On today’s show I interview Australian-based Argentinian author Cristian Perfumo, a man uniquely placed to inform those of us who are English-speaking about how to sell books in the Spanish-speaking world. He has written books in Spanish and had them translated into English, and has also now started an e-mail list service for Spanish speakers called Ebrolis.
What are the main differences between marketing a book in the Spanish-speaking world as opposed to the English-speaking world?
Cristian stated that in most cases the basics are the same, though eBook market is behind the English-speaking world – so if you can master them in the Spanish world you will be ahead.
Are there any differences between Spain and South America for marketing?
Something to remember is that Spanish buyers buy on Amazon.es and South America buys on Amazon.com (except Mexico who also have their own store). One issue is that Spanish readers don’t always like books written in South American Spanish, while the other way around does not really apply. This is especially true for translated books.
Do you find many sales to Spanish-speakers in the US?
Cristian does not really know – he sees downloads on Wattpad, but due to the fact South America uses Amazon.com – just like the US. In Wattpad 10% of his readers come from the US.
Why did you decide to set up the Ebrolis e-mail service? Which countries is it designed to cover, Spain or the whole Spanish-Speaking world?
Ebrolis covers the whole Spanish-Speaking world, though the subscribers can specify which stores they use. 55%-60% of the subscribers are from Spain. He started the service to help self-published authors to reach the Spanish markets.
How is Ebrolis doing at the moment?
They have about 15000 subscribers, after about 5 months – so it is going well.
Which genres are most popular?
Thriller, Romance, Action-Adventure are most popular. Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Young Adult and Historical Fiction are the next most popular, though some way behind the top three genres.
If someone is going to get a book translated into Spanish or from Spanish into English what advice would you give them?
Cristian states that the translation done by a translator should not be considered as the final product . It will need editing just like the first draft of a book – because the translation process itself makes errors. So factor in the cost of a Spanish translation for editing and proof-reading. He also recommends finding a translator who is a native speaker of the target language. They should also be a proper translator, as translation is a skill in itself. Cristian recommends that you try and find an editor who is not bilingual – as this will mean they are less likely to make mistakes from having a knowledge of the other language. Getting the translator to talk to the editors (if you don’t speak the target language) is a good idea.
Do you think that it is worthwhile an English-speaking author translating their book into Spanish at the moment or should they wait?
Cristian recommends that people translate into Spanish, if you have several books already written and want to do a translation, as translation is time-consuming in terms of coordination.
How can people find out about you and Ebrolis?
You can e-mail him at email@example.com and on Twitter he is @cristianperfumo.
If you liked this interview, you might like my interview with Debbie Young about Selling Books Through Bookshops or my interview with Janet Murray about Publicity.
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