At the beginning, things always seem to be easy. You have a dream, you get cracking and then? You wake up and face reality. Sometimes, it’s a merciless reality. Nothing is what it seems to be and the hillock you wanted to conquer suddenly is a mountain.
When I asked a translator to make English version of my book “The Huntress – The Beginnings” back in May 2013, I had no idea what I was in for. At first, things looked quite good. It seemed as if I had followed every advice others had given me, but nobody could prepare me for the translator to quit because of health problems, after she had already worked on the translation for four months. Four months in which I was put off again and again, but kept calm. By then, it was certain: the translator definitely wasn’t able to continue her work.
What now? I was devastated! If you have a dream and do everything you can and then something happens you absolutely could not foresee, your world just caves in. But I believed and still believe in this project. I so wanted to do it! So, giving up was no option.
I found another translator. Everything was fine. She kept to all deadlines and I was quite happy with her work. But then a beta reader got the translated manuscript and told me: “The translation isn’t good. Not at all!”
Wow! Another setback. It was as if this project was cursed. I thought we were done, and now this? By the way, it was February/ March 2014 at this point.
But “The Huntress” meant and still means the world to me and so does the dream. Some people couldn’t understand me and shook their heads. I just couldn’t and didn’t want to give up. So, the book was translated again. And again people weren’t satisfied with the translation. I’m thankful for their help and advice they gave me, because they helped make the manuscript better. I learnt a lot during that time. But at some point I understood, that there will always be someone who criticizes. It’s not possible to please all the people all of the time.
That was when I realized I had to let go. I was satisfied. Others weren’t. But that’s what it’s like, when you’re an author and share your work with the world.
Like a small child learning how to walk, “The Huntress” stumbled at first and fell, but stood up again. She stumbled once more, fell again and stood up again. And that’s what it is about: to stand up, to carry on, to not give up.
On December 14th, 2014, my birthday, after more than nineteen months, I set the English version of “The Huntress – The Beginnings” free.
Would I do it again? Sure. But please, not right now. J I don’t know what is going to happen to “The Huntress”, but this much is certain: at least I tried.
Some information and advice, if you would like to translate your book:
- Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, is necessary and advisable. Look for groups which deal with that subject. Connect with other authors who have already given it a try.
- Choosing a translator:
- Find out what kind of books they have already translated. If you write fantasy stories, you should not choose someone who specializes in translating non-fiction books.
- Compare fees. Some translators calculate their fee per words, others per lines and other take their cue from the manuscript’s level of difficulty.
- Found a translator? First, let him send you a sample of his work.
- Do you not speak the language you want your book to be translated into? Look for native speakers who can help you with rating the translator’s work.
- Very important! Make a written contract! Including the translator’s fee, deadlines and copyright matters! Ask yourself: “Do I want to share, or hand in authorship?”
- Very important! Speak to your translator!! Tell them, what your idea of the translation is, and what you think of potentially necessary changes, as it is not possible to translate a book word-for-word.
- You need to be willing to trust that the translator will take good care of your story.
- Sometimes it’s better to not to talk to others about your plans and dream too much. They could discourage you! It’s better to keep them in the dark until the work is done.
- Look for beta readers. They see things neither you nor the translator see. But don’t ask too many people to beta read for you, as each person has a different opinion. What do they say? “Too many cooks spoil the broth!”
- Do take your beta readers advice, but also take the liberty to say no to suggestions. After all, it’s YOUR story.
- You need to be patient. Very patient! And you need determination and staying power.
- It’s difficult to get in touch with bloggers from overseas, if you’d like to ask them to read and review your book. I tried and still try it. So far, I was given only a handful of chances: Jason Peterman, Rhoda D’Ettore, Nada Adel Sobhi, and Fantasy-Sci-Fi-Network’s authors Kasper Beaumont and Leisl Kaberry. I’m so thankful for these wonderful people, who were and are so open. I embrace and cherish every single chance to work with them. You should do that, too.
About the Author
Nadja Losbohm was born on December 14th, 1982 and lives in Berlin, Germany. Her first fantasy novel “Alaspis – The Search For Eternity” (German edition available only) was published in 2012. Since then she has published the popular series of fantasy romance books “The Huntress”. In German there are parts 1-5 available (ebook and paperback). “The Huntress – The Beginnings” is the first part of the series and the first English book Nadja Losbohm has published. Nadja loves writing, reading, music, movies, photography and travelling. Her favorite authors are Karen Marie Moning, J. R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Robin LaFevers, Simon Beckett and Cody MacFadyen.
Nadja is the author of “The Huntress“.
To know more about Nadja, you can check out the following:
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