Do you wish to translate and self-publish a book written in a foreign language by someone else? If you recently bought a rare or old book from Booksophile and loved it so much that you wish to share the information or story with your readers, friends, peers, or just about anyone interested in the subject, you shouldn’t miss reading this blog.
Here, we have talked about translating and publishing old books and how to avoid copyright infringement.
Can I Translate and Publish an Old Book
The answer is a big yes… with a small no.
You can self-publish a book after translating it, but you might get into trouble if you do not have permission for it.
Whether you are an avid reader, a translator, or a self-published writer, translating old and antiquarian books is a great way to reach new readers globally and increase sales. Translating a book is a unique quality that can help you achieve extraordinary things in life, more than reading and self-publishing books.
Things That Need to Be Double-Checked Before You Translate a Book
Before you start translating a book, find out whether the book is still in copyright or public domain. If the book is in the public domain, it can be freely translated and reproduced without special grants or fees.
Most books published before 1925 are public domain. And that’s why they are called antiquarian books.
You can republish these books in as many languages and as many times as you want. But for this, you will need to find a book publishing company willing to publish a translated book. This could be a difficult task because most traditional book publishers show reluctance to publish a translation of a rare, unknown book.
Once you have zeroed down on the publisher, start translating the book. Old book translation is not easy, especially if written in a foreign language. You have to be accurate, ensure to use the right vocabulary, describe the book adequately, and stay true to the original text.
If book translation is not your strong point but authoring a book is, you may need to consult an expert translator to ensure your book is of the highest quality. You can find a freelancer on Upwork or LinkedIn.
Once everything is ready, submit your manuscript to the book publishing agent for review or self-publish on Writat with free distribution.
Not so fast.
What if the book is still under copyright?
If you wish to legally translate and publish a still copyrighted book, you must obtain permission from the author or copyright holder.
When Do You Need Permission to Translate a Book
If you are an expert translator and have been contacted by a book publishing company, they will take care of obtaining the required permissions and handling the copyrights issue. Any book, text, article, or journal written before the copyright laws originated or whose copyright laws have expired is categorized as public domain.
Although old book translation is not subject to copyright infringement, it might be the case if you decide to publish it.
As long as you don’t publish the book and share it with a larger audience, you don’t need permission.
For instance, if you buy a rare Hindi poetry book from Booksophile and want to do something creative. So, you plan to translate it into English. You are good!
But now you log-in to your Writat Account and decide to self-publish the same and distribute it globally, including on Booksophile, to earn a few dollars. Here’s where you breach the copyright law.
Since you are not the original creator of the book, you will have to take consent from the original poet before self-publishing it.
How to Seek Permission to Translate a Book
There is no rocket science here. Want to translate and publish an old book and sell it on Booksophile? Contact the creator or copyright holder and find out what you need to do to gain access.
To motivate them, you can offer to share a certain percentage of your profits from the book sale. Financial gain is a good motivation for most original creators and copyright holders.
Regardless, obtain legally binding written permission from the author.
Remember that many book publishers require you to transfer the copyright of the translated work to them before translating the book. By doing so, you will lose your book’s creative control and copyright.
Therefore, we suggest self-publishing a book to ensure you retain all rights and earn more.
What are Foreign Rights in Book Publishing
International rights dictate where you can publish and distribute your book and in which languages an old book can be translated and sold.
The two primary rights you will have to seek here are:
Translation Rights: Associated with the languages you can publish your book in.
Territorial Rights: Associated with the markets where you can sell your book.
International rights ensure your book reaches a broader audience around the world.
However, instead of selling your international rights to one publisher, you can break up your rights into different territories to earn more.
For instance, if you are working with a Hindi publishing house in the USA and Canada, you can sell them only the North American rights to distribute your translated book throughout the states.
This gives you the opportunity to approach publishers in the UK, Australia, India, and other countries and the ability to negotiate translation and territorial rights for these international markets.
You can also sell your translation rights to foreign publishers through your domestic book publishing company.
What About Translation Rights When You Self-Publish a Book?
A self-published author can self-publish a book in translation in the overseas market.
However, as with traditional book publishing, you will want to choose a self-publishing platform that has co-partnered with international distribution channels or hire a foreign rights agent to guide and represent you.
And before self-publishing, research the book genre’s popularity in the international markets.
However, Writat simplifies the process by providing a platform to self-publish any book in any language and distribute it across 40K international channels without reservations or hidden agendas.
We advise you to talk to Writat’s publishing consultant for more details.
Can You Republish Old, Rare Books that Are Out of Print?
Yes, you can republish and sell old books that are out of print in either of the two scenarios: You must be the author of the book and have copyrights, or the book is in the public domain. The process is simple for non-fiction work, like textbooks and scholarly materials, but a little bit complicated for works of fiction, like novels and poems.
Self-Publish a Book on Writat and Sell it On Booksophile.
Writat has just made it possible for authors to get published. With 15+ cost-free benefits and fantastic deals, it is impossible to refuse the publishing platform.
If you translate and publish an old and rare book written in a foreign language, you can sell it on Booksophile. Booksophile is one of the world’s leading online websites for old and rare book collections.
For all publishing and book translation assistant, connect with Writat.