Skip to Content

Translations in the news

26 October 2015

Two of our links this week relate to AmazonCrossing's announcement of $10m to be spent on publishing translations, an impressive figure which shows how much translations are entering the mainstream. Whatever your view about Amazon's initiative, there's no doubt that translations in general are garnering much more international attention than they used to.

There are two separate developments which seem to contribute to this. On the one hand translations of literary novels have been increasing and in the main English-speaking markets translated novels are finally beginning to get some of the traction that their literary quality deserves. The snob value of translations should not be underestimated and they have come into vogue in a number of countries, including the US and the UK.

The other strand to this is that there is an increasingly active market in translating genre fiction for keen consumers of the specific genre, often in ebook form, who are less interested in whether it's a translation than whether they have heard of the author and find their work a good read. For this audience the demand for cheap translation if burgeoning.

To show how international the book world is becoming, it's worth a glance at two reports on the latest Nielsen study, which focuses on India. With a population of 1.28 billion, this is the second most populated country in the world, with a literacy rate that is estimated to reach 90% by 2020. Huge markets such as this, linked to the increasing internationalisation of the book world through the internet, mean enormous opportunities for writers all over the world.

Don't forget about rights opportunities for selling your books in translation around the world. Tom Chalmers' two articles on this are worth a look.