FAQs

Which languages does Babelcube support books being translated into?
Over 15 destination languages are available.

Afrikaans
Dutch
English
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hindi
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Norwegian
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish

The languages available are based on our ability to provide sales channels. Are we missing a language you would like? Let us know.

Where will the translated books be available?
We will sell your books through numerous sales channels:

  • All major global retailers: Amazon, Google, Apple, Nook, Kobo, Scribd
  • 300+ regional and country online retailers
  • 1,000+ public libraries (for books in English)

Will my book be available in a printed paper version as well as a digital ebook?
Yes. Through Amazon’s print on demand services, your book will be available in a printed paper version and sold through Amazon. Your book will also be available in a digital ebook format through global retailers as well as local online retailers that cover specific regions and countries.

How much does it cost a rights holder to have their book translated?
It is free! Before you make book sales, there are no costs. Translators and Babelcube are compensated via a share of the royalties from sales of the translated book. What’s the catch? There isn’t one.

Who owns the copyright of the translated version of the book?
The rights holder of the original version of the book, typically the author or publisher, maintains the copyright of the translated book, including the associated material such as the cover.

What rights to the translated book does Babelcube have?
Babelcube owns the distribution rights for the translated book for the first five years. After which, the rights holder can decide to continue using Babelcube’s global distribution network or sell the book via any alternative method they choose. This ensures the translator(s) will be fairly compensated for their efforts.

When posting a book’s profile on Babelcube, what am I committing to?
Nothing! Your book’s profile will be viewed by translators searching for a book they wish to translate. However, it will only be translated upon your approval. There are no costs for posting a book’s profile.

What do you mean by Rights Holder for a book?
As the rights holder, you must hold the rights for the translated work. If you have signed a contract with a publishing house or if you represent an author, make sure that you hold the rights to publish a translated version of the work in the territories you use Babelcube for distribution.

What does Babelcube offer translators?
Babelcube offers benefits to translators with a wide variety of goals.

  • Income through a share in royalties from the sale of the translated book
  • Resume building
  • Chance to choose the content they wish to translate. No more boring technical manuals!
  • New translation experiences, with flexible hours from anywhere in the world

Why do translators have an option to pair up to form a team?
Translators have the option to work as a team with another translator for a number of reasons:

  • Authors sometimes prefer two translators to work on the translation, with the expectation that two sets of eyes will improve the quality of the translation. This will increase the chance that an offer to translate will be accepted by an author
  • Translators will often find it easier and more enjoyable to collaborate with another translator

What are the team roles for translators who have teamed up?
Each translating team will have two roles:

  • Lead Translator: Manage the project with the author, create the first translation, hold the responsibility for meeting project requirements (such as meeting the timeline), and support the author with marketing the book during the period it is distributed by Babelcube
  • Editor and Proofreader: Enhance the quality of the translation by reviewing it carefully and making suggested improvements

Can I offer to translate a book by myself, without a team member?
Yes. There is no obligation to work with another translator. However, some authors may decide that they only want a translating team.

Your book can be priced using different methods.

Standard pricing
Typically, we recommend a book price between $2.99 and $9.99, but we will accept anything from $0.99 to $39.99. The rights holder sets the price.

Permanently Free (Perma-Free)
The rights holder can publish a book as permanently free, unless there is a change in circumstance. The translator will need to provide consent for the book to be free. Typically, this strategy is used if you have books in a series. In this situation, you can use the same translator for the series and offer the first book permanently free; hooked readers will then buy the rest of the series.

Limited Time Reduced Price or Free
A book can be offered for a reduced price or free for a limited time, up to seven (7) days per month, unless there is a change in circumstance. This is managed by the rights holder and doesn’t require approval from the translator. The goal is to stimulate interest in the book and add customer reviews.

How are Rights Holders (Publishers and Authors) and Translators compensated?
All parties are compensated through a share of the royalties from book sales (Net Sales Receipts). These parties include the Rights Holder (publisher or author), translator(s), and Babelcube. Net Sales Receipts means the monetary amount received by Babelcube from sales of each book, less any cash incentives, distribution costs, promotional discounts, sales or use taxes, excise taxes, value-added taxes, duties, and returns.

How and when will I be paid?
Babelcube will pay you via your PayPal account. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can set it up in couple of minutes here and link it to your bank account.

Babelcube will pay you each month when your account is over the $10 threshold. If your account is below the threshold, its balance will be carried over to the next month. The threshold is due to the transaction costs.

Our sales and distribution channels have differing payment terms. The majority pay Babelcube about two months after the sale of a book. When Babelcube receives the funds, it will be included in the next payment calculation we run for you.

Is there withholding tax?
US persons will not have withholding tax deducted once they have provided their tax identify information.

Non-US persons will have withholding tax deducted at a rate of 30% of royalties unless they qualify for a reduction.

Some countries have a tax treaty allowing for a reduced withholding tax. You can see if your country has a lower withholding tax in the Copyrights column in the US Internal Revenue Service tax treaty table. To receive the lower withholding tax, you must provide Babelcube with either a) your Foreign Tax Identification Number or b) your US Tax Identification Number (TIN). Through a questionnaire on Babelcube’s website, you will submit the IRS W8 form online to provide the necessary information.

How do I obtain a US Tax Identification Number (TIN)?
Non-US persons are not required to have a US TIN in order work with Babelcube. However, if your country has a tax treaty allowing reduced withholding tax and you don’t have a Foreign Tax Identification Number, you can apply for a US TIN, which could be an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
You can apply for an ITIN by filing an IRS Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
General ITIN Information
Form W-7 Instructions

Employer Identification Number (EIN)
You can apply for an EIN by filing an IRS Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number.
How to Apply for an EIN
Form SS-4 Instructions

Will I receive a record of my royalty income and withholding taxes for US tax purposes?
If you provided Babelcube with a US Tax Identification Number (TIN), you will receive a US IRS Form showing your royalty revenue and withholding taxes for the prior calendar year. US persons will receive a 1099-MISC and non-US persons will receive a 1042-S.

Can I see the Translation and Distribution Agreement?
You can see an example of the Translation and Distribution Agreement here.

How long is the agreement with Babelcube?
Once a translation begins, the rights holder grants Babelcube the exclusive license to distribute the translated book throughout the territories agreed upon for five years, followed by the option for annual renewals.

When can a rights holder (e.g. publisher or author) check the translation?
Rights holders have two approval points, where they can review the translation: a) after the first 10 pages have been submitted as a sample (cancel if unsatisfied) and b) at the end of the book's draft translation.