A Kids Book about COVID-19

‘A Kids Book About’ is a new kind of publishing company that makes kids’ books that matter, because kids are ready...
Translation of one of their recent books, ‘A Kids Book About COVID-19’ in 6 languages along with providing ePub version.

The best part of working with Ulatus was the collaborative nature of the process. As Ulatus included us in every part of the process and let us communicate all our concerns & questions without hesitation, it allowed us to move forward smoothly. The result was a very professional & high-quality localization.

Project Summary

A Kids Book about COVID-19

  • Service name: Book Localization
  • Language Pair: English to Vietnamese, Spanish, French, Russian, German, and Chinese
  • Book name: A Kids Book about COVID-19
  • Industry: Kids’ book publication (https://akidsbookabout.com/)

About the book/author, what were their requirements, and why?

It all started with A Kids Book About Racism, a book written by co-founder and CEO Jelani Memory. He thought he’d only print one copy, but it turned out other grownups thought their kids could use an honest kids’ book on the topic. That one book turned into more by new authors on topics such as belonging, feminism, gratitude, cancer, and so many more.

The request began with an opportunity to translate one of their latest books on COVID-19 into six languages (Vietnamese, Spanish, French, Russian, German, and Chinese).

The world has never seen anything like COVID-19 before: It affects us all! This book was written by a disease outbreak scientist to provide some answers and start conversations about what each of us can do to help keep our communities safe during the pandemic.

Malia Jones is an academic, researcher, social activist, map lover, life partner, and mom. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she works as a social epidemiologist in a university setting and studies how infectious diseases are transmitted in human populations.

Challenges faced by Ulatus for the project

Handling a design-heavy and digital intensive book

Unlike regular book projects, this one was way different. We saw the sourcebook and realized that there was reasonable content, but the entire focus of the reader was going to be on the design. Since these books are meant for kids, the design included a lot of graphics, characters, customized fonts in large size for easy reading. All this had to be replicated across the six different languages which we were going to work on: English to Vietnamese, Spanish, French, Russian, German, and Chinese.

Maintaining the publishers brand and messaging meant for the kids in six different languages/locales

Since the book was being translated into six different languages for the first time and considering our clients popularity with books published specifically for the kids audience, we had to concentrate and focus on key elements like maintaining "a kids book about" brand image by ensuring the quality of translation was top class and it connected well with the kids reader base.

Selecting the right linguists with the required subject matter expertise was really critical. Since the book dealt with a Health theme for kids, the recommendations suggested by Malia Jones, the author, had to be articulated well to ensure the style, tone and overall translation quality is maintained across six different languages.

Understanding the design and formatting requirements being the key features

Book formatting & finalization is always a complex and challenging activity. In this project, the most essential aspect to be taken care of was the design output work, which is important to attract the attention of the kids. We had to maintain the graphics and font consistency across six different languages keeping in mind the complex language scripts such as Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.

Our design team had to meet all the client requirements, which they didn’t provide at the beginning of the project, such as converting the output into digital versions - ePub & Mobi. This involved multiple rounds of review by the Project Management team, thus ensuring that every detail is captured.

The cover design took some time as, again, the source design file on a hard copy compared to a digital version would look different.

Solution provided by Ulatus to the client

Ulatus had to overcome all the challenges and manage to meet all client requirements through some of the key efforts mentioned below:

Showcased our expertise in kids book localization with a 'right at the first time' attitude

We started our journey by looking out for linguists with the required subject matter expertise and who have experience in handling kids’ books. The topic of the book was related to COVID-19, so the localized content had to connect well with the kids’ reader base in the six different languages. Our expert team consisted of four stakeholders – a translator, a checker, an editor, and a visual design expert. It was a perfect combination of English and native language experts and DTP specialists.

Retaining stylistic and design consistency throughout the localization process

The real juice of the book we were translating lay in its design, and as it was for a popular kids book brand, it was full of graphics and customized fonts that were used to provide the key messages. Our design experts got involved as soon as we started off the project and started reviewing all minor details such as style, tone, and graphics, which had to be consistently maintained across six languages as per the original source and by providing transadaptation wherever necessary. To manage all this, a dedicated project lead was assigned for this project who took care of the coordination with both the operations team and the client to ensure zero delays and that all last-minute changes and updates were taken care of.

Keeping in line with the popular kids book branding of "A Kids Book About" series

"A Kids Book About" is a popular publisher who creates books that treat kids like they were smart and spoke to them straightforwardly and honestly. Their books emphasize color, layout, and type to help kids apply the stories to their lives instead of only thinking of the characters in the book. Their books are twice as long as most children’s books, enabling a deeper dive on each subject. Their books are honest, and don’t shy away from the most difficult aspects of each topic. 

The book we worked on was written by a disease outbreak scientist, Malia Jones, to provide some answers and start conversations about what each of us can do to help keep our communities safe during the pandemic. So it was very important for us to keep up to this crucial messaging and branding while localizing the content in six languages. These prime objectives were achieved by our team of expert linguists that worked on this project.

In-house design team’s experience in finalization of the ePub version of the book

The final presentation is always critical in book localization projects, and in this case, since the reader base was kids, we had to ensure that it connected well. Since "A kids book about" is a popular kids book publisher, it was important for us to deliver a top-class product.

Our design team had to consistently focus on the layout, customized fonts, and the overall quality of translation, considering that we had to keep the graphics consistent due to the different characters across 6 languages. Also, the finished product was converted into digital e-versions such as ePub & Mobi, where our team provided the client with a full walk-through of how these e-versions work. The whole book was brought together in a unified fashion, which included all the above nitty gritties, and the client was absolutely delighted with what they received.

Project Overview

  • Digitally publishable quality output delivered in six languages.
  • Achieved the required design standards and expectations with a "Right at the first time" approach.
  • The client was impressed and appreciative of the quality delivered and the way the project was managed.
  • More books expected from the publisher - a kids book about.

Interview with client

Please describe the nature of your translation requirements.

Our project was somewhat of an ambitious one. We are a children’s publisher that was looking to translate one of our books into six languages simultaneously within a tight timeline. The nature and layout of our books are also quite unique, as they are heavily designed and have no illustrations.

Why did you select Ulatus for your translation needs?

They offered amazing translation and localization services that aligned with what we wanted from a translating service. They also provided aid in other areas of book production such as layout and ebook conversion, and being that we are a publisher with a relatively small team, this allowed us to create books more efficiently while never sacrificing quality. This made them the top choice and best choice for our project’s needs. 

They also worked very collaboratively, which was very important to us as a publisher. If there was a specific translation decision we wanted to make, if we wanted to go back in and edit the design, if the ebook wasn’t looking the way that we wanted too and wanted to make some changes, we could do that! This collaborative effort really made the experience a smooth and enjoyable one. The pricing also played a factor into why we went with Ulatus. The number of services provided, the project management, with the quality they provide for the quote we were given was amazing.

What aspect of working with Ulatus do you like the most?

The collaborative nature of the entire process was the best part of working with Ulatus. The fact that they included us in every part of the process and the fact that we could communicate any concerns or questions without hesitation allowed us to move forward throughout the process without concern or fear. 

How did Ulatus’ translation service benefit you? Or have the services helped you achieve your goal?

Without a doubt. They helped us tackle this very big task of translating a book that we so carefully crafted into six different languages in an organized and efficient way. 

Were your expectations met by the translation job delivered?

Yes. When first considering Ulatus translations, we discussed in detail what the project was, what we wanted from the translation, what our priorities were, and what we could expect from the process. This made communication efficient and lead to a final product that was what we wanted and set out to create. 

How would you describe Ulatus’ service?

They are truly invested in the project and care that you are satisfied with the outcome. Until you feel comfortable saying the project is finished, the project isn’t finished. That’s a great comfort when you are putting so much time and energy into creating not just a good translation, but a great book that people will carry with them. They were just as invested and excited about the project as we were, which made the experience all the better.

Would you recommend Ulatus to others? If so, why?

Yes! They provided a very professional, high-quality localization. They were timely in the delivery and production of the books. They are very detail-oriented and have great communication with their clients. I would highly recommend their services to anyone. 

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