Frequently Asked Questions About Our Foreign Language Rights Program
1. How is Foreign Language Rights Program different from International Distribution?
The main difference is in the language and the expanded opportunity that comes with translating your book! Foreign Language Rights Program offers authors the opportunity to secure a traditional book publishing contract with an international publisher. The publisher will translate, design, and republish the foreign edition of your book in their native tongue.
International distribution is a simple way for English-speaking readers in other countries to read your book: it’s the export of your original book to markets like Canada, the UK, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand. For example, a reader in London can order a copy of your current book on Amazon, and the book will be printed and shipped to them in the UK.
2. What is the difference between a traditional publishing contract and a self-publishing contract?
A self-publishing contract gives the author the final say on everything from the cover design to the content of the book itself. Authors also purchase services like marketing, distribution, and our publishing services a la carte. With traditional publishing, the publisher makes the out-of-pocket investment for publishing, marketing, and distributing the book, and receives a portion of the profits from sales in exchange for their upfront investment.
3. How does Xulon Press market my book to international publishers?
After enrolling your book in Foreign Language Rights Program, Xulon Press utilizes our team of literary agents who will market your book to more than 2,700 international publishers based on genres of interest, past buying habits, your book’s domestic sales, etc.
4. How long does it take for a book to be discovered by international publishers?
There isn’t a set timeline. Our agents are constantly pitching books to overseas publishers with aligned interests in the book’s genre. Additionally, these publishers are constantly searching our database of titles whenever they want. Unless a book contains content that becomes dated quickly (e.g. “How to Market on MySpace”), a book can be a viable candidate for many years after its original publication. Our agents have had books as old as 11 years still get picked up by these international publishers.
5. How long does the entire process take?
The typical timeline is usually 3-6 months from when a publisher shows initial interest in your book to the signed contract, then another 12-18 months to publish the foreign edition.
6. Why does it take an international publisher 12 to 18 months to republish my book?
This is the standard publishing window in the U.S. for a traditional book publisher. While international publishers usually publish faster, they normally like to have that time cushion to ensure your book is launched at the perfect time for their market.
7. Can the publisher make editorial changes to my book?
Yes, minor ones, as long as the meaning of the book is not substantially changed. The publisher has chosen your title over many others on this topic precisely because they believe in it and in you. They are also experts in their particular market and they need some flexibility to ensure their translated edition is edited to fit their cultural norms and marketplace.
8. How does an author get paid? What does a typical advance look like? What does a typical royalty look like?
The first payment is the advance, which is typically received within 90 days of signing a contract. The advance is an upfront sum that is paid to the author against future royalties. For example, if a French publisher paid an author a $1,000 advance, that amount would go against the first $1,000 in royalties the author earns. Once the author has “earned out” the advance (earned more than the $1,000 he/she has already received), they start to earn money on each copy sold based on the royalty percentage amount stated in the contract. Royalties will be paid annually to authors.
Typically, mid to large size markets like France, Germany, Japan, and China have advances ranging from $1,500-$10,000. Small markets like Indonesia, Estonia, Vietnam, and Turkey range from $500-$1,000.Royalty percentages range from 6% to as much as 10% of a book’s retail price, depending on the language. For example, Greek, Farsi, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese royalties are typically 6-7%, while, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese royalties are usually between 8%-10%.
9. What happens if I have entered into a contract with an international publisher, but I decide I no longer want to participate in the Foreign Language Rights Program?
Once you’ve notified us, your book will be removed from our platform. Any contracts signed prior to cancellation will remain active until those contracts end. These international publishers that are publishing your book are investing time and resources into translation, editing, design, printing, and distribution, so the signed contracts will need to be seen through to completion.