Foreign Language Translation – Is It Worth It?

Amazon Best Seller
Amazon Best Seller

Two years ago, my thriller – Stone Cold Justice, ranked on the Amazon Best Seller list. I was ecstatic. It has continued to produce respectable sales albeit not the prolific numbers as a new release.

Earlier this year, I was approached by Amazon Crossing about publishing my novel through their foreign language imprint. I decided to accept the contract and here’s why.

First and foremost, I’m an Indie author and proud of it. I like control over content, marketing, royalties, promotions, etc. Amazon KDP has continued to provide a solid platform on which to promote my work, as well as offering great marketing tips to keep my name out there. I know a lot of writers and publishers who consider Amazon the Antichrist.  I don’t feel that way. I can only speak for my own experience but it works for me. I tried other distributors during my first year as an Indie author. Amazon’s royalties made up 98% of my income, month after month. I”m not a m20140818_135347illion dollar author. If I were, I’d look at other venues. Until my sales warrant such an expansion, Amazon has my loyalty and respect.

So when Amazon Crossing presented their proposal for the German language translation rights to Stone Cold Justice, I was skeptical but willing to listen. I had no plans to translate any of my books – which made the decision easy. I didn’t feel like I was relinquishing anything. Sure, they control German distribution rights and a few other details like cover art but in return, I have access to a market I would never have tapped. Book translations are not cheap!

My Amazon Crossing team was incredibly easy to work with and explained every step in detail. I was allowed creative input about the cover which they accepted. Communication during the production phase was professional with regular updates about the progress. It was an exciting and enjoyable experience, right down to the box of print books that arrived this week.

Now comes the interesting part . . . the release and current sales. I prepared for dismal sales. I mean, how many Germans could possibly want to read about a sexy New Mexico cowboy intent on extracting justice for a crime he believes a young woman committed ten years ago, a crime now connecting her to a drug and human trafficking ring? Well, apparently Germans like sexy cowboys. My sales are humming along nicely and building rapidly each day. I’m able to track daily, weekly and monthly sales through Author Central.

Was giving up a little control over my German translation rights worth it? You bet! A hundred fold. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

My only problem now is how to market in a language I don’t speak? Book signings at Oktoberfest, anyone?

AMAZON – Stone Cold Justice, English

AMAZON – Stone Cold Justice, German

 

 

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About Debra S. Sanders

Debra is an RV nomad, traveling full time with her husband, dog and cat. She writes, hikes, star gazes and explores myth, lore and curiosities from America's back roads. She also indulges in colorful sunsets and good wine.

4 Responses

      1. Great to hear that, dear Deb.. Stay motivated! Congratulations on a little grandson!.. Its a challenging time ahead but I am here to talk if you wish to..

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