Whether you already write mainly in English, or you have a book in your native language that you want to have translated, it’s a great idea to have English versions of your book available. Selling your book in English gives you access to a very wide market - even including countries where English is not the main language. According to Babbel, around 20% of the global population are English speakers, although not all of those are native speakers. English is an 'official language' in many countries, including the Philippines and a large proportion of the Caribbean islands.
Given the number of people that speak the language, it makes sense to have English versions of your books available for people to read. Here are a few tips to ensure that selling your book in English is a success.
1. Optimize your author information
There are lots of different marketplaces where you can sell your book in English, but by far the most popular is Amazon. Their Author Central feature is available in both America and the UK. If you are selling your books in English, make sure you have an English-language author profile and book details available on both of these Author Central platforms.
2. Ensure it's edited by a native speaker
Readers will often leave poor reviews for books in English with obvious spelling and grammar mistakes, but if your book was translated from a different language into English then you also need to edit for idioms and sayings that don't translate well. A good translator will pick up on these and remove them or replace them with something that works.
Ideally, you would choose a translator familiar with American English if you want global appeal. Other English-speaking countries are used to American English and will generally be comfortable reading in American English and understand most idioms and sayings used.
3. Rewrite the blub in English and redesign the cover
You can see our general book blurb tips here, but your blurb needs to be rewritten to appeal to native English speakers. Take into account any cultural differences as well as just language when rewriting the blurb to make sure that you're maximizing your sales.
Your cover might need more work than just putting an English title and blurb on it. You'll also want to look at popular books on Amazon.com in your genre and their covers. If your cover wouldn't look right on a bookshelf next to those then you'll want to redesign your cover so that it would.
4. Beware of costs and legal issues
Having a book translated can be very costly, and the expense can prevent a lot of authors from selling their books in English. If you want to have your book translated into English, then offers a simple way of having your book translated with no upfront costs.
You should also be cautious that in some European countries the copyright of the translated work belongs to the actual translator, unless a clear legal agreement stipulates otherwise. Using means you keep the copyright, and all rights transfer back to you after 5 years so there are no unwanted legal headaches.
Selling your book in English makes sense
If you're still undecided about having your book translated, consider these points:
- English speakers make up 20% of the global population
- Books in English are read across many countries, even where English is not the native language. For example, India is the second-largest English language book market.
- You can use Babelcube to get your books translated with no upfront cost
Using the tips provided in this article, you're sure to see great sales of your English language books, so why not get started today on having your books translated?
Written by Lisa Flynn. Lisa is a freelance writer, content marketer, and social media manager who developed a love of reading and writing from an early age. She has self-published over eleven racy novels under several top-secret pen names and also ghostwrites in the romance and erotica genres. She has partnered with Babelcube to publish novels in additional languages.