There’s a whole big world out there and an awful lot of it doesn’t read in English. But having your work translated has always seemed like a luxury, maybe a self-indulgence. Until now.
There’s a new company called Babelcube that is widening the indie market even further, making it possible for authors to connect with translators in true indie-style--online with no upfront costs.
Full disclosure: we have no connection, investment, tie, family or romantic relationship with this group. We just think it’s a great idea. We heard about it through a friend and we wanted to pass it on.
Authors can submit the books they want translated and translators can choose the books they want to work on. Then Babelcube provides authors the tools to publish in foreign markets.
According to Mark Dresdner and Carlos Granados, the people behind Babelcube, here’s how it works:
"Babelcube is a marketplace that brings independent book authors and translators together and provides a platform to publish their books in multiple languages globally. Most self-published books are only in one language due to the upfront cost of translation. Babelcube removes this barrier. Translators are paid via a share of royalties, creating a true partnership."
If you want to learn more, check out their website and blog. Then pass it on.
Why DIY isn’t always the best choice
One of the things we love about the indie publishing community is that most people are generous with information. What’s not so great is that a few others are way too free with their opinions, passing them on as advice.
This week we’ve come across several posts advising new authors to stay away from small publishers and do it all themselves.
We disagree, and not just for the obvious self-serving reasons. There are real merits to working with small publishers. Here are just a few.
1. Writing is a solitary business - publishing is not
That lonely writer in a garret thing can only take you so far. At some point you need other people.
Go with a traditional publisher and, if you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of company: an agent, an editor, a copyeditor, a salesperson, a publicity person, plus all their assistants.
Small publishers often provide many of the same professionals (but usually not the assistants).
Why does it matter if you’re really trying to be “independent”? Writers need validation from outside, otherwise they’re stuck in a bubble with their own opinions on what works and what doesn’t. And sometimes they just need company.
2. Some people don’t like to do it themselves
Because writing has never been a high-paying career, many of the writers we know have day jobs and families and a writing schedule that’s already squeezed. They don’t have the time to handle all the details. And to be honest, we know several writers who just don’t want to.
3. Self-promotion is difficult
Even distasteful. Sure, we all know writers who thrive on shining the spotlight on themselves. In fact, we could probably name the same ones, since they’re the ones who are good at it. But an awful lot of writers, by nature, are modest. Maybe even shy. It’s much easier for a publisher to post a great review, an upcoming interview, praise from a reader than it is for the author to do it.
4. You won’t get lost in the crowd
It’s the old big fish-small pond thing. Smaller publishers often have smaller lists, giving them time to pay attention to their authors, time to get it right. They can’t afford to take on a title they’re not committed to.
5. You’ve already done the hard work writing the book, now you get to be involved in its publication
Okay, we’re not speaking for everyone here, just our own experience. But there’s nothing better than working with a team of people all eager to see your book succeed.
One last note. Yes, there are scammers out there. You’ll find them in every field. But honestly, writers have never been known for their deep pockets. Just their unbridled optimism. Our guess is that most small publishers are decent. You can find the ones that aren’t on Preditors and Editors.
© Elena Elisseeva | Dreamstime.com
Or what is NaNoWriMo doing to my reading list?
It's true, I'm a little late to catch on to this whole amazing phenom known as NaNoWriMo, but when i looked at the statistics this morning on their website showing that last year there were 341,375 participants and 38,438 winners, I was floored. Nearly 40,000 novels completed last November alone. And an even bigger turn-out expected for this year.
As a publisher, I'm delighted. Thousands and thousands of authors needing editors, designers, ebook converters, and maybe even publishers.
But as a reader, I'm distressed. I'm already at least four years behind on all the great novels I'd meant to get to but haven't. (Okay, it's probably more like six years.) My night table is full, my Kindle is stuffed. We've got boxes and boxes of books to give away in our closet.
Suppose even just one-tenth of those novels from last year were good--that's close to 1,000 novels and then another 1,000 or more this year. Are there really enough readers in the world to support all this good writing?
It's a question I ask myself every day.
© Kornilovdream | Dreamstime.com
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