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Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: jimkukral on March 18, 2014, 08:29:24 am

Title: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: jimkukral on March 18, 2014, 08:29:24 am
Anyone heard/used this? http://www.babelcube.com

Summary: Matchmaking service to get your books translated in other languages. Think like ACX but for languages and in text, not audio. You post book, translator bids on job to translate book, you accept, they translate, BC publishes and everyone takes a cut (no up-front fees). You keep your rights. They just get option to publish/sell translated book in other markets.

We have no affiliation/association to this business. I'm just doing my due diligence on the business before I ever recommend anything. I'm testing it myself now.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Ian Graham on March 18, 2014, 08:41:34 am
I found Babelcube a few months ago and have been keeping an eye on it ever since. It's certainly an interesting idea and one that could be very, very useful to indie authors. I haven't seen many books produced by them just yet and am waiting to see what happens. 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. 

Babelcube may have all of this figured out, but until I start seeing some good experiences I'm going to stay on the fence. Hope to see some soon as I would love to have a German translation of my novel done. 

~ Ian     
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Ed Robinson on March 18, 2014, 09:55:26 am
I just submitted one of my books to them. I'll let you know what happens next. Someone needs to be the guinea pig.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: bardsandsages on March 18, 2014, 10:07:36 am
The sliding scale concept of the royalty split is interesting.

Hey! They appear to be in NJ. I could drive to their office! (Not that I feel the need to. Just that I could if I had to. Like, if they pulled a stunt like ACX and I wanted to "discuss" the matter in person.  :o :P
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Ian Graham on March 18, 2014, 06:52:42 pm
Definitely keep me posted, Ed. It's a service I'm very interested in seeing come to fruition.

~ Ian
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: zandermarks on March 18, 2014, 07:40:05 pm
Quality of translation is something to think about. Not ready to translate my book yet, but when I do, I plan to arrange a second set of native-language eyes to ensure the quality of the work.

I have looked at the following online translator's community, and I plan to consult with them a bit before I make that move to make sure I understand the translation ropes as best I can.

http://www.translatorscafe.com/
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: jenminkman on March 18, 2014, 11:29:24 pm
SOme of my books are on there and ready to be published in a few weeks' time. I did get native people to proofread and they said everything looked fine. Most of the translators on there have been in the business for years, have websites, LinkedIn profiles, etc. It doesn't look like they're just scammers trying to make a quick buck. Most of the offers I've gotten are from Spanish translators, which is helpful because one of my friends is Spanish so he can check :)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: A Tiger on March 19, 2014, 03:21:25 am
Which reminds me, Jen, I'm working on your book! :)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: portiadacosta on March 19, 2014, 04:36:46 am
I'm going to keep my eye on this. My trad published work has always sold quite well in German translation and recently, my trad published erotic romance has found a strong readership in Brazil and Italy. So readers in German, Portuguese and Italian might enjoy my shorter self published work too! :)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: dotx on March 19, 2014, 04:53:21 am
I've been tempted for a while. I'm fluent in Spanish but don't want to do the translation myself (too time consuming). But I could still check whatever comes from the translator and make sure it looks good. Not sure what's stopping me...
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: jenminkman on March 19, 2014, 09:36:37 am
Which reminds me, Jen, I'm working on your book! :)

Hey Elda, didn't know you were on this board too! How cool (and I simply love your cat avatar!). Yeah, Babelcube is the absolute bomb. It has always been my dream to be available in as many languages as possible, and Babelcube is making it happen.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Ed Robinson on March 25, 2014, 04:31:13 am
So far I've received one offer to translate into Portuguese. They want a Word doc only. My final draft is in pdf, so I'd have to go back and have the Word doc edited.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Babelcube on March 25, 2014, 12:18:54 pm
Hi Ed:

This is Mark, one of the founders of Babelcube.

Thank you for the comment about your final file only being in PDF format. We will consider making the system more flexible. However, as an immediate action, would you like to send me your file and I will see if we can convert it into a Word document for you? If so, please send it to me at info [at] babelcube [dot] com.

Best,
Mark


Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Ed Robinson on March 25, 2014, 12:38:51 pm
That would be great. Thanks.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: 28612 on March 25, 2014, 12:46:49 pm
SOme of my books are on there and ready to be published in a few weeks' time. I did get native people to proofread and they said everything looked fine. Most of the translators on there have been in the business for years, have websites, LinkedIn profiles, etc. It doesn't look like they're just scammers trying to make a quick buck. Most of the offers I've gotten are from Spanish translators, which is helpful because one of my friends is Spanish so he can check :)

Jen, do you mind a couple question?

What distribution opportunities are included?

Are there any restrictions on the rightsholder's pricing flexibility?

Are there any restrictions on the copyright?  Does that vary by country?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: mandyharbin on March 25, 2014, 12:52:23 pm
I'm pretty much a lurker around here, but I did put one of my books up on babelcube to try it out and I've heard nothing but crickets. It's only been a month, but I figured I'd hear something by now. Translations are expensive, but I've started inquiring outside of the service in case nothing happens with it. *shrugs*
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: 28612 on March 25, 2014, 01:15:17 pm
Another question: How frequent will payments be?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: 28612 on March 26, 2014, 01:57:43 pm
Bump in hopes there might be answers to yesterday's questions ....  TIA!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: jenminkman on March 26, 2014, 02:41:40 pm
Hi Patricia,
I don't have answers to all of your questions, because none of my books are live with them yet - that's gonna happen next month. I do know that they will make books available in all the Amazon stores, the other big 3 (B&N, Kobo, iTunes) as well as some other, local stores included in the Gardners ebook catalogue (it's a sort of Overdrive service, based in the UK). If you want to know more, you should probably just contact the Babelcube support team - they are very responsive and helpful! :)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: jenminkman on March 26, 2014, 02:44:44 pm
I'm pretty much a lurker around here, but I did put one of my books up on babelcube to try it out and I've heard nothing but crickets. It's only been a month, but I figured I'd hear something by now. Translations are expensive, but I've started inquiring outside of the service in case nothing happens with it. *shrugs*

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 :) )
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Nancy Beck on March 27, 2014, 06:52:55 am
The sliding scale concept of the royalty split is interesting.

Hey! They appear to be in NJ. I could drive to their office! (Not that I feel the need to. Just that I could if I had to. Like, if they pulled a stunt like ACX and I wanted to "discuss" the matter in person.  :o :P

Whereabouts? I'm sure they're not out my way, lol (I'm not far from Pennsylvania).
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Ed Robinson on March 28, 2014, 01:17:40 pm
I received the first ten pages back translated into Portugeuse (sp). I gave the okay to finish the rest of the manuscript. Amazon Brazil here I come.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: starkllr on March 28, 2014, 01:43:39 pm
How does this work for those of us who already have (the English versions of) our books up on Amazon.fr, Amazon.de, etc?

I understand that Babelcube distributes through Amazon, so do they put up a separate, translated edition of the book, or does the translated edition replace the English version?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: erikhanberg on March 28, 2014, 02:40:34 pm
I have a Portuguese and Italian translation of The Lead Cloak in the works through Babelcube. And The Marinara Murders is being translated into Spanish.

For each of them, I found a native speaker to review the first 10 pages of the translated text, and they each gave a recommendation. The translators themselves seem to be very good. None of the books are finished, but I have received emails from them from time to time to clear up questions about the English I use.

I've been very happy with the service so far!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: BlairErotica on March 28, 2014, 04:42:18 pm
How does this work for those of us who already have (the English versions of) our books up on Amazon.fr, Amazon.de, etc?

I understand that Babelcube distributes through Amazon, so do they put up a separate, translated edition of the book, or does the translated edition replace the English version?
The other language version is a separate book with its own ASIN. So you don't lose the ability to sell the English language version. And if you get translators in other languages, it just keeps adding up.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: 28612 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: jenminkman 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).
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Teddy Jacobs 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
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Teddy Jacobs 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
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: ricola on March 29, 2014, 10:00:07 am
The original authors are responsible for the covers.

The frame isn't part of the covers.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: mandyharbin 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: 28612 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Ed Robinson 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Anne Frasier 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?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Christopher Bunn 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Anne Frasier 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!!!!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: erikhanberg 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/ (http://erikhanberg.com/no-more-getting-lost-in-translation/)

And the covers:

(http://erikhanberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/LeadCloak_Italian_Apple-196x300.jpg)

(http://erikhanberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/MarinaraSpanishCover1400-196x300.jpg)

I'm very interested to see how this goes now that the books are up!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Vivi_Anna 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. 
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Babelcube 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
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: abstract 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).
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Babelcube on May 21, 2014, 01:32:05 am
Translators will receive the same reports, of course!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: ricola 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: 68564 on May 21, 2014, 03:32:46 am
How does this work with permafree titles?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: zoe tate 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: jenminkman 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: jenminkman 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
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: RuthNestvold 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: zoe tate 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 Ģ15 per page of manuscript, which is about 18 Euros. This is probably still the "going rate" for literary translation.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: No longer seen 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: TheGapBetweenMerlons 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
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: TheGapBetweenMerlons on May 23, 2014, 03:42:35 pm
Ah, forgot to ask...

The frame isn't part of the covers.

Can you clarify what you mean? When I did a "Look Inside" on a Babelcube-distributed book and looked at the cover, it showed the frame. (I'm assuming by "frame" we're talking about the thick dark cyan border.)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Steve Vernon on May 26, 2014, 07:01:37 am
All right - I've been looking at this all morning and I believe will test it out as well with one of my books. I've been dying to crack some of those foreign markets.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: graysonm on May 26, 2014, 08:51:04 am
Translation rates vary quite a bit from one language combination to another, depending on factors such as how common the combination is, the type of translation (literary, corporate, technical), and the standard of living in the translator's country of residence. In at least a few EU countries, there are literary translation associations that publish recommended minimum rates. In the Netherlands, that's 6.4 eurocents per word (for translations into Dutch), plus a cut of royalties.

As Ruth Nestvold pointed out, translation requires much more than just speaking two languages. Fiction translation requires the most skill of all. A good fiction translator is, first and foremost, a talented writer. There's no way around it. Do be sure to vet anyone you plan to use.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Babelcube on May 27, 2014, 02:17:47 pm
Ah, forgot to ask...

Can you clarify what you mean? When I did a "Look Inside" on a Babelcube-distributed book and looked at the cover, it showed the frame. (I'm assuming by "frame" we're talking about the thick dark cyan border.)

Babelcube is no longer placing the frame - the blue/cyan border - around the book covers, based on feedback from authors. Keep the feedback coming! We want to create an amazing experience for everyone.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: LG Castillo on May 27, 2014, 03:57:38 pm
Does anyone know who controls the price of the translated book? Babelcube or the author?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: No longer seen on May 28, 2014, 04:28:07 am
Author.

Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: hedonist6 on May 28, 2014, 05:04:38 am
Babelcube is no longer placing the frame - the blue/cyan border - around the book covers, based on feedback from authors. Keep the feedback coming! We want to create an amazing experience for everyone.

OMG really? This would make me so happy.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: LG Castillo on May 28, 2014, 09:47:05 am
Author.

thanks!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: erikhanberg on June 12, 2014, 01:07:45 pm
Just wanted to say that two of my books now have sales panes on them.

I've sold one copy of The Lead Cloak in Italian, and three copies of The Marinara Murders in Spanish. We'll see how it goes moving on, but that's more sales than I was getting in Italian or Spanish-speaking countries before!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Ed Robinson on June 17, 2014, 11:32:48 am
All three of my books have completed translations into Spanish and Portuguese. So far a total of 4 sales through Babelcube. Translations under for Italian and Turkish.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: The 13th Doctor on June 17, 2014, 01:14:15 pm
I've had one of my books translated into Spanish and Portuguese. I'm having trouble uploading the doc file of the second book (but Babelcube have been great and are helping me out with that).

I created the new covers for the translated books and set the price myself. And I've already made a sale (though funnily enough it was via .co.uk - I swear I didn't buy it myself! :) )
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: PaulLev on June 21, 2014, 03:46:36 pm
I just signed an agreement for a Romanian translation of The Plot to Save Socrates via Babelcube.

My nonfiction books have been translated by traditional publishers all over the world - Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Romanian, Macedonian, Croatian, Russian, and Turkish.  (An Arabic translation of New New Media is to be published in the summer of 2014.)

But so far, my science fiction has been translated only into Polish (two novels), and short fiction into French and Italian.

So I was pleased indeed to learn about Babelcube - it looks like it does for translation what Kindles do for independent publishing.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: aagarciamtz on June 28, 2014, 10:41:18 am
Hi friends of KBoards,
My name is Alma Alexandra Garcia and I am an English>Spanish freelance translator, born and living in Mexico, with 16 years of experience and more than 40 books translated and published by different publishing houses. Currently, I'm participating in the translation of a book in Babelcube. My first one.
I think it's understandable that you have concerns regarding the quality of translators that offer their translation services in Babelcube. Nevertheless, I think it's also important to notice that many experienced translators are also looking for innovative methods of offering their professional services both to editorials and to self-publishing authors. Besides, many of us are members of such sites as Proz.com, Translatorscafe.com or Translationdirectory.com.
You can make some research to find out about the translator's experience and so be sure that your book will be translated by a professional.
I'm sure there are many professional translators out there in Babelcube.
I think it's a great opportunity for both authors and translators to further their works and careers.
Thanks a lot for reading this. Hope it helps.
Warm greetings to all,
Alma
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Anne Frasier on June 28, 2014, 10:51:41 am
thanks for reaching out here, alma!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: TheGapBetweenMerlons on June 28, 2014, 10:56:56 am
Thanks, Alma, it does help to get information about Babelcube from the translators' perspective.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 30, 2014, 01:09:01 am
Are there any Spanish speakers here?

I've received an offer to translate 'Irradiated' into Spanish. The translators credentials seem very good, but I don't speak Spanish at all--and hence can't evaluate the sample translation.

Can anyone here look over a short translation (the first page of my novel) and give me their opinion of it's quality? It would be hugely appreciated.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: sarahdalton on June 30, 2014, 01:16:06 am
I've just had a sample done in Portuguese. If there's anyone who could read a quick couple of pages I'd be really grateful!

Thanks!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: psolares on June 30, 2014, 02:55:29 am
Are there any Spanish speakers here?

I've received an offer to translate 'Irradiated' into Spanish. The translators credentials seem very good, but I don't speak Spanish at all--and hence can't evaluate the sample translation.

Can anyone here look over a short translation (the first page of my novel) and give me their opinion of it's quality? It would be hugely appreciated.
Sure, send it to me. ;)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 30, 2014, 03:08:39 am
Thanks, psolares. I sent you a message. :)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: psolares on June 30, 2014, 03:21:46 am
;-)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: FeelingShred on July 13, 2014, 06:03:36 pm
Seems nice to the authors, but too risky for us translators. Would love to hear good news about this service from a translator. If you read this, please share your story. Registering a new account here takes 2 minutes :)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: TheGapBetweenMerlons on July 13, 2014, 07:34:53 pm
Seems nice to the authors, but too risky for us translators. Would love to hear good news about this service from a translator. If you read this, please share your story. Registering a new account here takes 2 minutes :)

If I understand correctly, the risk is that you will do work and not be paid (rather than a risk of putting money out and not being paid back). That's not a trivial risk, but it is pretty much the norm for all indie works -- books, software, music, movies, etc. It's not for everyone, but "too risky" is really a personal decision. Many people are willing to take the risk, and -- as with all risks -- you can expect that a few will do really well, more than a few will get nothing, and most will get something in between.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Sycro on July 14, 2014, 03:07:37 am
Any update from the authors that had their books translated a couple months ago? How are sales?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: The 13th Doctor on July 14, 2014, 05:32:05 am
Any update from the authors that had their books translated a couple months ago? How are sales?

I've got a couple of my books translated. So far, since the Spanish version of one of the books was translated and published (round about 28th June), I've sold over 100 copies on Apple. I don't understand the reasoning as I've only put up a FB post to alert people that it's out and that's it. No other marketing (well, unless you could updating my website). It's the most I've ever sold in a month, so I'm happy.  :)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: NoahPorter on July 14, 2014, 06:18:54 am
There needs to be a way to search through translators and be able to contact them. I can do it on ACX, but no on Babelcube. Doesn't really make sense why that isn't a feature, but until it is, Babelcube just isn't living up to its potential (for my wife and I, personally). Have had nothing but bad experiences.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: sarahdalton on July 14, 2014, 08:09:14 am
I have two samples from a Spanish and Italian translator. If anyone is a Spanish or Italian speaker would you mind reading 2000 words? In exchange I'd be happy to provide a free book, or to share your book/website whatever on my social media.

Drop me a message!

Thank you! :)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Rick Gualtieri on July 14, 2014, 08:45:48 am
There needs to be a way to search through translators and be able to contact them. I can do it on ACX, but no on Babelcube. Doesn't really make sense why that isn't a feature, but until it is, Babelcube just isn't living up to its potential (for my wife and I, personally). Have had nothing but bad experiences.

Yeah, that would be nice.  I've had a couple of books sitting there for a while now with nothing but crickets.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: abstract on July 14, 2014, 10:04:16 am
I've just finished a job translating a SF roleplaying game book. Now that I have more time on my hands, I should get back to Babelcube to see if there are some books I'd like to translate in French  :)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: LeonardDHilleyII on July 20, 2014, 03:07:49 pm
VERY slow to respond.  I sent a query three days ago and no response, which makes me leary to trust their customer service.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: jamielakenovels on July 20, 2014, 06:29:52 pm
I uploaded my books up there but now what? Do I try to reach out to translators myself or wait for them to come to me?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: starkllr on July 20, 2014, 06:42:08 pm
My first novel is on there, Abstract...

Hey, it's worth a shot!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: abstract on July 21, 2014, 02:08:38 am
I uploaded my books up there but now what? Do I try to reach out to translators myself or wait for them to come to me?

You wait for them to come :)
Translators can access the list of all the books available for translation. The problem is the books are only classified by genre and title, so if a translator is looking for a specific author, he/she has to know the titles of this author's books, or click on each title since it's the only way to see who's the author.
I must say it's all a little tedious because you only have the title and a blurb (very often it's only a sentence) in the list, and genre categories are not as specific as they are on Amazon (no subcategories in the SF/fantasy genre, so there are a lot of book titles to peruse... and they are not even in alphabetical order).

My first novel is on there, Abstract...

Hey, it's worth a shot!

I found it :) thanks to your signature and using the find feature of Firefox (no search engine on Babelcube either :-[ ). Well who knows, maybe later ;) Right now Babelcube wants me to do the whole IRS/ITIN/W7 thing. Apparently they're gonna do it for me since I have to answer the questions on the Babelcube site. I hope I'll be able to use that number when I'll selfpublish my own books on Amazon.com.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: starkllr on July 21, 2014, 11:24:41 am
I emailed Bablecube this morning using their feedback button with a couple of questions/thoughts, and I heard back right away.  Here's their answer about a search system so authors can actively look for translators:

"We are working on a system that will let authors search for translators, it should be available in a few weeks."

 
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Piers Platt on July 21, 2014, 08:23:38 pm
I like the concept of this, except for the fact that you have to split royalties (both with the translator and Babelcube).  I'd prefer an option like Audible has for simply paying a translator up front, then keeping 100% of royalties yourself.  To answer someone's question earlier in the thread, I believe you can achieve publishing a translated book to a specific territory by using the KDP "Territories" menu during the publishing process: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A1H1OSSLAY4B4F (https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A1H1OSSLAY4B4F)

Basically you'd just de-select all the territories except for the one you wanted, then continue as normal.  The obvious drawback to going that route is that you lose access to Babelcube's local retailers / other distributors outside of Amazon.  I'd be curious to know how their royalties break out across channels, though...is Amazon the dominant force outside the US, too?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: hedonist6 on July 22, 2014, 03:18:26 am
I had a novelette of mine translated into Spanish, Italian and Portuguese via Babelcube in May. Mostly it's been quiet (I wouldn't know how to market in those languages), but the Italian one is consistently selling so I'm quite happy with that and am planning to list more books soon.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: A Tiger on July 29, 2014, 12:32:35 pm
Piers, the model you suggest is simply reaching out to a translator of your preference and hammering out a contract as "work-for-hire" with him/her. That way you can distribute your book to all channels you want.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Piers Platt on July 31, 2014, 04:18:08 pm
Piers, the model you suggest is simply reaching out to a translator of your preference and hammering out a contract as "work-for-hire" with him/her. That way you can distribute your book to all channels you want.

Yeah, exactly!  But how do you find a translator??  And then once translated, how do you publish to the local distributors in different regions (assuming they have big enough market share to make that effort worthwhile)?  Those are basically the two biggest benefits Babelcube provides, and I have no clue how to tackle either...
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: TheGapBetweenMerlons on July 31, 2014, 04:49:42 pm
Yeah, exactly!  But how do you find a translator??

My first stop would be oDesk, although any freelancing site would probably be worth a look as long as it has a good user base. As for distribution and marketing of the translated versions, though, I can't help there. I have no experience doing it, in fact I recently set up one book on Babelcube to try out their service instead of doing each piece myself. (No offers from translators yet, though.)
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: sarahdalton on August 01, 2014, 06:35:42 am
Has anyone had this error message when trying to publish their book?

"We are sorry, an error occurred while converting the Word file, please reload this page to retry"

I can't seem to get past the second stage in publishing the book.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: sarahdalton on August 01, 2014, 06:59:00 am
I had something similar with one of my translations. I emailed them and it got fixed pretty quickly.

Awesome. I emailed them ten minutes ago so hopefully they'll get back to me.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: esands on September 10, 2014, 01:07:53 am

Sad to report that BABELCUBE is NOT what it has advertised itself to be. On the website it states that China is one of the countries that they have distribution in...that is NOT TRUE. I spoke with representatives from Babelcube several times (well actually one guy named Mark) and when I asked him pointed and direct questions about distribution in China he either could not answer my questions or told me an out right lie. I asked him if they provided their authors with ISBN numbers from Beijing which is basically one of the only ways to get distribution in China because content is so policed there and he nor anyone else on the staff could answer my question or tell me where the ISBN numbers came from. I asked them who were the retailers or distributors they worked with in China, they told me Media Corp. I contacted Media Corp and they told me blatantly in writing that they DID NOT do distribution in China and had no plans of doing so. I contacted 'Mark' at Babelcube again with my concerns and questions. I asked him if he could please just be honest with me because I found a translator to translate my book into simple Chinese (in China their written language is different than their spoken language) and the cost was pretty pricey and I didn't want to move forward if they did not truly have distribution in China. Crickets. No response. After a bunch of non-answers and a lie he went with the old radio silence. Babelcube talks a good game...but that is all it is...talk. The reason I was seeking outside translators is because I did not feel comfortable with the author/translator percentage split so Mark told me that I could have the book translated else where and then register on their site as a translator of my own material. So sad...it would have been a really cool idea if there was any truth at all to what they were offering on their website. WRITER BEWARE!!!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: esands on September 10, 2014, 01:32:19 am

I had a very NEGATIVE experience with Babelcube.
They advertise that they do distribution in China but this is NOT true. When I spoke with Mark, the representative or founder of Babelcube and i asked him simple pointed matter of fact questions about distribution in China he could NOT answer simple questions like where do they get the ISBN number from? Was it Beijing, which is basically the only place you can get an approved ISBN number to distribute in China because content is so policed there. When I asked Mark who were the distribution retailers in China he initially did not know and then told me, Media Corp. I contacted Media Corp and they told me blatantly in writing that they DO NOT distribute ebooks in China and had no plans to do so. When I contacted Mark to point out the disparity and ask him quite frankly why the company could not answer a simple question and when they did answer it turned out to be a lie, he went radio silent on me. WRITER BEWARE. Babelcube is not an honest company who does what they claim/advertise to do.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Lady Runa on September 10, 2014, 04:47:02 am
Proz.com (http://www.proz.com/) seems to be good place to find translators. Joanna Penn wrote a blog post about marketing in German (http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/06/12/self-publishing-in-german/), might be a good place to start.

ProZ.com is absolutely the best place to look for a translator. I'd go as far as to say it's the ONLY place to look for a professional translator or post translation-related jobs. At least there is some quality control there.

That's something I've been meaning to say all this time: if someone calls him or herself a translator or just "speaks the language" it doesn't mean they're qualified to do the job. If they accept jobs like those offered at Babel that are paid out of royalties it simply means they're not proper professionals. It doesn't mean they're not good translators, though - they can be excellent, especially because a good literary translator is a talent and not only a skill - but professional literary translators are normally booked solid for months in advance and are paid upfront.

As an example, a few days ago I was contacted by a person (not a Babel worker) offering his translation services (don't even ask where he'd got my email address from!). He said he'd done some translating jobs in the past. He admitted that he didn't speak my language adding that he could always use an online service like Google Translate.  :o So please make sure you don't run into a character like this!
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: RebeccaCantrell on September 24, 2014, 08:27:37 am
I'm interested in hearing about BabelCube experiences too. I have my first book translated (A Trace of Smoke into Portuguese) today. I was very put off when BabelCube sent out that email saying that we could buy good reviews, so I'm taking this slow. I'd hate for the translators to put in a lot of work and then have poor sales so they don't get paid. The translator I worked with was very professional, and I had a native speaker check it who said the translation was solid.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: A Tiger on September 24, 2014, 10:32:51 am
I signed up for BabelCube the as soon as it begun, thinking it would be an amazing opportunity to create some stream income. But I soon realized I could not follow that path. I mean, take time from paying jobs to work on something under the promise that it might sell? With a contract were I lose the rights to my translation after 5 years? That is not enough time for the effort. Nope.
I met an amazing KBoards writer there, and when I decided to give up on the current work, it really cost me. I hate leave people hanging. She was a wonderful person about it, though - and she had plenty of offers later, so that helped. But I left BabelCube because I don't think it's a fair system for the translator, who's the one doing the grunt work. A good translation takes time, a huge effort (even more being a literary translation, full of cultural references, innuendos, etc.), and should be rewarded no matter what, since it's a service, like editing, proofreading, etc. But I digress. What I mean to say is, giving all the trouble with BabelCube lately (royalty reports and so on), I'm happy I gave up.
By the way (shameless plugin), I am an English to Portuguese translator, and I'm a member of ProZ, a professional website dedicated to translators. Over there you can see what former clients have to say about me: http://www.proz.com/wwa/1804171 (http://www.proz.com/wwa/1804171). And if you're interested in a professional translation with no strings attached, drop me a line and we can talk!
Oh, and don't go for a professional translation at oDesk. Yes, you might luck out and find someone good and professional, but that place is mostly filled with newbies that are willing to be payed peanuts for the work. And when you give peanuts... you get monkeys.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: AJW on September 25, 2014, 01:22:43 pm
I doubt any translator who is worth his salt would work through this website. Translating a book means recreating it. It takes many, many hours of meticulous work, as well as an artist's eye to complete such a task to a high standard.
The other thing is the copyrights issue. Translated works belong to the translator as much as the original autor. Here looms the danger of legal disputes. Indie waters may not be safe enough for these types of ships.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Mark E. Cooper on November 01, 2014, 02:23:58 am

For me, the main issues giving me reservations would be lack of quality control over the translation,


This is exactly my position, exactly. The only way my fears could be allayed, is if someone I trusted could say to me: "Mark, I have used miss xyz to translate a sci-fi book like yours into Portuguese/German/Italian, etc and it was perfect. I promise!"

Haha, because I don't know ANY languages at all but my own, and because I don't have, and never will have, an agent (because hell, I'm not big enough and I'm not looking any way) I NEED the reassurance and hand-holding to spend Ģ10,000 ($17,000??) to get just one book professionally translated. Contrast this with my expenditure on audio (similar in that I have spent way more over my entire backlist) and you can see I am wary. I KNOW audio books because I have been a customer since Audible was founded. I know what I want to hear, how the process works, etc etc.

I wasn't scared to go in feet first, but foreign stuff scares me so bad. I know that Portuguese translations could be a huge money earner, but I cannot make myself do it. I'm too timid. I know I am. NOW is the time to do this stuff. I KNOW it in my heart, just as I knew when to do audio had come... sigh
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: BlairErotica on November 01, 2014, 07:42:40 am
People I work with are doing books there and to use one in progress as an example, the translator is being proactive about asking for help understanding idiomatic phrases and discussing how the intention might be expressed in her language. I call that impressive, personally. I'm not sure the experience would be any different with any good translator, and it suggests that there are some good translators working there. Of course it doesn't mean they all are.

Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: PaulLev on November 22, 2014, 04:49:58 pm
I had The Plot to Save Socrates translated into Romanian - by someone I already knew, and had confidence in, indeed, she was the one who suggested we do this through Babelcube.   She was extremely conscientious, questioning me about numerous idioms, etc.  The book was published last week.  Given the limited number Romanian readers - in contrast to Spanish or Portuguese - I don't expect many sales.  But, meanwhile, I have a Spanish translation of The Plot to Save Socrates just beginning via Babelcube, too (I'm awaiting the first 10 pages).

Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: deedawning on November 22, 2014, 06:14:59 pm
SOme of my books are on there and ready to be published in a few weeks' time. I did get native people to proofread and they said everything looked fine. Most of the translators on there have been in the business for years, have websites, LinkedIn profiles, etc. It doesn't look like they're just scammers trying to make a quick buck. Most of the offers I've gotten are from Spanish translators, which is helpful because one of my friends is Spanish so he can check :)
I've got one book in translation into Spanish & Italian. If it works out I have lots of other books to make available. I got Spanish covered too, but not Italian. Any Italianos out there?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Grace Bridges 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Grace Bridges 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/ (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OD935GU/) - I think it has loads of potential as it reminded me a lot of Divergent, especially the opening.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: CJArcher 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?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Michael La Ronn 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Anja1701B 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 (http://bit.ly/1LeM9KR) and
http://bit.ly/1wkzkIe (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?
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Philip Gibson 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: PaulLev 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.
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: jayvelicogna 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 donīt 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
Title: Re: Babelcube Foreign Rights Translation Service?
Post by: Flying Pizza Pie 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.