Increasing Your Book Royalties With Translation

translationYou already know that Kindle is available to English speaking nations like America, England and Australia, but did you also know that Kindle is available in other foreign markets? Amazon currently has self-published books in Spanish, French and German, but they also support less popular languages, like Icelandic and Manx. Kindle isn’t the only one; many other online book sellers like iBookStore and Google Play are following suit to capture the foreign market. But, is it worth busting into a foreign market, and how do you even do it in the first place?


Growing Foreign Market

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. Large companies like Google and Amazon don’t do something unless they see it as potentially successful and profitable. Not only that, but they wouldn’t continue doing something unless it was generating some money. So, for the sake of brevity, yes, there is a foreign market. There are many people who buy books online outside of America and Europe. Another good thing is that many international markets have largely accepted the Kindle due to the more affordable reading material.



Opening up your book to a new country breathes new life into your book. Not only are you restarting the product life cycle, but you are also opening yourself up to more customers who are probably starving for good literature. There are many countries that get the short end of the stick when it comes to publishing because there aren’t as many customers in that nation, so your book might become a major success there.


Another thing to consider is that the foreign markets have much fewer digital books through Kindle and Google Play. Some authors have found that books that stopped selling domestically (since everyone has moved to something else) were still selling internationally. At the same time, you’ll need to sink time into marketing your book in that foreign market, which might be difficult.


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Translating the Book

You don’t need to be bilingual to sell in another country, but the translation might be a significant cost. First of all, it largely depends on the length of your book and the language it’s being translated into. For example, translating a book from English to Spanish will be fairly inexpensive since there are many people who speak both languages, and it’s a wide market.


However, if you’re translating the book into a language that has a different set of characters, like English to Japanese or Chinese, then the costs will be significantly higher. ¬†Remember, it also depends on the length of your book. If you’re selling a children’s book that primarily consists of pictures, or a short story, then the costs will be much lower.



Entering a foreign market opens your book up to new customers. Instead of having a potential customer pool in the millions, you’ll be able to reach billions of people. While there may be some costs involved, it can be worth it if your book is doing well. Not only that, but some authors have found their books did much better in foreign markets, or they rivaled their domestic profits. Consider the benefits, find your best book and try it for yourself to see if it works for you.


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1 Comment

  • ENERGETICUS Zahari Gerov

    Reply Reply April 22, 2014

    All this is very good.The problem is,that I haven’t money to give for translate from Bulgarian to English language. This is my real in this moment.

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