The success of the Harry Potter series can be felt throughout the world, with copies of the book appearing in Spanish, Korean, and even Stone (Irish) language adaptations. However, just how did JK Rowling achieve this monumental feat? What features make a book appealing for international distribution? Whether it be fictional or non-fictional, publishing one’s literary work to a specific market is a huge task that cannot be managed by a single person. Authors wanting to reach foreign markets must rely on their publishers to precisely adapt their book into the language of the specific target audience. Publishers can support their authors find an appropriate translation company, under suitable costs, to distribute their book for both local and international success.

The role of the publisher in translating a book

Whether or not an author has aspirations of reaching millions of readers throughout the world, it is often the publisher who will determine whether a book is viable for international distribution. Professional publishers and renowned publishing companies have the insights in the industry to accurately gauge the success of an author’s book in a larger market. Once it has been determined that an author’s book is suitable for international release, the publisher will be responsible for connecting the author with a notable translation company. From this point forward, they will work to determine the best next possible steps into translating their book from the source language into the desired target language that is suitable for the audience.

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How the costs of a book translation are calculated

The calculation of any translation costs, be it a document or a book, must always be taken with a grain of salt. Every service provider, whether it is a large company or an independent translator, can offer differing rates and prices when it comes to the translation of texts, documents, and even books. In many instances, translation projects of any nature will be charged either per-word, per-page, as an hourly rate, and sometimes on each project. Typically, costs can range in between 0.05 cents per word to 0.20 cents per word, and some translation service providers are entitled to charge their clients a flat rate for their services. It is important to be aware of these costs, as it only reflects a small fraction of the overall costs associated with translating a book. Several other factors can often influence how a book translation will be calculated.

Additional factors that can influence the overall costs of translating a book

With such varying methods of calculating translation costs, both authors and publishers must negotiate an appropriate price for the adaptation of their book into another language. Additional factors such as the length of the project, its complexity, and the required language output can influence the overall costs of a book translation service. Difficult texts that use industry-specific or technical languages will often require the assistance of an external professional. This expert can use their knowledge of the book’s content to accurately find an equivalent translation in the target language that holds the same meaning as the source text. Furthermore, the more infrequent or rare the language is, the higher the cost of a book translation. The costs of a translation are often directly related to the type of language required for the project.

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