Why should I get my work translated into Italian?
Short answer: To sell more books.
Long answer: the Italian ebook market is experiencing a steady growth. Sales and market shares for ebooks are getting higher and higher (more info and numbers here and here). With traditional publishers failing to follow the trend (by publishing overpriced ebooks at a slow rate), it is time for indie authors to catch the tide and ride it.
The typical Italian ebook customer is a strong reader – capture his heart and you will have a customer for life. But strong readers are also extremely picky: they have a keen eye and can recognize all the subtle errors that a bad translator can make. Which leads us to the next few questions…
What are your credentials?
I am a native speaker of Italian, the language I translate into, and I translated more than 40 novels over five years, including books by bestelling authors Glynnis Campbell, Tanya Anne Crosby and Suzan Tisdale. I’m also an occasional Smartling.com blogger.
Despite all this experience, I can appreciate why a self-published author approaching a new market with limited resources might have concerns. This is why I offer a free sample translation for you: send me a 1,000 word sample of your work and I will translate it for free. This way, you can make sure I’m the right person for you..
Do you have a proofer? Do I have to negotiate separately with them?
Yes and no. I have a person I trust with proofreading my translations, but I pay them out of my fee, so you will not pay any extra or lose time negotiating a separate deal.
I want to do business with you! How does it work?
That’s great! I will draft a contract and send it to you for review. Once we agree on the conditions, we both sign the final accord and I will start working on your book. Once I have finished, the manuscript will go to the proofreader. After they have fine-tuned it, I will review the translation again, make any necessary adjustments, give the adjusted translation to my trusted beta-reader (AKA my wife), and when she’s done with it, finally send it to you.
Would you be willing to work for a share of the royalties?
No. I made that mistake once, and will never do it again. Royalty-sharing agreements put all the risk on the translator’s shoulders, because if the books doesn’t sell, you lose nothing, while I wasted weeks or months working for no pay. If you want to have your novels translated, invest money on them.
How long does it take you to translate a book?
I’m a relatively fast translator, and can translate around 5,000 words on an average day. My proofreader is also fast, but meticulous, so the revision process might take as much as the actual translation. Then there’s the beta reading. And then there are the extra revisions I make to be sure that the translation is actually worth your money. Summing all that up, a 50,000 word book might require about five to six weeks to translate and return. I’m generally faster than that, mind you, but you should be prepared to wait a little.
I’m a struggling writer! Can you translate my novel for free? I’ll advertise your website a lot!
Try to convince your plumber to work purely for visibility. Please record the whole incident. I will have fun watching it.
Seriously, I don’t work for free. Don’t even ask. We can negotiate a bit, and I can offer you a good deal if you are willing to sign for multiple books (as Amber Kell did), but that’s a completely different animal.
How can I pay you?
PayPal. It’s quick, it’s free and it guarantees both parties. Other means of payment would be expensive and difficult to use, especially since you and I probably live on opposite sides of the globe.
What does the website’s motto means?
“Follow the stars”. It’s an invitiation to explore new worlds and new venues, translation being one of them. I used a fragment of the Creation of Adam by Michelangelo Buonarroti as the header image for the same reason: for me, it represents a contact between two worlds that gives birth to something new. Translation is ultimately an act of creation, for the translated book is not the original, but a completely new beast which happens to share the same fur.