Bookshelf | Reports | Community | KDP Select

Home » Amazon KDP Support » Ask the Community » General Questions

Thread: Babelcube & Fiberead?


This question is not answered. Helpful answers available: 2. Correct answers available: 1.

Reply to this Thread Reply to this Thread Search Forum Search Forum Back to Thread List Back to Thread List

Permlink Replies: 11 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Feb 5, 2018 1:06 AM Last Post By: cdalebrittain
probyner

Posts: 52
Registered: 03/31/12
Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 2:35 AM
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I am thinking of using Babelcube and Fiberead to translate my books. These translation services translate your book with no cost to you. The royalties are split between the author, translator(s) and the company. Has anyone used these services? And what were your experiences? Does anyone think it is a bad idea?
Notjohn

Posts: 24,136
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 2:40 AM   in response to: probyner in response to: probyner
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I just got an offer to do a Brasiian/Portuguese translation on Babelcube and will probably take it up, even though I have been warned that Brasilian translations rarely seem to make any money for the original author. I'm guessing that Babelcube is more reliable than the average publisher, which may be optimistic.

Fiberead does only Chinese. I've looked at it but haven't moved on it. There are some discussions on both these companies on the Kboards Writers Forum.

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
hlest

Posts: 1,181
Registered: 04/04/11
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 4:58 AM   in response to: probyner in response to: probyner
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I'm in the process of publishing a Spanish translation via Babelcube. I'm very happy with my translator who has been diligent, asked a lot of intelligent questions and has met all her deadlines. On the other hand my Italian translator seems to be a delightful girl but I've had to extend her deadline for the full book several times.However, a native Italian speaker told me the sample she provided was really excellent so I'm cutting her a lot of slack.

I wouldn't go so far as to recommend Babelcube yet, because I haven't actually published and have no idea what their follow-up is like. However, so far, I'm impressed.

Hils
Ward Rogers

Posts: 1,308
Registered: 12/02/16
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 7:53 AM   in response to: probyner in response to: probyner
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
probyner wrote:
I am thinking of using Babelcube and Fiberead to translate my books. These translation services translate your book with no cost to you. The royalties are split between the author, translator(s) and the company. Has anyone used these services? And what were your experiences? Does anyone think it is a bad idea?

You used "translation" as one of your tags. Click it and you'll see three pages of posts about experiences and observations. Search that same term on the main forum page, you'll get many more. It's something that comes up regularly.

Economically, it's appealing, if only because a good translation paid out of your pocket is usually money you'll never make back. Downsides -- lose control of your book for a number of years, shared royalties, and you can never be sure how good the translation actually is (most common problem for all translations).
W TAYLOR

Posts: 8
Registered: 02/08/17
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 9:55 AM   in response to: probyner in response to: probyner
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I am currently in the process of having my books translated into Spanish on Babelcube and Chinese on Fiberead. The process on Fiberead is long - at least 3 months for the initial translation and another 3 months minimum to pass the Chinese censors. However, in both instances, if you do not have friends/family/colleagues who are fluent in the language that your booking is being translated into, AND have read and understand your English version, it could be a recipe for disaster. The subtle nuances of the English language may be difficult for a non-English speaking/reading/writing person to understand. A literal translation from English into another language will result in a book that does not make sense to the reader.

On the upside, the Chinese market is massive, and the Chinese are hungry for Western culture, including e-books. I have worked closely with the Chinese for over 20 years and when they had learned that I had written a couple of books, they actually encouraged me to translate them into Chinese. I am fortunate in the fact that I have access to proof readers who both have read my English books and understand them. This holds true for both translations I am having done. I intentionally declined an offer to translate one of my books into Portuguese as I do not have access to anyone who can verify the translation.

As for "losing control" of your book, you lose no more control using these two services than you do with the zon. If your book sells, you split the royalties; if it doesn't sell, then you have lost nothing. The e-book market in China is growing daily and is estimated to be larger than the US marketplace. Sure, the per book royalties may be lower, but what you do get is a larger market which should more than make up for the smaller royalties. Let's face it, English isn't the only language spoken/read in the world, so why limit yourself to only one language?

Just my $0.02 worth on the matter.
jtm1048

Posts: 323
Registered: 01/11/09
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 11:46 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
The royalty setup at Babelcube makes it unlikely the average writer is going to make very much out of it, given how many books have to be sold before the percentages start to favor the author. I can't argue with it, though, because it's the translator's version that's being sold and it's only logical they'd get the larger cut initially. You do have to sell a lot of books before you start making very much, though.

The Dutch translation of one of my books should be done soon, so after that I can see how it goes on sales.
Jonathan B

Posts: 4,612
Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 1:16 PM   in response to: probyner in response to: probyner
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I have both with books in German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Afrikaans, and Chinese. I don't make much, but it is kind of fun to have them out there.

I spoke with a Chinese publisher today. He was bemoaning the inability of trad-published authors to sell him their books as their trad contracts prohibit it even if the publisher does not plan on pursuing a Chinese edition. I told him that there are lots and lots of indie publishers who own their own rights. :)
Notjohn

Posts: 24,136
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 1:48 PM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Well, don't weep too much for the poor author with a Big Five contract. I have a book coming out in China later this year. HarperCollins made the sale with a $2000 advance ($1800 to me, $200 to HC). It will be a long time before I get $1800 from Babelcube, I think.

Interesting about the Chinese censorship. I've assumed all along that that was why no KDP books are sold in China, in whatever language, but it was always a guess. Glad to know there's some truth in it.

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
jm14

Posts: 2,651
Registered: 10/06/11
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 6:21 PM   in response to: probyner in response to: probyner
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I've had one nonfiction book translated into Spanish and one novel translated into both Spanish and Italian through Bablecube.

Both my Spanish translations (two different translators) were painstaking and careful - the fiction translator in frequent contact with me over idioms, jargon, and certain general stylistic choices that had to be made - and both produced excellent translations, as vetted by literarily inclined native Spanish speakers I know.

The Italian translation was weak - even I, who speak and read nearly no Italian, was able to find errors in it which I confirmed with the translator and which I had her correct. God knows how many other errors there were that I never saw. And I had no access to a native speaker to read it.

The three editions have made a few bucks, and do make a few more now and then, but certainly nothing to get excited about.

The originals (which were traditionally published at first) sold extremely well, with one of them still in print and still selling (I control non-North American digital and print rights in it) and the other with rights reverted to me.

Worth the effort? Well, there wasn't too much effort on my part. Some, but not overwhelming. For the translators, a lot of effort. I mostly feel bad for them, that they haven't received much payment for their work and probably won't.

On the other hand, two were young, and I believe the translations had other utility for them - mainly in being final requirements for them in earning their academic translation degrees. In at least a few European and South American countries, formal University tracks of study and full degrees in translation are offered.

I think most of the translators on Babelcube are such people - young or early translators establishing credits as well as hoping for some income. Not all, but I imagine a majority.
Jonathan B

Posts: 4,612
Registered: 10/23/12
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 10:58 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Notjohn wrote:
Well, don't weep too much for the poor author with a Big Five contract. I have a book coming out in China later this year. HarperCollins made the sale with a $2000 advance ($1800 to me, $200 to HC). It will be a long time before I get $1800 from Babelcube, I think.

I think you kind of missed my point, which is that there may be an opportunity for indie writers to get a Chinese publishing contract.
Slava Rich

Posts: 1
Registered: 01/04/14
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Feb 4, 2018 6:46 PM   in response to: probyner in response to: probyner
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
is that not against KDP/Anazon rules?
Anybody knows about if Amazon will not get mad about it?
cdalebrittain

Posts: 11,820
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: Babelcube & Fiberead?
Posted: Feb 4, 2018 6:53 PM   in response to: Slava Rich in response to: Slava Rich
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Amazon only worries about exclusivity if you are in Select .

And even if you are in Select, the exclusivity applies only to ebooks in the original language (usually English). Audio editions, print, and translations are always fine.
Legend
Helpful Answer
Correct Answer

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in all forums