Author Topic: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?  (Read 39838 times)  

Offline Grace Bridges

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Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
« Reply #100 on: January 02, 2015, 03:34:55 pm »
I'm a professional translator with 13 years' experience, and I'm also an author/indie publisher myself. It has long been a dream of mine to translate fiction so I was pleased to jump on and try Babelcube. I did enjoy the work very much, and the book was great - about 120 hours to translate 60,000 words. I created essentially a new version of the story, translating ideas and images rather than word by word. I'm very pleased with the result and I think it reads well. It's linked on my Amazon author page (along with my own stuff) if anyone's curious to "Look Inside".

But now, several months after release, my English translation has only sold 8 copies. Now this may have a lot to do with the English market being swamped. Certainly the German ebook market right now seems to resemble what went on when the Kindle first came out - not that many books are available, so that anything that is there can become popular fairly easily.

This has made me rethink my plan of using Babelcube to have my own novels translated, because if they don't sell, the translator's left out to dry as I have been - through no fault of the author, I must add. Even though it's considered bad form for me to translate into German when it's not my native language, I may well end up doing that, and find a German friend to read it and point out my mistakes. I would also love to have it available in Spanish which I don't speak, but if that market is humming as much as it seems, then maybe it's worth a translator's time.

Anyway, sorry to say, it seems that translations into English are not worth anyone's effort. Babelcube is a great concept, but the books have to sell.

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    Offline Grace Bridges

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #101 on: January 02, 2015, 03:50:04 pm »
    Oh, whoops, I guess it's still a bit hard to find. Here's a link to the book I translated: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OD935GU/ - I think it has loads of potential as it reminded me a lot of Divergent, especially the opening.

    Offline CJArcher

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #102 on: February 04, 2015, 05:40:05 pm »
    Does anyone who commented in this thread last year have any updates? How are your foreign language versions doing? What was your experience like with Babelcube?
     
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    Offline Michael La Ronn

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #103 on: February 06, 2015, 07:15:11 am »
    I've done two books on Babelcube, and the biggest challenge I've had with the service is the marketing. The translators I've worked with have been great, but when it comes to marketing they either don't know how to market the book or there weren't any opportunities available since there's no such thing as BookBub in Portuguese or Italian. :) If we had done a joint-venture outside of Babelcube I'm not sure it would have been much easier, especially with just one book in the language.

    Perhaps if Babelcube added the ability to add keywords that might help.

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    Offline Anja1701B

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #104 on: March 05, 2015, 05:47:27 am »
    Quote
    I've done two books on Babelcube, and the biggest challenge I've had with the service is the marketing.

    Agreed, the marketing really is a challenge, whether with or without Babelcube. The only possible advantage of Babelcube is - the translators really have an incentive to help  :) otherwise they won't see any return for their work.
    I'm a translator myself on Babelcube (from English to German) and am constantly thinking of ways to promote the books. I've just recently collected a list of German ebook promo sites
    http://bit.ly/1LeM9KR and
    http://bit.ly/1wkzkIe
    If anyone with German translations out there would like to give this a try, let me know what the results are. For many of these sites it would probably still be helpful to ask your translator for assistance, especially if you don't speak the language at all. I want to try this out with one of my own translations soon and will report my experiences.
    I think if Babelcube would provide more help in marketing for authors and tanslators, they could improve their service considerably. Did anyone here ever do the free promotions they offer?

    Offline Philip Gibson

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #105 on: March 05, 2015, 08:41:17 am »
    I'd think there would be a huge opportunity for people to set up book promotion sites in the bigger foreign markets like Portuguese. There may already be some but if there are, neither I or my translator know about them. Given that there are hundreds of such sites serving the English language market, you'd think a few foreign language sites could make a good living trying to follow the Bookbub, et. al. model.

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    Offline PaulLev

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #106 on: March 05, 2015, 10:45:00 am »
    I have a Spanish translation of my novel The Plot to Save Socrates just about finished at Babelcube.  I already have something of a following in Spanish countries, due to translations of my scholarly articles, a keynote I gave in Barcelona a few years ago, etc, so I'm hoping for the best, and will do an all out promotion on Twitter, Tumblr, etc.   I'll report back here with results.

    Offline jayvelicogna

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #107 on: May 01, 2019, 02:06:52 pm »
    I am one of the translators on Babelcube and I even wrote about my experience on my blog. It was bad and I have since stopped translating for them. They only seem to have one customer service person available at a time, so it is basically a company that makes money on the work of others and makes no effort to check quality. You could get a great translator or not, and there is no guarantee they are paying correctly. The channels are limited and any author could put there work on any of these channels without the hassle of depending on Babelcube.

    Since my terrible experience, I have started translating books with a proofreader who accepts to work for part of the royalties. So we work with authors or with public domain books, translate, market, and dont have to share the royalties with anyone other than Amazon or whichever platform we use. You can also request author copies and sell them independently or on your blog. We also help authors advertise their work.

    In all, it has been a very rewarding experience and I hope to include more translators in the team to translate into other languages.

    My advice to authors is, forget Babelcube. Team up with a good translator and editor and ask a few beta readers to read through your work and publish with that team or let them publish for you and split the royalties. As least it saves you the hassle with their bad customer service.  :P

    Offline Flying Pizza Pie

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #108 on: May 01, 2019, 02:37:09 pm »
    Too bad this service might not be getting the business it wants/needs.

    The split:

    The royalty revenue is based on the Net Sales Receipts* received by Babelcube from the retailer. Each individual book in each language is treated separately.

    Example: Suppose that a book generated a gross income of $8,000 for the translation into one language. Each party would receive:

    For the first $2,000, the rights holder would receive 30% ($600), the translator 55% ($1,100) and Babelcube 15% ($300)
    For the next $3,000, the rights holder would receive 45% ($1,350), the translator 40% ($1,200) and Babelcube 15% ($450)
    For the remaining $3,000, the rights holder would receive 65% ($1,950), the translator 20% ($600) and Babelcube 15% ($450)
    In total, the rights holder would receive 49% ($3,900), the translator 36% ($2,900), and Babelcube 15% ($1,200).

    xxx

    If you are a translator, you do a lot of work "on the come" and just hope the book sells. If it does, you get a lot back in the first few thousand dollars of sales.

    If you are the author, you also want to see sales and while you don't have an additional investment of too much time, you don't get a healthy share until you've done $5k in sales. And, every translation is separate, so if you translate into one language and your sales are $2000 - well, you only get $600 while $1400 goes elsewhere. That's like the old Amazon days.



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