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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My German thread did not attract a lot of attention. I suppose the US market, being so huge, is considered the most important one.

BUT I have to say that if you have a bit of money to spare, I would highly recommend translating one or two of your books to a European language.

My German translation is doing very well in Germany, which is nice and it took a bit of work to get it up there. It's now my bestselling book anywhere. But what has opened my eyes to the importance of translations into other languages, is that this book is also selling in Italy and France. Yes, in German.

The European market is just getting off the ground. English is the most dominant language in the world, yes. But it's important to know that Europeans prefer to read in their own language. So, if you decide to take the plunge, you will not be sorry. Because this way, you get to be a big fish in a still relatively small pond.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Germany should be a good market for my book. I have a German in the family and I'm thinking of making use if her...
 

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Your subject should also do well in Germany, duncolm, since Fuerteventura is a popular holiday destination here.

Echoing what Susanne said, I've also had positive experiences with translating some of my stories into German. I currently have five German language short stories available and ever since I started selling German language stories, my Amazon DE sales have been about half of my Amazon.com sales and higher than my UK sales. And all that for a tiny e-book market share that's approx. 2 percent of the total German book market. My German language shorts also sell on XinXii and Kobo and occasionally at Amazon.com.

Of course, since I am a translator, I could translate my stories myself, so my only costs were my time (and I know what that's worth). Since very few people have that advantage, you'll have to hire a translator (you need a pro lit translator who is a native speaker of the target language) and likely a proofreader as well, since you cannot read the translated text to vet it, both of which is pricey. Still, if you have the money, there are worse ways to spend it.
 

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Many of my traditionally published books were translated to German, print only. Hmm. I would have to get them scanned, then hired someone who spoke German to edit the books for errors. I'm also guessing that scanning recognizes English and not German...  So I dunno. Would be nice since I have the German books made available in digital format.  I do know the German print versions did very well in Germany. Actually supported me for a few years.
 

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You also have to consult with the translator who translated your books way back when, Anne, because according to German law they retain the copyright for the translation. You'd also have to check whether the books are still under contract in Germany and/or whether the German publisher has the e-book rights.
 

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CoraBuhlert said:
You also have to consult with the translator who translated your books way back when, Anne, because according to German law they retain the copyright for the translation. You'd also have to check whether the books are still under contract in Germany and/or whether the German publisher has the e-book rights.
Ah, did not know that about German translation! I've remained in contact with the translator, so that's good. I actually thought he might be willing to proof/edit the scanned copies. But I did wonder about the German contract and ebook rights. Would have to dig out those contracts.

update: I wonder if the translator still has the files... I will ask him about that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Anne Frasier said:
Ah, did not know that about German translation! I've remained in contact with the translator, so that's good. I actually thought he might be willing to proof/edit the scanned copies. But I did wonder about the German contract and ebook rights. Would have to dig out those contracts.

update: I wonder if the translator still has the files... I will ask him about that!
My translator has no rights to my translated book whatsoever. We put a special clause about that in the contract.
 

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Susanne, how did you go about getting your books formatted, etc?  I've been formatting my own books, but this would take someone who speaks German to be able to format it.  But I'm approaching from the angle of doing it all myself. It almost sounds like you are working with foreign publishers?? 
 

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Susanne OLeary said:
My translator has no rights to my translated book whatsoever. We put a special clause about that in the contract.
Just FYI, if your translator doesn't live in the US, that clause may not be effective. This is your friendly neighborhood reminder that most of the member-states of the EU have moral rights, some of which cannot be waived by contract.
 

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And just a general note--I have two shorter works translated in Germany, and am having my first full-length title translated right about...now. It should be up in 2013.

In November of 2012, I made more money on Amazon.de than on Amazon.com. So, yes, I am very happy with the way that German translations of my work have performed.
 

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Courtney Milan said:
Just FYI, if your translator doesn't live in the US, that clause may not be effective. This is your friendly neighborhood reminder that most of the member-states of the EU have moral rights, some of which cannot be waived by contract.
What Coutney said. Moral rights are a particular subset of copyright law (aren't really recognized in the US) and they can't be waived by contract.

Susanne, I've been reading your updates with interest. I've been toying with the idea of getting a Spanish translation of my books. I'd thought about German, but the stories are set in Arizona, so Spanish just seems it would make more sense both from the aspect of Spanish readers in the US and overseas.
 

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i'm confused about the translator rights. i do know that the person who translated my German books is a freelancer. I could still use his translation even if he retained rights, right? If I gave him credit and I'm guessing I might have to pay for using it???  I've contacted him to see what he knows about it. He's a lovely person, and I'm hoping he can give me some insight.
 

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Courtney Milan said:
And just a general note--I have two shorter works translated in Germany, and am having my first full-length title translated right about...now. It should be up in 2013.

In November of 2012, I made more money on Amazon.de than on Amazon.com. So, yes, I am very happy with the way that German translations of my work have performed.
I totally get that. As I said earlier, my German print sales completely supported me for a few years. Blew my mind.
 

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Anne Frasier said:
i'm confused about the translator rights. i do know that the person who translated my German books is a freelancer. I could still use his translation even if he retained rights, right? If I gave him credit and I'm guessing I might have to pay for using it??? I've contacted him to see what he knows about it. He's a lovely person, and I'm hoping he can give me some insight.
It would depend on the contract he had with the publisher who'd hired him to do the translation, as well as what he decides in granting you the right to use it. You can't simply use it if you were not the original person who'd hired him.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
It would depend on the contract he had with the publisher who'd hired him to do the translation, as well as what he decides in granting you the right to use it. You can't simply use it if you were not the original person who'd hired him.
that makes sense.
 

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Anne Frasier said:
i'm confused about the translator rights. i do know that the person who translated my German books is a freelancer. I could still use his translation even if he retained rights, right? If I gave him credit and I'm guessing I might have to pay for using it??? I've contacted him to see what he knows about it. He's a lovely person, and I'm hoping he can give me some insight.
Okay, this is not legal advice, but...

Think of a translation as a cookie with two halves. One of those halves is your rights; the other is the translator's rights. You need both halves in order to sell the cookie, and right now, you've only established that you have one of those halves.

First, you have to figure out who owns his half of the cookie. Just because your half has reverted to you doesn't mean that his half has reverted to him. So your German publishing house might still have the exclusive right to distribute his half. You'd have to see his contract with the German publishing house to know if this is possible. If the rights have reverted to him, then you'd have to have some kind of negotiation/contract with him to put it up.

You probably would have to pay him for the use, and you'd probably have to pay royalties. (He was probably getting paid royalties by the publishing house that did it, too.)

Whatever you do, you need to have a signed contract from him before you proceed, and you're going to need to see and understand his contract with the German publishing house--which means you need a lawyer who understands literary contracts, German law, and who speaks German.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Anne Frasier said:
Susanne, how did you go about getting your books formatted, etc? I've been formatting my own books, but this would take someone who speaks German to be able to format it. But I'm approaching from the angle of doing it all myself. It almost sounds like you are working with foreign publishers??
I'm not working with a foreign publisher. I format all my books myself. When we started out, I asked the translator to write the translation in the same Word program I use and to do the spacing and indents exactly as I do them myself. The finished product came out perfect and it was easy to do the rest.
 

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Courtney Milan said:
Okay, this is not legal advice, but...

Think of a translation as a cookie with two halves. One of those halves is your rights; the other is the translator's rights. You need both halves in order to sell the cookie, and right now, you've only established that you have one of those halves.

First, you have to figure out who owns his half of the cookie. Just because your half has reverted to you doesn't mean that his half has reverted to him. So your German publishing house might still have the exclusive right to distribute his half. You'd have to see his contract with the German publishing house to know if this is possible. If the rights have reverted to him, then you'd have to have some kind of negotiation/contract with him to put it up.

You probably would have to pay him for the use, and you'd probably have to pay royalties. (He was probably getting paid royalties by the publishing house that did it, too.)

Whatever you do, you need to have a signed contract from him before you proceed, and you're going to need to see and understand his contract with the German publishing house--which means you need a lawyer who understands literary contracts, German law, and who speaks German.
Courtney, thanks so much for making this so clear!! It sounds as if this could be quite a challenge.
 

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Susanne OLeary said:
I'm not working with a foreign publisher. I format all my books myself. When we started out, I asked the translator to write the translation in the same Word program I use and to do the spacing and indents exactly as I do them myself. The finished product came out perfect and it was easy to do the rest.
!! I'm so impressed. I might have to start over with a new translator, which I'm guessing I can do.
 
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