You may think as an author you have got social media activity down! You keep your tabs constantly open as you Tweet, Reel, Poke, Message, Gram and Tok throughout the day
You’re also pretty happy with your sellability due to the number of bookstores you’ve got your book into? You’ve been a super pro and signed up to Gardners and now you’re on the local high-street!
Actually, your superpower could be how you present yourself? You’re enthusiastic, you’re present, you’re confident and you’re relevant ….. All curated of course, BUT this is a mass-market that is flooded!
Pull your cape in for just a minute and have a think of how you could open NEW doors as an author …. Far away doors, mysterious doors, doors you thought were mere Trompe-l’œils …(the clue is in the last example)
Your Superpower as an author begins the moment you start translating your book!
When I wrote The Heavy Bag a German friend of mine offered to translate it for me. I had no idea what this would start and I certainly didn’t have an international plan for the book … We were in the middle of a worldwide lockdown, borders were closed and travel was forbidden. I just thought …
“Well that would be nice to see my words in another language”
Naive and nonchalant!
However, I soon realised that translating your book gives you that next level endorsement, suddenly you are taken a bit more serious as an indie author.
It’s like having feet on the ground, in a different country – showcasing your book … reaching places you yourself couldn’t!
The book speaks for you even if you can’t in that language.
It also suddenly makes YOU attractive to foreign rights publishing departments, they have something to base off their own “what ifs” Could they translate it into their language? And they have their very own professional translators to do just that!
You could potentially go from being an indie writer; bearing the costs and responsibilities of all that this encompasses – to being signed to a publisher and them doing a lot of the work!
And the great thing if you are an indie writer/self-publisher – YOU own the rights to your book… You could keep on selling it to different countries; the only limit is how many languages there are!
You could see your book selling in stores around the world, all because you thought outside of the box.
My top 3 tips for translating
- Make sure your first translation counts. This should ideally be by someone you know – Why? Well, you want them to REALLY want this book to work. You want them to sensitively translate, not just word for word but sentiment for sentiment.
- Before they agree to translating; are they prepared to be the feet on the ground? My German translator literally went door to door to bookstores in Germany, selling it to them! This will make you and your book marketable and sellable to other countries!
- When you then start approaching foreign rights publishers for more translations, make sure you do your research first! What is culturally acceptable, what would need to change in your book as not to offend them, what context does your genre sit in?Make sure you include these ideas in your cover letter to them, it shows that you have an understanding and are taking this idea seriously. You would be surprised at some of the changes I’ve had to make.
Of course, this all helps for your next book and there will be a next book!
Being a published author worldwide looks very good on your next manuscript submission!