One of the things that I believe I need to do to sell enough copies of the book project is to expand the audience. One way is through networking and promoting our community.. To promote and to get as many people as possible to know about and spread the word about the book.
The other way I think is valuable – and not often discussed by media that reports on independent authors – is to expand into international non-english speaking markets. There is always a story about an established author who’s going independent or an indi-author who’s made it big selling direct, but not too many stories on indi-authors struggling with translation issues.
This led me to think.. what are the top languages spoken. A quick google search brings me to the top three languages spoken in the world:
Mandarin (955 million speakers)
Spanish (405 million speakers)
English (360 million speakers)
What this means is that i’ve got work to do. The biggest market by far is the Mandarin speaking market of China. The first thought that occurred to me is it’s no wonder marketers the world over are flipping over China. I get access to almost three times as many customers. The challenge there is the infrastructure (or lack thereof) relating to protecting Intellectual Property. Since a book isn’t really a service i’m not quite sure how I can make that work out.
A Mandarin copy of the book will require several things. I’ll need to learn about the dialects and elements relating to the language. I’ll need to find a good translating service and editor to help me modify the product to something that will be interesting to the Chinese market segment that actually buys books. I’ll need to do a ton of work relating understanding channels and doing business in China. Finally i’ll have to make the decision as to if there is a benefit considering the costs.
I think translations into spanish will be a bit easier. I’ve already found one translation house that specializes in Spanish translations. From my cursary review it looks like the spanish language markets use many of the same companies we use to purchase digital goods.
So right now it looks like I write in english, translate and sell in spanish, and then figure out Chinese.
Once I’ve done this I decide if the extra effort was worth it, and if so, rinse and repeat with book 2, 3, 4, etc..