If you want to sell translations of your book across the world, read this post. We look at five tips for marketing your book in multiple languages.
Those who deliver translation services for a living may be used to crafting marketing messages that resonate with overseas audiences. Those of us who are new to the topic, however, may struggle initially.
After all, content marketing in foreign languages is a learned skill. It takes practice. That’s why we’ve shared these marketing tips to help you launch your book in multiple languages.
But First, Is Your Book Marketable?
No one will read your book if it is not interesting and well-written. To be able to attract readers and book buyers, your first scene should be epic. It should be catchy enough to make them want to go through the rest of what you’ve written.
Here’s a checklist of the characteristics of a great book, and make sure you tick off most of the items before deciding to market your work:
- It should be something that the readers won’t be able to put down.
- The plot should be engaging and unpredictable.
- The lines should be easy to read and understand.
- The reader shouldn’t be confused who’s speaking.
- A good book has characters that the readers can relate to or imagine.
- Of course, the ending should be satisfying, though it doesn’t have to always end with happily ever after.
- It should have gone through editing again and again and again.
Once you have your final draft and you think your book is ready to go out there, you can then let the whole world know about it via marketing.
5 Tips For Marketing Your Book In Multiple Languages
1. Find the best translation companies to provide a marketing translator.
Have you already written a book? Are you ready to start marketing it overseas? If so then you may already be familiar with the literary translation process. If, for example, you’ve written a novel in English and then used a German translation service to prepare it for publication in Germany, you’re likely to have already worked closely with a literary translator in order to do so.
If you’re still searching for a translator, by the way, be sure to ask for samples of their previous work. Oh, and testimonials. Plus details of how many copies their translations have sold.
It might be tempting to use the same, familiar translator to work on the marketing of your book. After all, they will be familiar with your work, so in a strong position to relay details of it to others. However, literary and marketing translation are two very different skill sets. If it’s overseas marketing that you need to focus on, then you need the support of a marketing translator.
One way to do this is to opt for one of the biggest and best translation companies, of which there are plenty available to meet your needs. Alternatively, you could hire an independent translator through a freelancing site. This could be a little more time-intensive but may end up being easier on the purse strings.
2. Engage a localization service.
Localization services play an important role in marketing your book to foreign audiences. Localization is the process of shaping a translation to ensure that it is culturally appropriate to the target audience. The marketing messages that you use in your home country may not translate perfectly. That’s because they may assume a certain degree of knowledge about your own culture, for example.
Localization gently polishes these messages until they resonate with the target audience.
3. Adapt your social media marketing translation strategy.
Your marketing messages may also need to link to different places, particularly if your marketing strategies focus heavily on social media. To stick with the above example, your German readers will want to read a review of your novel in German, not English. That means your marketing translator needs to ensure that your content marketing strategy factors in links to reviews in the right languages. They will also need to pick out choice snippets of those reviews. As such, a tweet that shares a review can look entirely different in German than it does in English. The impact, however, is the same.
Being flexible with your social media marketing strategy is key. You have to adapt what you say to each audience in order to market your book in multiple languages. You also need to work out which platforms you use and how heavily.
In the UK, for example, Facebook is the most popular social network, followed by Instagram and Twitter. In Germany, Facebook also reigns supreme, followed by Twitter and then Instagram. In Italy, Facebook, My Space, LinkedIn, and Netlog should be the focus of your marketing activity.
Be sure to consider which networks are most popular in your target countries and what percentage of market share they account for. Then you can invest your marketing time and budget most wisely.
4. When it comes to translation, check out the competition.
It’s always a good idea to see what the competition is up to. So, why not use your translator to review how other authors in your genre are marketing their books? After all, understanding the approach of those who are vying for the attention of your readers can’t hurt!
5. Press your translation agency for economies of scale.
If you’ve not yet translated your book, you’re in a strong position to discuss a possible discount with your service provider. After all, you’ll be needing a literary translator, a foreign language editor, and a marketing translator. That adds up to a big chunk of translation work. As such, it’s well worth asking about the best possible price for the work at hand.
It’s worth shopping around. Translation services can vary hugely in their approach and in their pricing. So, be sure to obtain several quotes for your translation work before you commit to using one company.
Content Marketing In Foreign Languages: Final Thought
Marketing professionals spend their entire careers focusing on what makes their target audiences tick. That’s the data they translate into sales for products and services.
When it comes to marketing your own book, it’s up to you how successful you can be. Hopefully these marketing tips have given you the perfect springboard from which to leap to international success.
By Ofer Tirosh. Ofer Tirosh is CEO of translation company Tomedes. He has been providing literary translation services to a global client base for over a decade.
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