Translating your Book? Things you should know before you start planning for it

So you decided you want to translate your book. Congratulations are in order, as that is the first step. But before you jump into it, take a step back and take the time to answer the following questions; you will be grateful you did…

  • First, Do you know what languages and why? Some of us come from different backgrounds and so we wish to translate the book to make the most of our roots and market to people we know in our original countries. Others are thinking of translating the book in the language of the setting of the book or because the topic is of interest to a specific country. All of these and any other motivation to translate your book are valid; but the one thing we should make sure we all look into when choosing the languages we are translating our book into is the online platform available for those countries. If I am translating my book in Italian, could it be purchased on Kindle, mobi or any other format I am planning to use in Italy? This is the first research we as authors must focus on when beginning our translation plans if we want to have a successful book geared to people abroad.
  • Once we have decided on a language, we need to look for the right translator. However, before beginning the search it is important to be clear on who the right person is. Are we searching strictly by our budget, or do we have other requirements. For example, before finding the right Italian translator for my book, I went through two other people. They both had great qualifications, and both were less expensive than the one I chose in the end. For me it was important the narrator’s voice and dialogues remained intact, as my book was an action filled story based on a character. Any changes to the character’s voice would impact the quality and credibility of the story. So I requested a first chapter as a sample of each translator’s work to make up my mind - my chapters were short so they had no problem honoring my request. I had a mental note about what I needed: My translator needed to have not just academic knowledge of the language but also needed to have practical experience with the language by having spent time in Italy.
  • Finally, when you have done your homework, the search for a translator begins. I went from people I knew, to Translating Companies, to Freelancers Engines. Because I had heard horror stories about projects that would never end, and translations that went through a zillion translators; I decided to go through word of mouth referrals and people I knew. Cristina, who I met at Colorado College where she taught Italian, was my final match and best decision I have made when it came to my book, as I could not be happier with the results; so much so that she is now the founder of our Language Department for reviews and translations.

In the end we all have different needs for our books when translating. It is important to remember that translating has the same process as writing your first draft. You will still go through many revisions; you will still need a proof reader and professional editor. Picking the right translator will minimize the efforts and time of the editing but will not by any means eliminate the editing stage. Here at Reader Views we have created the Language Department considering all of these different points, as we realized the need for our Indies to be able to make the most of their stories with an affordable and professional option.
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