Basic steps of trying to publish an translated English book in China
March 7, 2014 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Suppose, one person thinks it will benefit Chinese people a lot by translating an American book to Chinese, then publish it in China. How to make this happen?

I suppose you have to contact the book publisher of the American book for authorization, you have to find a Chinese publisher. For people without any prior connection or experience, I'd like to hear any suggestions or similar stories of getting this done.
I suppose, any one person can just start translating the book and show it to people he knows, to test if the translation and the content of the book has any potential of being a hit book. Is this day dreaming?
posted by akomom to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The author, in conjunction with his/her publisher, would typically determine if there would be a market for the book, and if so, they would arrange for a translation and then publish it in China.

Sometimes a publisher will have a partner in China and will license the work for publication.

So you can write to the publisher and suggest that they do this, but if they decide no, that's where it ends.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:13 AM on March 7, 2014

the author died. Publisher probably do not see or know the chinese market. But there is a market for it, based on my own judgement, then maybe first see if there's a chinese publisher who see the value of that book?

Thanks Ruthless Bunny
posted by akomom at 11:52 AM on March 7, 2014

Book publishers have subsidiary rights divisions. They are responsible for selling the foreign rights to international publishers, contracting with a translator, etc. If the publisher holds the Chinese language rights to the book, you won't be able to make anything happen unless their subsidiary rights division thinks it would be profitable. And even so, it wouldn't be you making it happen, it would be the publisher.
posted by MsMolly at 11:56 AM on March 7, 2014

Foreign publications in the PRC are tightly controlled through a wing of the propaganda ministry. Even foreign language (non-Chinese) books sold in China must be cleared through the General Administration of Press and Publication, they in turn licence select printing houses to produce permitted books. You will want to contact the Administration and/or a printer for help in getting your book cleared.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:12 PM on March 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

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