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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.
 

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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   
 
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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.  :eek: :p
 

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Definitely keep me posted, Ed. It's a service I'm very interested in seeing come to fruition.

~ Ian
 

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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/
 

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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 :)
 

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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! :)
 

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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...
 

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EldaVeiga said:
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.
 

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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
 

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jenminkman said:
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?
 

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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*
 

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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! :)
 

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mandyharbin said:
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 :) )
 
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