Author Topic: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?  (Read 39890 times)  

Offline 28612

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Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2014, 07:00:11 pm »
Thank you, Jen and Sibel!

Contacting them for more answers is on the To-Do List o' Doom. Sigh.

PayPal issue might do me in. PayPal hates me, and it's mutual. They messed up my account so badly that about 2 years ago now I spent hours and hours and hours on the phone with them working my way up the phone tree until I had someone fairly high up, who said the only solution he saw was to get a new Social Security number. You can't be serious, said I. If you want a PayPal account, I am, said he.

Not a word I use a lot, but I was gobsmacked. Haven't had an account with them since.

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    Offline jenminkman

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #26 on: March 29, 2014, 06:11:43 am »
    Patricia, why don't you just set up a new Paypal account? I can't remember ever having to give them my social security number, and I have two accounts (one is linked to my Dutch bank account and the other to my US bank account).

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    Offline Teddy Jacobs

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #27 on: March 29, 2014, 09:44:35 am »
    Have they published any translations yet? I am curious about covers, cover control, and blurbs... Also, some of the books are first books in series that are permafree in their original language. It would seem likely that they would want to be permafree in the translated language as well. Which would mean zero profit to share. Or if they weren't permafree, probably not much profit to share, either.

    Theodore
          

    Offline Teddy Jacobs

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #28 on: March 29, 2014, 09:55:56 am »
    Answering my own question, partly. They have a website of their already translated books. One of them is doing very well in Amazon Spain. (But I'm not sure how big a market amazon.es is)

    http://www.babelcubebooks.com/

    Mixed feelings about their covers (and them branding them all with a frame).

    Would like to know what other people think.

    Theodore
          

    Offline ricola

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #29 on: March 29, 2014, 10:00:07 am »
    The original authors are responsible for the covers.

    The frame isn't part of the covers.
    « Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 10:10:24 am by vmblack »

    Offline mandyharbin

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #30 on: March 31, 2014, 06:48:57 pm »
    Mandy, I think young adult and fantasy might be more popular on there with translators, because every single YA title I've published has been picked up to be translated into several languages. I also publish erotic romance under a pen name, and that has been decidedly less popular (only one of the books got picked by a Greek translator, the other ones are still waiting for some attention :) )

    Thanks! I have a y/a series under another name that I self-pubbed, but I might let my agent shop it first since I'm working on the spinoff series now and may let her shop it to the U.S. market (rather than self pubbing it)...haven't decided yet on that one. If I go the self-publishing route on it, then I'll definitely be looking into translations on the original y/a series.

    Offline 28612

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #31 on: March 31, 2014, 08:08:57 pm »
    Patricia, why don't you just set up a new Paypal account? I can't remember ever having to give them my social security number, and I have two accounts (one is linked to my Dutch bank account and the other to my US bank account).

    Really?  PP wouldn't let me set up a 2nd account a couple years ago.  Sure wouldn't want to go round and round with them again.  But that's encouraging.

    Offline Ed Robinson

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #32 on: April 08, 2014, 10:02:37 am »
    Just agreed to have Leap of Faith translated into Spanish. That's two offers in a short time.

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    Offline Anne Frasier

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #33 on: April 08, 2014, 11:40:53 am »
    I'm tempted to put a few books up, but I wonder what happens if a writer decides to pull a book after a translation. I don't see anything about ending the partnership. Anybody see anything about that? I would imagine you would have to keep a book in it for a least a certain period of time to give the translator a chance to make something, but is this forever?
       

    Offline Christopher Bunn

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #34 on: April 08, 2014, 12:06:53 pm »
    I emailed Babelcube about that issue, Anne. They responded and said the agreement is that the book has to stay on the market for 5 years. At that point, the rights of the translation revert back to the author and you can do whatever you want with it.

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    Offline Anne Frasier

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #35 on: April 08, 2014, 12:16:45 pm »
    I emailed Babelcube about that issue, Anne. They responded and said the agreement is that the book has to stay on the market for 5 years. At that point, the rights of the translation revert back to the author and you can do whatever you want with it.

    Thanks!!!!
       

    Offline erikhanberg

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #36 on: May 16, 2014, 11:17:09 am »
    I've got two books translated on Babelcube now.

    The translators have been very professional and I'm excited that these are finally launching!

    Here's a blog post I wrote about it with a little more detail: http://erikhanberg.com/no-more-getting-lost-in-translation/

    And the covers:





    I'm very interested to see how this goes now that the books are up!

    Offline Vivi_Anna

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #37 on: May 20, 2014, 01:00:25 pm »
    My big concern with them is I hear they do not give you royalty statements.  So you have no way of knowing how many copies you have sold. 

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    Offline Babelcube

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #38 on: May 21, 2014, 12:55:45 am »
    We WILL provide royalty statements, we are just finishing implementing this functionality. Authors and Publishers will be able to see daily sales in their account and they will also receive a monthly royalty statement

    Offline abstract

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #39 on: May 21, 2014, 01:21:28 am »
    We WILL provide royalty statements, we are just finishing implementing this functionality. Authors and Publishers will be able to see daily sales in their account and they will also receive a monthly royalty statement

    What about the translator? Does he/she get to receive info of any kind regarding sales and royalties?

    I've registered on the site but the info available in the translator account is so scarce, I'm having second thoughts before volunteering for a book (I've already spotted a few that look interesting). It's already such a huge risk for translators who could very well be working without never being paid (in trad pub, translators are never paid in royalties simply because the book never sells enough, unless you're translating Stephen King of course).

    Also I'm waiting for the possibility to have pen names for translators (for those of us who are authors too).

    Offline Babelcube

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #40 on: May 21, 2014, 01:32:05 am »
    Translators will receive the same reports, of course!

    Offline ricola

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #41 on: May 21, 2014, 01:40:01 am »
    I had two offers for translation.  One translator didn't even reply when I asked for her experience, so I didn't accept her offer.  The other translation read like it had been done using an automated tool and cleaned up from there.

    I've taken my book down for now.  I don't have time for that at the moment.

    Offline 68564

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #42 on: May 21, 2014, 03:32:46 am »
    How does this work with permafree titles?

    Offline zoe tate

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #43 on: May 21, 2014, 03:53:51 am »
    I see that it's a clever and potentially interesting idea, and am impessed by Jen's comments above (and by her testimonial used in Babelcube's advertising!).

    For me, the main issues giving me reservations would be lack of quality control over the translation, potential lack of benefits from skillful negotiation of the deal involved, and of course lack of advance payments. While it's easy to admire the enterprising nature of the service, it's perhaps not quite so easy to see that it can ever really be a satisfactory substitute for agent/publisher negotiations. I have some bias, perhaps: the translation-rights to my first book have already brought me some surprising and very welcome advances. Being self-published, of course, has never been a reason not to have an agent, and "translations" are certainly one of the big areas of agent-benefits.

    Offline jenminkman

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #44 on: May 21, 2014, 04:08:08 am »
    If you have an agent who can negotiate translation deals for you, that is of course the easier option. I don't have an agent (it's not very common to have one in Holland, even if you're trade-published (which I am over here) ) and the 2 publishing houses that publish my work are too small to negotiate deals with foreign countries for now. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. I'm currently trying to get some Spanish reviews for the first book that's available on Amazon.es to boost sales, because other than that I don't really know how to get eyeballs on my books in that marketplace. It's interesting, though, that the smaller Kindle stores such as DE  and ES make it easier to hit a Top 100 in certain categories. By the way, Babelcube distributes to a whole slew of online stores, not just the big players that everybody in the US knows. There's lots of other stores, especially in Germany, that have a bigger market share than Amazon, so it's good to know the books will end up on there, too.

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    Offline jenminkman

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #45 on: May 21, 2014, 04:09:33 am »
    BTW it's so WEIRD to see my head in a banner ad on this forum... haha   :P

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    Offline RuthNestvold

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #46 on: May 21, 2014, 04:12:07 am »
    One thing I am skeptical about is ensuring the quality of the translation. Unless you speak the language (and if you did why would you need Babelcube) how can you be sure the translation is any good? My understanding from talking to a few foreign friends is that there are a good many bad translations out there and they are very annoying to native speakers. Additionally, I've also heard that some countries have very different rules regarding who has rights to a certain property and that that can lead to some interesting problems when working with narrators and translators in those countries. My understanding is essentially that someone who puts a significant amount of labor into a project is considered part owner in that project, which I would imagine could lead to some possible legal disputes down the road. It seems like it would be safer to hire a translator in the US where such a thing wouldn't be an issue. 

    Speaking a language and being able to write in a language in such a way that the words flow as we like for fiction are two different things entirely. Someone who can read and understand a language well enough to judge if a translation is good or not may still not have the ability to translate it. And even if he or she does, translating into a foreign language takes about twice as long as translating into your native language. I know, I've done it and translated a friend's novel into German on a royalty share scheme that we worked out. I probably should have stuck with writing. But the book isn't published yet, since it's going through an editing pass, so the verdict is still out on that. I have not yet attempted to translate any of my own stuff into German. 

    Regarding your question about rights: here in Germany, there are different models. With fiction, the translator usually holds the rights to the German translation and receives royalties the same as the author, just less. There are some publishers, however, who pay flat fees up front and buy the translations outright. These tend to be worse. Technical translation pays much better than fiction (at least if you're working for the bigger corporations), and they naturally keep the copyright as well. They usually have better quality control than smaller companies, so the finished translation tends to be better as well, even though the translators don't see any cut from the finished product.

    The thing is, the rights need to be cleared up in the contract. If you were to contact a German translator and give her twice the going rate for a literary translation (which is actually an advance against royalties), I'm sure she would sell her rights along with the translation. But that would be very costly. Last time I looked into it, the going rate for a literary translation here was 18 Euros per manuscript page.
     
     
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    Offline zoe tate

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #47 on: May 21, 2014, 04:43:07 am »
    If you have an agent who can negotiate translation deals for you, that is of course the easier option.

    Yes, certainly.

    I don't have an agent (it's not very common to have one in Holland, even if you're trade-published (which I am over here) ) and the 2 publishing houses that publish my work are too small to negotiate deals with foreign countries for now. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

    Makes complete sense, of course: I hope you're very successful with them!  8)

    Last time I looked into it, the going rate for a literary translation here was 18 Euros per manuscript page.

    And I have a bilingual friend here (UK) who does this, in French, and gets 15 per page of manuscript, which is about 18 Euros. This is probably still the "going rate" for literary translation.

    Offline No longer seen

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #48 on: May 21, 2014, 05:25:42 am »
    Really?  PP wouldn't let me set up a 2nd account a couple years ago.  Sure wouldn't want to go round and round with them again.  But that's encouraging.

    I have two PP accounts, one linked to my personal checking, the other to my business checking. The second is in name of my business. Same bank.

    Use a different email address and bank account number than what you used previously.

    As ex-SSA employee, I can tell you the agency is not allowed to give you another SSN just to deal with financial institution problems. It was never intended to be all-round financial ID number anyway. And would not appreciate a PP employee telling you that. Agency is busy enough as it is without having to explain that.

    You could also think of setting yourself up as a business. As a writer, you should be a business anyway. If only a sole proprietorship.

    Choose a business name. Register with your state. Pay whatever fee they ask (in Missouri is only $7). Once they send you the DBA (Doing
    Business As) form, you can take to a bank and open up a business account in name of that business. Send your Kindle etc earnings there,
    looks more professional.

    And to Pay Pal account for your business, the account holder is that business. I'd still use a different email address, though.

    Offline TheGapBetweenMerlons

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    Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
    « Reply #49 on: May 23, 2014, 03:39:36 pm »
    I'm pretty interested in Babelcube, as I've been considering translation for quite awhile and this seems to be an easy way to get started. OTOH, it also sounds a bit random regarding which translations would be available (i.e., dependent on which offers come in), and there are specific languages I would prefer. If the only offers were for other languages, it wouldn't be as interesting. I specifically want Chinese and Japanese translations of my children's book, and I want to make sure they are very good (i.e., such that a native speaker would not get a "translated" feel from it and it would still target the right age group). Maybe, considering the low amount of text and bigger concerns about quality, that is something I should just pay for up front as a "work for hire" so there is no ownership/copyright concern. For a longer work, though, and one that isn't as critical to me to get exactly right, Babelcube could be just the ticket. I'm leaning toward trying it with one book and seeing how it goes.

    I'd also like to see Esperanto as an option....  :D
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