E-Book Translation: Expanding Literary Horizons

Since the advent of the e-book, bibliophiles have argued for the merits of print books over digital books. Some e-book fans are convinced that e-books will someday replace print books; in fact; Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has repeatedly espoused this sentiment. Bezos has been quoted as saying, “Our vision is that you should be able to read any book in any language that’s ever been printed, whether it’s in print or out of print, and you should be able to buy and get that book downloaded to your Kindle in less than 60 seconds.” However, some book lovers shun e-books because there is just something special about the feel of a book in your hands.

The fierce e-book vs. print book debate rages on; regardless, there’s no denying that e-books are a huge part of today’s literary and scholarly worlds. In the US alone, about one-third of adults had read an e-book and one-half owned an e-reader device in 2014.

We already know that print works have long been translated from their source language into other languages to increase readership – so let’s learn a little bit more about e-book translation!

The Business of E-Books

E-book sales are a booming business. Revenue from downloads reached over five billion dollars in 2014, and that number is expected to surpass eight billion by 2018. Even if print books hold out, or surpass e-book sales, that’s not a number to sneeze at. E-books can and do generate revenue for authors, publishers, and distributors.

So how do e-books get made?

E-books are simply electronic versions of print books. Many publishing houses will make e-book versions of works available for download along with physical copies. Many others have decided to self-publish their own e-books since their increase in popularity. This means that the work starts as an e-book and lives online; it may or may not ever be put into print. In fact, some notable popular authors have self-published e-books, including H.M. Ward (Damaged) and E.L. James(50 Shades of Grey).

Why You Should Invest in E-Book Translation

E-book translation can be done on a large or small-scale basis. In other words, an e-book doesn’t have to be a smash #1 best-seller in order for its translation to be a wise investment. A self-published e-book can also be translated into one or more languages at the behest of the author. Translation can be done by the publishing house/distributor; or, if the e-book is self-published, the author can hire a freelance translator.

Why do this? As always, translating a work from its source language to other languages is a great way to open up the market and increase readership. The more languages an e-book is available in, the greater the number of potential readers and, therefore, buyers.  People are only going to download an e-book if it’s available in a language they can read! In turn, wider exposure across the globe could help an e-book author get a sturdier fan base and, in turn, a stronger foothold in the literary business.

Lionbridge, the #1 translation company in the world, would love to help you translate your e-book into several target languages. To learn more about our services, visit us here.