book’s heels is an Italian version of A Body in the Backyard, translated by Valeria Poropat, another wonderful translator.
Babelcube is a platform that allows indie authors to audition and retain translators for their books. Here is my experience working with them:
The royalty-share agreement. For writers, there’s lots that’s good. There’s very little risk on our side as writers (except, perhaps, the risk of a bad translation). We pay nothing upfront. Babelcube handles payments to the translator, distribution of the books, etc.
Checkpoints for quality control. We have opportunities to end the translation process.
A partnership (for ebooks) with StreetLIb: a company I already do business with and respect a good deal. That expands the distribution options (although I wish that StreetLib would take over the print distribution–more on that below).
I’ve worked hard to make sure that my books are available internationally. They sell well in Canada, the UK, and Australia, in particular. Not only do I have them available through the Amazon sites in those countries, printed books are available internationally through Ingram. Because Ingram has printers all over the world, shipping costs are a lot more reasonable for international readers than purchasing a printed copy through Amazon.
But why are my books doing well in the previously-mentioned countries, in particular? Because they’re English-speaking countries. Although my books do sell in Europe, Japan, and India, the sales aren’t nearly as strong. This is completely understandable. I know with my college French that I wouldn’t want to tackle a book in French to relax. I want to read in my native tongue. Continue reading Book Translation→
The business side of writing seems to take more and more time.
If I knock out my writing goal first, though, I don’t have that uncomfortable sense of being conflicted. And I remind myself that whatever time I spend putting my content “out there” should be repaid later on by sales. Hopefully.
AmazonCrossing. Although I think there is still a huge untapped English-speaking or ESL audience out there in the digital reading market, I’ll admit to an interest in translation. After all, if I want to relax with a good book, I sure as heck want to read it in English. Reading it in French (my high school and college foreign language) would be a struggle and certainly not as relaxing.