How to Get a Book Translated?

Book translation

When Stieg Larsson’s book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was published posthumously in 2005, it was well revered in its original language of Swedish. However, the book skyrocketed to international fame following its translation to numerous languages. Since then, more than 80 million copies of the novel and its sequels have been sold worldwide.

As more authors continue to achieve global success through translation, it is clear that writers should take advantage of the myriad of opportunities that book translations provide.

Reasons to Get a Book Translated

With 67% of books being published in non-English countries, authors who choose only to write their content in English are missing out on numerous possibilities to sell their books. By deciding to have their book translated, writers can:

  • Achieve significantly higher sales.
  • Connect with more readers.
  • Establish a brand as an author worldwide.
  • Reach a broader audience in several new markets.
  • Generate interest for future books.

How to Get a Book Translated?

Once the decision is made to have a book translated, there are several essential steps involved with the process. These steps include:

Decide Which Market and Language to Target

The first step is to research and decide which region to target with a book translation. To help select the market, consider these factors:

  • Research various foreign markets. Seek out markets in which book sales are thriving, as well as consider whether the genre is acceptable in that region.
  • Pay attention to current international sales. If a writer’s book is currently generating sales in a particular country, then that location is an excellent area to consider for translation.  
  • Review online international marketplaces to determine how well books are selling. If book sales in the same genre are high in specific regions, that can help gauge the competition and determine whether there is room in the market for a similar book.

Select a Book Translation Company

Because translating a book into another language is challenging, finding the right translator is imperative for the project’s success. After all, it is not just words that are being translated; it is also the concepts, ideas, and nuances of the book that ultimately capture the reader. As such, spend some time researching professional book translation services companies to select the best one for the project. It is important that the translator accurately conveys the tone and the messages of the book into the target language. When considering a book translation company, seek the following information:

  • Does the translator have experience in the genre?
  • What are some books that the translator has completed? Ask for samples of the work.
  • Can the deadline for the project be met?
  • Will the translator easily accept feedback and input?
  • What is the cost of the translation, and what does the fee include? Are there additional fees?

Define the Parameters of the Translation Work

After the translator is selected, the next step is to define the scope of the translation work. Along with the book translation, marketing the publication in the new language will be necessary. That should be added to the scope of the project.

Additionally, make certain that quality management is agreed upon. The translation company should be able to provide a clearly outlined quality assurance process to ensure that the translated book is error-free.

Collaborate with the Translator

For the translation work to be go smoothly, collaboration with the translator is vital. By working together, the writer and translator can ensure that the essence of the book is not lost in translation. Remember that the translator’s role is to make sure that the voice and story of the original text is carried over to the translated book. To accomplish this, the translator will need to be able to reach out and ask questions and clarify thoughts. In the same way, the translator will need to be available for the writer to ask questions, as well as to keep the author informed of the translation process.

Numerous authors have enjoyed great international success, with translations playing a huge role in their fame. One of these writers is Agatha Christie, who wrote her first book on a dare, then went on to achieve global fame with 7,236 translations of her works from English. As writers decide to embark on having their books translated, partnering with a book translation service will ensure that the project is a success.


As more authors continue to achieve global success through translation, it is clear that writers should take advantage of the myriad of opportunities that book translations provide. Take a look at how to get a book translated.

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