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Enjoy

Translating books

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Hello everyone, I want to start a business for translating game deveopment books, so I have some questions. There are at least 20 000 game developers (professionals and hobbyists) who speak my language. Most people from my country is not very familiar with English, so it would be great for them to have game development books in their own language. I dont have any publishing experience yet, but I have some translating experience and some money to start the business. Ok, here are my questions: 1. What books do I have to start translating from? For beginners or professionals? General or specialized books? 2. How do I calculate a wise amount of copies to print? 3. In what manner do I have to speak with publisher to get permission for translating and publishing? 4. What other difficulties will I meet? I appreciate you answering my question, Thanks.

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It's an interesting choice of business. Unfortunately, I've got some bad news for you: gamedev books are not big sellers even in English. (I've contributed articles to a few and let's just say that the cheques have been so small that they weren't even worth the time to take them down to the bank for cashing. I live in the UK, so exchange rates aren't helping either.)

Two of the books I contributed to are considered "best-sellers". Apparently, this status can be achieved by selling less than a thousand copies over a whole year.

The problem is simple: all the information is already available online. Why pay for a book when you can get more up-to-date info from any of a number of websites? Games developers are nothing if not IT literate, so this is hardly a big surprise. It's also why there are so few gamedev trade magazines compared to other industries.

Quantity seems to be the best solution if you really want to go ahead with this. Focus on building up a 'critical mass' of books in your portfolio of titles. Sure, one book might only shift a few hundred copies, but if you have, say, ten books in your catalogue, it all adds up.

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stimarco, thanks for answering.

Every time when I visit Charles River Media's website, I see something new. They have a big amount of titles. Sure that is expansive to make them up.
I am not sure that I can find in the internet information like "Game Programming Gems", "OpenGL Shading Language". I mean by the level of usefulness. Even on GameDev.Net not that much interesting algorithms and metods. I have "Game Programming Gems 4", and there is a big amount of useful information.

There are already some game development books translated into my language. "OpenGL Shading Language" - 2000 copies printed, "Secrets of the Game Business" - 3000 copies printed, "Beginning Game Audio Programming" - 3000 copies printed, "Real-Time 3D Terrain Engines Using C++ and DirectX 9" - 2000 copies printed.

Can you give me some practical advice in doing this kind of business?
What do you think about selling eBooks?

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Quote:
Original post by Enjoy
There are already some game development books translated into my language. "OpenGL Shading Language" - 2000 copies printed, "Secrets of the Game Business" - 3000 copies printed, "Beginning Game Audio Programming" - 3000 copies printed, "Real-Time 3D Terrain Engines Using C++ and DirectX 9" - 2000 copies printed.

Those are some quite popular books, and yet the numbers doesn't seem that big. Have you considered that if the Russian translation wasn't available a great deal of the buyers would have bought the English version instead.

Do you actually know what translation means, and do you have the necessary skills? Knowledge of English and Russian isn't enough, see: On Translation Theory for a nice little overview. I honestly doubt Charles River Media will let you, an unknown translator, translate their texts. You need to prove that your output is high-quality, something lots of translation studios already have. Also you need to remember you will most likely not get royalties, instead you'll get paid per-line translated. Also do you think you can compete with professional translators in terms of both efficiency and speed? If not then your goal is a little unrealistic IMO. Also there are sites dedicated to translation, for example this.

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En wrote:
>I want to start a business for translating game deveopment books
>I dont have any publishing experience yet, but I have some translating experience and some money to start the business.
>Can you give me some practical advice in doing this kind of business?
>What do you think about selling eBooks?

Hi En, that's spectacular that you have the money to start a business. Judging by this and the other thread you started, you're considering a lot of different ways to go - and that's smart that you are considering options beyond the usual "build my dream game, then beat my head against a wall trying to get a publisher."
You shouldn't go into publishing game development books unless you are already a publisher. You could go into partnership with an already-established publisher, with your business being to translate books for the publisher. The publisher could help with your questions about which books to translate, and how many to print, etc.
You could also start a localization business (to localize games, movies, TV shows, etc.)
Interested in seeing what other ideas you come up with next... (^_^)
Tom

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Quote:
Original post by CTar
Do you actually know what translation means, and do you have the necessary skills? Knowledge of English and Russian isn't enough, see: On Translation Theory for a nice little overview.

Sure, I have been ordered to do some translation of other books on photography, time management, self development, programming and I did it all by myself. I have translated some audio CDs as well.
I have experience in translation in the field of game development: articles from GameDev.Net, and other web-sites. I have good understanding of the game development process. I have invested my own money into buying professional translating software.

Quote:
Original post by CTar
I honestly doubt Charles River Media will let you, an unknown translator, translate their texts. You need to prove that your output is high-quality, something lots of translation studios already have. Also you need to remember you will most likely not get royalties, instead you'll get paid per-line translated.

My purpose is not only Charles River Media. There is a big amount of other great books published by different companies.
I realize that it wouldn't be easy to prove them my competence, and I understand, that I should have some projects already done.
What I want from you is your advice how I can deserve their confidence.

Quote:
Original post by CTar
Also do you think you can compete with professional translators in terms of both efficiency and speed?

I hope so.

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Quote:
Original post by tsloper
Hi En, that's spectacular that you have the money to start a business. Judging by this and the other thread you started, you're considering a lot of different ways to go - and that's smart that you are considering options beyond the usual "build my dream game, then beat my head against a wall trying to get a publisher."
You shouldn't go into publishing game development books unless you are already a publisher. You could go into partnership with an already-established publisher, with your business being to translate books for the publisher. The publisher could help with your questions about which books to translate, and how many to print, etc.
You could also start a localization business (to localize games, movies, TV shows, etc.)
Interested in seeing what other ideas you come up with next... (^_^)
Tom


Thanks for appreciating me.

I will look for some other ways for starting publishing business.

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Quote:
Original post by stimarco
The problem is simple: all the information is already available online. Why pay for a book when you can get more up-to-date info from any of a number of websites? Games developers are nothing if not IT literate, so this is hardly a big surprise. It's also why there are so few gamedev trade magazines compared to other industries.



Sure, all of the information is available on the internet. The same can be said about nearly any topic; so what is the role of books? It's simple: a book can bring to life a single coherent theme in a way that a collections of random tutorials and articles cannot. Would you want to learn math, physics, chemistry, etc just piecemeal through wikipedia and tutorials? You probably could, but not nearly as efficiently and with the same depth as you could through a *good* book (note: most books aren't all that good).

I have looked at a few books on game development (none recently, but a few years I bought some books from premier press on amazon). I don't have any of these books anymore; they simply weren't worth keeping. There was simply nothing exciting about them... there's not much point in buying a book if it's only as good as a bunch of crappy tutorials and articles.

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When I looked at this thread, I thought about scanlations.

Scanlations are an important part of the Manga community, many otakujin on this site would be aware of.

To avoid Cease and Desists, the Scanlations are marked with "once this is licensed please stop distribution, etc"

I think that if you were to do something similar with your translations, and distribute them online, you'd have a better chance.

Though, translations are hard to do, as pop culture references, and various other things will mess up the target audience. So, I would simply suggest just simply write a new book if you want to see something appear offline. Mostly because most of your code examples will need to be completely revised anyways.

However, for online content, translate away.

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