How to Get Your Book Translated in 6 Easy and Practical Steps

How to Get Your Book Translated in 6 Easy and Practical Steps
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Today, professional authors must adapt to the growing global market and the need to translate their published works into other languages.

While translating a book takes a considerable chunk of time, attention, and money, you cannot ignore its significant benefits. These include:

  • Generate more sales: If you get your books translated into multiple languages, your book will be sold to more audiences, thus increasing your outreach and sales.
  • Benefit from less competition: Publishing and selling in a market with fewer existing options generate more profits for you.
  • Develop your author brand and global footprint

Therefore, if you are getting your published works translated, note that the effort and resources you spent on translating your books are worth the profits in the end.

This article discusses the crucial steps about translating books and what you should know when undertaking the process.

How to Get Your Book Translated?

This is a step-by-step handbook to help professional authors ensure that they can get their translation efficiently done:

1. Know your Global Market

It is crucial to know your audience within your country and abroad. Writing and selling a book in multiple languages can be a tedious and expensive task.

So you should invest in translators only if you are sure that you will recover the money in sales.

Most popular countries and languages for self-publishers: The most popular foreign markets for independent authors are: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, India, China, and Japan.

In terms of digital sales, the German market is thriving. Even Amazon opened up ads to the German market before any other international market.

Additionally, other markets can be potentially profitable with their large reading populations and expanding book markets.

Which foreign market should you enter? 

Study the general state of the market- If you’re targeting a specific market (for example, India – a country with diverse readers and about 22 languages, including English and Hindi), you should ensure that your genre is profitable in your preferred market.

  • Check out the online international marketplaces: Whichever market you target, make sure you review the books in your niche online, e.g., on Amazon. With this, you can determine the popularity of your genre and know your potential competitors and customers.
  • Review your existing international sales: If your original book has a growing demand in a particular country, say Germany, it will be sensible to get your books translated into German to capitalize on the existing German fanbase.

However, target one market at a time.

2. Hire a Translator

Hiring a professional translator is preferable as translating a book in different languages could be difficult because it’s not just a mere translation of words, but portraying emotions and ideas. 

A professional translator knows the language very well and is well acquainted with the book industry because of the years of experience.

3. Thoroughly Research your Book Translator

Collaboration with your translation service is a productive and serious commitment. Therefore, choose your translator wisely.

Things you should know before collaboration:

  • Is their fee reasonable?
  • Which genre do they specialize in?
  • Will you retain full ownership, and who will own the copyrights of the translated work?
  • What’s the translator’s track record?
  • What’s their document translation turnaround time?
    • Send a sample of your book: Get the translated version of your book reviewed by a friend, reviewer, or enthusiast who knows or specializes in the target language. You can send a free sample of your book to either of them.

4. Define the Scope of the Translation Work

Define the capacity of the work after finding the right translator. This includes:

  • Is the translator willing to translate marketing materials: To market your published book, testimonials, book descriptions, author bios, etc. in a language that is completely or partially unfamiliar to you, confirm with the translator before hiring them if they would translate the book as well as the appropriate audio and text-to-text translation of the market materials.
  • Proofread: Getting your translated version edited is very important. The publishing house would do it or sometimes even the translators themselves.

5. Kick-Start the Collaboration to Work with Your Book Translator

The translator ought to carry your voice and story in a different language, making sure they do not hamper your original ideas and vision.

You and your translator would regularly interact to discuss everything related to publishing the book.

6. Format and Publish the Translated Edition

Here are a few steps you would want to take:

  • Research the big retailers in your new country: Choose a suitable aggregator to distribute your book. Look for aggregators who have a strong international presence and can distribute through diverse international distribution channels.
  • Publish your book on your country’s Amazon directly via Kindle Direct Publication: You cannot get access to Amazon ads if you do not do this, and your royalties on Amazon sales are also lower. Additionally, be careful while choosing your categories and keywords to ensure that they are appropriately matched with the categories in other countries. This enables you to reach more users and increase sales through Amazon. They also have a robust search engine, so using the right keywords in your book listing can generate more sales.
  • Set up an Amazon Author Central page on your target Amazon marketplace: Create an Amazon Author Central Page because you will probably want to publish your book on Amazon for most countries.

Have you gotten a book translated before? Want to learn more about translation?

Contact us at GMR Transcription Services, Inc. Our services include English to Spanish Translation, Spanish to English Translation, Mandarin to English Translation, English to Mandarin Translation, and English to Arabic Translation.

We offer the finest quality eBook translations at affordable rates in a quick turnaround time.

Read Also: Opera Translation: A Truly Challenging Task

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.