Today, on the podcast: another lesson learned in my self-publishing career or how I may have slightly panicked on Wednesday when it comes to the French translation (should be fine now but this was stressful) of my next novel and how I’m learning from my mistakes, getting back into a writing routine, putting #TheLeftoverBride on Netgalley, not doing NaNoWriMo… and more.
Today, I am talking about my new process for getting #TheLeftoverBride to the French-speaking market, explaining why I don’t translate my own books. After all, literary translation (and all types of translation) are an art. I dig a bit deeper into why I am “wide” on the French-speaking market. More than 15% of pre-orders are currently on Apple & Kobo. And I’m about to set up my pre-order on Google Play.
I’m also setting up my calendar and my upcoming projects and trying to find one thing to do each day to help my royalties. 🙂
Today on the podcast and the blog, I’m explaining the steps I’m taking to bring #TheLeftoverBride to French-speaking readers and what I’ve learned about my own data points over the years when it comes to the French-speaking market. I’m also talking about my struggles with formatting my next bilingual book and making progress in my revision. Plus, #TheLeftoverBride almost has a cover!
I’ve started selling translations of my novels in French in March 2016 with the French version of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER: UN ETE PAS COMME LES AUTRES.
Since then, I have sold more than 9000 copies of my French books (not counting the ones that I have sold through the French publisher who published print versions of 3 of my books and the pages read when my books were in Kindle Select / Kindle Unlimited). I did put some of my books in Kindle Unlimited for a limited period of time (some are in KU right now but I will pull them out from KU so that all my books are wide when the new one releases). When it comes to pages read in KU for the French editions of my books, I’ve had about 45000 pages read.
I have also been contacted by Amazon several times to put my books in some of their promos in France (even when my books were available widely) because they were doing so well.
I price my French e-books between EUR2.99 and EUR5.99. I did spend money on translating and advertising but again, France for me and more broadly the French-speaking market, is a lucrative market. And also a market where I think I have figured out how to do Facebook ads and a market where I have received many messages from readers. And it’s also very close to my heart, since, you know, I happen to be French. 🙂
As I’ve explained in the past episode, there was one time where I lost readers because I had to cancel a pre-order as my translator ghosted me. Again, I hope she’s okay. I wasn’t able to find any information about her despite the fact we had been working together on three other books. It was at the time that Amazon didn’t let you expand your pre-order and thus, I lost a lot of pre-orders. Doing follow-up at that time was also a tad complicated since I had just started treatment. I had a system in place and I’ll go into more details but I wasn’t able to follow up as much as I normally do during that time.
I’m about to put up the French version of #TheLeftoverBride for pre-order on all e-retailers and I’m going to share with you the steps I’ve taken so far and the job posting I posted on Upwork.
Quick backgroundand market information
A large percentage of the readers who read the French editions of my books are indeed in France, but I can tell you that on Google Play only I have sold more than 100 books to countries such as Swizterland and Belgium and Canada and Hong Kong. In addition, my Apple sales of those books also come from many different countries.
Interestingly, I’ve read that:
In France, it is the publishers who traditionally represent their authors’ work and sell rights, rather than agents. However, the growing number of literary agents in the country is changing this dynamic.
I find that quite interesting because there parts in my contract where the publisher would be representing certain sales that in my mind would be done via an agent. However, since I don’t have an agent, I figured this was actually not a bad opportunity at the time (and it wasn’t) especially since I was able to negotiate several points about retaining rights for translations and certain audio-visual parts. But there are indeed a growing number of literary agents in the country.
And when you’re trying to sell a translation, you could also try to get a foreign rights agent. Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn had an article about that back a few years ago:
And if you’re interested in the entire “going international” with your self-published books, she also had an author who has successfully been self-publishing her books and translations in different markets:
This is my experience going into the French-speaking market. Kind of a case study if you will and the steps I’m taking for the translation.
When it comes to the book market, some of my French readers like to buy their paperback copies in stores and so, without a publisher that is feasible but the last time I checked required some different avenues. This is one thing I need to research more.
When it comes to e-books, Amazon.fr is of course an important player, but not only.
Just looking at my French-speaking e-books (not the bilingual ones):
Looking at revenues, including Kindle Select / Kindle Unlimited:
KDP Select / Kindle Unlimited did bring me revenue in France…but I had almost a third of my revenue from other channels than Amazon.
And again I really need to check how to use maybe Bookelis to get my books wider in libraries and other places where physical books are sold to truly be wide with my books in France.
There are no “all-stars bonuses” in Kindle Unlimited for France, which makes me think that the market may not be all that hot but I may be wrong. Again
First step: Getting my summary / title translated to put it up for pre-order
My translator Sophie Troff who’s amazing and talented and just great is currently very busy with other projects and exciting projects. And I’m so so happy for her. That does mean I had to find someone to translate my book, including the summary and title. I have been very lucky to work with amazing translators over the years: Edith Girval who translated A Summer Like No Other and Always Second Best, Anne-Sophie Bigot who translated Love in B Minor and Fear Me, Fear Me Not, Béranger Viot-Pineau who translated See Me, See Me Not, Sophie Troff who translated One Two Three and Trust Me, Trust Me Not and I actually translated One Dream Only but it had to be proofread by my brother-in-law Paskal Treut and my translator Edith Girval. 🙂
I am planning to release the French edition of #TheLeftoverBride end of November, right on time for the holiday season.
I have put up a project on Upwork and received more than a dozen of proposals. The job was solely, at this stage, for the translation of the summary and title. I could have use Deepl and proofread it myself and then hired someone to proofread my proofread but I kind of wanted someone to actually do the translation for that summary.
Here’s the job posting I wrote:
I need a native French speaker (fluent or bilingual in English) to:
– Translate a book description and title (about 450 words) from English to French (European). The title is #TheLeftoverBride which I honestly have no idea how to translate or if to change it for the French version. – The book is a rom-com – You need to be familiar with American movie references (for example: how would you translate Hallmark channel for it to make sense in French).
Deadline: 72 hours after acceptance of the contract.
I need someone who has experience translating, ideally experience translating novels. who is an avid reader and ideally loves watching rom-coms.
The full novel will be available for translation beginning of August and if you’re available at that time and interested, you will get invited to the job.
Thank you! Merci beaucoup!
As part of the job screening process, I have three different questions:
1. Quel est le dernier livre que vous avez lu?
2. Quelle est votre expérience en traduction littéraire? Si vous n’avez pas d’expérience, expliquez-moi vos qualifications pour ce travail particulier.
3. What is the latest rom-com you have watched?
As you may have noticed, I do ask questions in both languages. This one was an open project, meaning all Upwork users could apply. For the actual novel, if the freelancer I have hired isn’t available or doesn’t work for any other reasons, I will still be sending invites to some of the translators who have replied to this particular and weren’t selected.
I look at their credentials in addition to their answers.
Struggling with formatting. I’m formatting a bilingual book: the second part of the Always Second Best / Eine zweite Chance bilngual edition and for some reason, some of the word document gets all wonky for no particular reason. The font of the body changes and the heading doesn’t take so I need to change some of the formatting.
Oh and I need to find a new system to save my files. This will be one of my projects. I know I’m not the only one who has documents with the names “Final, Final 2, Final updated 3….”
Smiling reasons? Quite a few. I am making good progress in my revision. I sent an excerpt to both my critique partners that got their seal of approval. 🙂
And I have a cover. Well, I worked on the second cover and if you’re signed up to receive my readers’ newsletter, you should have gotten an email in your inbox on Friday, June 11th to help me choose the cover!
I will be sharing the cover on the blog very soon. So, stay tuned.
For the second cover, I had a tailored illustration of Ryan and Sorcha designed by the team at Qamber Emporium. And I did do a video of putting it together, but it started taking too long because I didn’t have the right background. So, I do have a video of re-creating the cover. 😉 And a much longer video trying to get the right background. I also found the font I’m going to use for this series of standalones…and it’s so pretty. I have to contact the designer.
And I guess here would be a good reminder that #TheLeftoverBride (my holiday rom-com that I’m describing as a sexier Hallmark movie) is available for pre-order for only $0.99 at all e-retailers (Amazon, iTunes, Kobo) and you can add it on Goodreads.
A Self-Published Author’s Diary is on YouTube and Instagram!
Have you ever wondered about getting your self-published books translated in French? Here’s a case study on my books available in French on “A Self-Published Author’s Diary” podcast with @enowodazkij https://anchor.fm/elodie-nowodazkij #WritingCommunity
On Wednesday, the French translation of my novel A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER comes out again in paperback. But this time, it is published by Dreamland (City Editions). They publish Jessica Sorensen too (I’m still pinching myself over this fact :))
That makes me a so-called hybrid author: self-published and traditionally published. I don’t regret my decision to self-publish one bit. However, I don’t deny that knowing two of my books are going to be available in bookstores is giving me a happy fluttery feeling.
Look –> it’s my book on the site of the Bibliothèque nationale de France 🙂
A bit less than a year ago, I received an email from City Editions asking me if I’d like to have the French versions of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER and ALWAYS SECOND BEST in bookstores in France.
I didn’t believe it was real at first. I thought it might be a service someone was offering but nope, they were a serious publishing house and they wanted my books. I signed a contract. I got an advance. Everything was real.
You have no idea what it did to me when I read in the contract a clause about possibly being picked up by France Loisirs in the future. France Loisirs is my youth. It’s a subscription service with so many amazing books and just a lot of memories of going to their stores too sometimes to choose the book I would get. Someone else might pick up my book one day after perusing the store or their catalog for hours. And that makes me happy.
But even if that doesn’t happen, my book, my words…are going to be available in bookstores. Fnac, Cultura, Decitre, local bookstores…even Leclerc. Who knows maybe I’ll also see it at Cora, the store I used to work at as cashier during part of my studies?
And I’m grateful.
To City Editions for reaching out to me. To the translator of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER & ALWAYS SECOND BEST, Edith Girval who is simply oh so talented. To everyone who’s read the books already which probably gave me the exposure needed to be seen. To my family and friends for their unwavering support. To my husband, who is every bit as excited about this as I am and who’s so proud of me.
Tomorrow is the day I become a hybrid author. And trust me, when we go to France in a few weeks, I’ll be walking into a bookstore and might shed a tear holding my book in my hands.
Tomorrow is also the day I’m going to reveal the cover of my next book, SEE ME, SEE ME NOT (with a bunch of fun things and giveaways planned). Stay tuned…
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