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New E-Book Translation Services

As a Kindle publisher and translation specialist with my company LRS Recording for 30 years, the question of how to get an e-book translated into another language has come up a lot.  The reality is, to do this correctly, can be expensive. Even with all of my translation resources it can be expensive for me.  

My suggestion, to anyone interested, would be to first make money on your book in English and then think about other languages.   If your book has staying power then it will be relevant for a long time. 

Typically translation cost can be 15 to 30+ cents per word.  Now before everyone starts hammering me about that cost... you really do get what you pay for.  

I know you can find translation work for less than that but buyer beware, there are a ton of challenges to this process and I can tell you from years of experience it's not an easy task to do and your really need someone who is an experience linguist in both languages.  

I would ask yoursef this question. 

How will I know if my translation is correct in a language I don't understand?  

The "trust factor" here is enormous.  Books, especially novels, are not technical documents and this is usually the corner stone of traditional translation companies.  It's imperative that a colloquial approach is applied to this process. "Localization" is a buzz word used in the translation industry these days but a book, especially a novel, needs more than just localization.

Here is a small example of what I'm talking about. If your book has a lot of humor in it there will be great challenges in translating that content.  Some humor is impossible to translate due to cultural differences or simply the word(s) don't exist in the language.  Trust me on this one... you want your e-book to flow as though it was "written in the target language.  Not "translated into the target language".

Keep in mind that the last thing you need is a review of your book where they are laughing at you and/or your book.

Having said that there is a real need for this service and I just came across a company who is claiming that they have launched a comprehensive e-book translation and desktop publishing service.

Translation Company Globalization Partners International launches e-book ... - Zawya (registration) Wed, 20 Nov 2013 14:11:09 GMT

Translation Company Globalization Partners International launches e-book ...Zawya (registration)Globalization Partners International (GPI), a provider of comprehensive document, software and website translation services announced today that it has la ...

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I went to the site but I did not find a lot of information to fully understand the cost  or general process guidelines regarding translating an e-book.  They do have an e-book tab.

They seem to offer all of the standard InDesign desktop services associated with publishing an e-book but I did not find much information about the cost and process of translating it.  To be fair it may be on their site somewhere or more likely the intricacies of this process are far too variable and complicated to simply put pricing information on a page.

I'm excited though about the fact that someone is addressing this topic because I can tell you from my own experiencing that there are a lot of authors looking for a solution for this.  So the question I have is... will someone be able to provide a solution that has both the colloquial, quality "and" affordability aspects to make this a reality?  Let's hope so.

If you have any questions on this topic you can contact me at:

Mark Ohlsen

MoLo Publishing Website: MoLo, LLC

Media Translation Website: LRS Recording, LLC