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Home / Book Publishing / How to Get Your Book Translated

How to Get Your Book Translated

Getting your book translated so that it can be sold on international Kindle platforms is a great way to make extra money and reach a wider audience. Unless you happen to be bilingual, you're likely to come across a hurdle–translating your book into the language of your chosen international market.

Thankfully, help is at hand. In this article, you'll be given a complete guide to finding the right translator for your book (and your budget!). Don't risk a sloppy or bad translation. It will tarnish your reputation and lead to missing out on potentially lucrative foreign markets.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Advanced tactics to figure out the best market for your translated book
  • About translation services
  • How to get more out of a translation freelancer
  • How to monitor and improve once you launch your translated book

Table of contents

  • Fastest International Amazon Markets You Need to Think About
  • Why Guess When You Can Tell Where People Are Buying Your Book?
  • Translation Options: Services vs. Freelancers
  • Today Translations
  • Auerbach International
  • Translators Base 
  • First Edition Translations
  • Mincor Book Translation
  • Translation Company
  • Espresso Translations
  • Get More out of a Translation Service With These Tips
  • Reedsy 
  • How to Hire An Upwork Translator

Freelance Translators: Final Thoughts & Tips

  • Proof Your Translation

Publish & Monitor

  • Selling Your International Book Rights
  • Boldly Go Where Few Writers Have Gone Before

Also, if you haven't read it, I'd recommend checking out my article on the Amazon international markets and how you can optimize your book for more sales.  That way, that article and this one will be the 1-2 punch combo you need for an international knockout.

Choosing a Language for Your Book

We all know that the US market is the largest, but as we've discussed , its also the most competitive and not the fastest-growing Amazon market anymore. So, to help you figure out which markets might be worth your time and money, let's look at which of the international markets are growing but have less competition. I'll also show you one easy tactic that helped me to find the perfect market for my book.

Surprise, but India is actually the fastest-growing Amazon market with Amazon ready to pump another 3 billion dollars into it .  With over 1 billion in population, India's book consumption is increasing.  This is something that myself and Amar Vyas of My Kitaab Podcast discussed .  His podcast is solely devoted to teaching about self-publishing in India–so he's no stranger to the concept.

Another rising market with little to no competition in Italy.  As you saw in our last article , authors have been enjoying the relatively low competition and building legitimate foundations to grow their author brand .

But just because a market is growing, doesn't mean that your already-published books would thrive in it and thus give good ROI (Return On Investment) based on the translation costs.

So, how can you figure out if there is any interest in that country for your book?

Here are two options:

  • Check your KDP backend and look to see how many international sales you've already had with your English book. Granted, it might be a few Americans that live in that country buying your book, but at least you have an understanding that there are people there who are interested.
  • Another method is using Book Linker , a free international universal link.  Basically, you put your book's Amazon URL into it, and it creates a link that will work on ALL Amazon markets for free.  So, if someone from Spain clicks on your book's link and even if they don't buy it, you'll know that your book drew interest in that market.  This is super effective if you were to do book promotions or place it on Facebook groups.

Now that you know what markets are hot, and how to figure out where interest in your book already lies, let's look at how to get your book translated.

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Broadly speaking, you have two options when it comes to translating your book for your chosen foreign market–either find an individual translator to work on your project, or use a service/company instead.

There are pros and cons to each option, so allow me to now show you some of the translation companies which are out there, and also offer some tips and guidance on finding an individual translator.

1. Book Translation Services

Ulatus book translation services are an end-to-end solution – from translation to book production. You write a book in a language and they will give you a print-ready and digital version in any language you desire. They work with all genres including academic textbooks.

Babelcube has no upfront costs but will take a flat 15% of royalties.  Babelcube currently supports the following languages: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

This is a London-based translation company with some pretty impressive testimonials–Microsoft and London Metropolitan University attest to their services.

Today Translations do not make their prices public, but instead, offer a free quote for your project. Expect to pay a premium price for a premium service.

Auerbach has an impressive track record with 30 years of experience translating 2 billion words and across 120 languages.

Like Today Translations, Auerbach does not make their prices public, but also offers a free quote for your project. Expect to pay a premium price for a premium service.

Auerbach quotes each project individually and, unlike others, they use Master's-level, professional, native-speaking translators with expertise in your subject and a proven process that guarantees accuracy, ideal for translations of nonfiction business books, biographies, and technical works. (Auerbach does not yet offer literary translations.)

Translators Base  

Translators Base is something of a middle-ground between using a service and finding an individual. It's a service that helps you to connect with individual translators.

Basically, Translators Base allows you to post a project description, and then you will receive quotes from individual translators and translation agencies.

This is a UK-based service with a host of credentials–for example, First Edition has worked with the United Nations and is a member of a Chartered Institute.

First Edition specializes in translating nonfiction books. They list their areas of expertise as the following: cookery books, wines and spirits, guidebooks, children’s books , art catalogs, architecture and urban design, travel books, gardening, crafts, eBooks, phrasebooks and dictionaries, educational material, and periodicals.

First Edition doesn't have a price list, but they do offer a free quote service. Their site has a live chat function, so you can get answers to any queries you may have.

Interestingly, First Edition also offers a service by which certain books are ‘Americanized’. Maybe you are thinking about translating a book from a non-English language for the American market? If so, First Edition could help you to do so in a natural-sounding way.

Mincor boasts of having not only native translators to work on your project, but also translators who are familiar with the conventions for books within each market. They use the example that dialogue is marked with “ “ in English but _ _ in Spanish. I didn’t know that–apparently Mincor does!

Mincor offers a custom quote with regards to pricing for your project, but dig a little deeper and you will find the following price list:

  • Machine Translation (software only)–$0.03 per word
  • Machine Translation with Human Editing–$0.08 per word
  • Human Translation and Editing–$0.11 – $0.15 per word

Translation Company from Harcz & Partner Ltd has been in business since 1997 and boasts the ability to translate from English into over 256 languages.

The rates charged differ on the language pair (from x to y) and the relative difficulty of the project. As a guideline, Translation Company states the following rates:

  • Icelandic: EUR 0.14 per English source/target word.
  • Eastern European languages: EUR 0.07 – 0.09 per English source word.
  • Exotic languages: from EUR 0.09 per English source word.
  • German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese: EUR 0.09 – 0.14 per English source word.
  • German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese into American or British English: from EUR 0.12 per source word.

Translation Company caveats this price list by stating that the complexity and subject matter of the price can alter the quote they offer. They also state that they will offer more favorable rates for longer projects, such as books.

Espresso Translations has an impressive client list. They've worked with the likes of Amazon, Ernst & Young, Universal, and many more. According to their site, all translators are highly qualified with over 5 years of experience in the translation industry.

Espresso doesn't have a visible price list, but they do have a specific statement that translation services should be affordable. They also have a simple online form to fill out in order to receive a custom quote.

As you can see from the above, there is a wide range of companies willing to translate your book for you. It can be a little overwhelming to choose the right option, so please keep in mind the following when you are undergoing your process of consideration:

  • What will be the total price? Is this guaranteed or could there end up being extra charges?
  • How much input will you have in the process? Do you get to reject a translation or provide feedback?
  • Go over the fine print and make sure you will have the full rights to your translation
  • Does the service you use have a track record of translating similar works to your own?
  • Will you have a direct point of contact, either the translator or a representative of the translator?
  • What’s the time-frame for translation? Is this guaranteed?
  • What’s the reputation of the service? Can you find people saying good things about it outside of the service’s own website?
  • How does the translation cost fit into your financial projections for the book?
  • How many copies of the foreign book will you have to sell to make a profit on the translation? Is this a realistic target as indicated by your foreign market research?

As you can see, translating a book is not something you should rush into.

Ultimately, when considering whether to hire a translation service with an upfront cost you need to logically evaluate your sales projections and weigh up which option makes financial sense.

2. Freelance Translators

The other main option when it comes to translating your book is to find and hire an individual, freelance translator, rather than hiring the services of a translation company.

Let’s take a long look at some of your options for finding individual freelance translators, the best practice for using each option, and finally, some general guidance and advice when choosing the option of a freelance translator.

Reedsy is a marketplace of talented freelancers in a variety of niches. From writing and editing to translation, marketing, and design, Reedsy has attracted professionals who are serious about providing quality products and services to their clients. Even better, Reedsy has an awesome selection of book translators who are in the top 5% of the industry. Most of the translators on Reedsy will charge between $0.08 and $0.12 per word for a clean translation that's ready for you to publish .

If you are at the point in your writing career where you are thinking of having your book translated, you probably are no stranger to Fiverr. As expected from working with individual service providers, you will typically come across people offering translation to and from a single language, with the more common languages being widely represented. There are a lot of options for Spanish or French, for example.

The going rate for Fiverr isn't always $5. Many of these services are pretty expensive, and you'll have to rely on the previous experiences and reviews of others who sought translations when selecting a provider. A word of warning: some of the translation gigs on Fiverr aren't well-reviewed. It’s absolutely vital to find someone with a consistent track record of good reviews.

Upwork is a freelancer marketplace that collects freelancers who are hungry to please and to provide great work. Over 3000 translation projects are hiring on Upwork as I write. That’s in addition to any translation projects currently in progress on the site. This level of activity is a clear indication that Upwork is at least worthy of your consideration.Bear in mind, however, that Upwork's freelancers aren't handpicked by the Upwork management team. Anyone can sign up for Upwork and apply to a job you post. It will be up to you to discern whether the freelancer is qualified enough to work on your book translation.

I've also started gathering individual translators and agencies into one big list to help with your search. Check them and their sites out below. Keep in mind that I haven't used these services myself.

It’s a virtual certainty that your Upwork job will get a variety of bids. This isn’t the challenge. Finding the right person for the right price is where you need to be cautious. These tips will help you to go about the Upwork hiring process in the right way. Consider the following when evaluating any Upwork bidder:

  • Do they have a track record of delivering similar types of work? There are rare situations where you may want to gamble on someone without a review history, but generally speaking, you want to see multiple successful translation projects on the freelancer’s profile which are comparable to your own project.
  • If the freelancer has done some books, find them in that international market.  If you see lots of books with low reviews in the international market and better reviews in the US market for the same book, then you're probably looking at a book that had translation issues.  You can also have Google translate the reviews and see what they say.
  • What kind of feedback does the freelancer have on Upwork? You want a freelancer with a good reputation for being timely and communicative.
  • Is the freelancer willing to respond to your questions ahead of hiring them? Upwork makes it easy to speak with freelancers via video chat. This is highly recommended in order to feel sure about the identity of the person you are hiring.
  • Can the freelancer produce samples of their prior work? Someone who is unwilling or unable to show you their previous projects should ring alarm bells.

Before finalizing a hire, be sure to have a written series of project milestones and deadlines that your freelancer has agreed to. You may want to consider breaking up the project into smaller milestones and paying out a portion of the total fee upon each milestone completion. This can motivate a freelancer to prioritize your work.

After hiring, you will be expected to fund at least the first project milestone. This money will be held in an escrow service–it will not be released to the freelancer until you give the go-ahead. This allows you to use Upwork with peace of mind that you won’t be scammed.

Once your freelancer has been hired and the project is active, communication is key. It’s important to find the right balance of checking in with a freelancer and giving them space to work. You should try and respond promptly to any questions you receive.

Overall, finding a freelance translator is likely to require a lot more work on your behalf, in terms of research and communication. However, this can be offset by the cost-saving you may achieve in comparison to a translation company.

Finding a good freelance translator can also be advantageous in the long run. If you develop a good, direct working relationship with a translator, it sets you up for a long-term partnership. This can be more rewarding than dealing with a company or agency, who may not be able to guarantee you the same translator for each project.


At this point in the process, you have a translated version of one of your books. Epic stuff.

However, the work isn’t quite done.

Even when writing in English, you are aware of the importance of proofing your work for common linguistic errors that can be overlooked at the time of writing. This is just as important, if not more so when dealing with a foreign language version of your work. Many of the translation service companies listed above include proofing and editing in the cost of their service. If so, great. One less thing to worry about.

If you’ve chosen the route of a freelance translator, you should consider hiring a separate person, or service, to proof your work. Translation and editing are different skill sets and it can be helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes to proof your work, as the actual translator is more likely to not see their own errors. You need to factor in the cost of proofing when considering the financial aspect of choosing a company or individual. It is still possible to translate and proof a book more cheaply using freelancers than individuals, but you need to factor both costs into your total cost evaluation.

Once you have a proofed copy of your translated book, go ahead and publish your work.

The usual tips apply here for creating a book description , promoting your work and other aspects of a book launch which is outside the scope of this article. Be aware that there may be regional differences in book covers and a promotion service that works for one national market may not have the same results internationally.

After your book has launched, keep a close eye on its performance. Is it selling as well as you hoped? Are you on track to recoup the costs of your translation and proofing? Is there the potential to build a fan base within an international market?

In many cases, you may want to think about just selling the rights to your book in a certain Amazon market, instead of getting it translated yourself and then having to market in that country.

This option happens more than you think and is very beneficial to the author, as well as an international book publishing company .  They get to sell a book they know is good (because it's done well in other countries), and you get paid for book sales you probably wouldn't have gotten on your own.

If you're interested in know more about this, you can check out my podcast episode on this subject here, or listen below:

By this point, you know the variety of translation options available to you, the right way to go about finding a translator, and what you need to do after your book is translated.

Consider this another weapon in your already extensive book marketing arsenal.

Go forth and explore strange new markets, seek out new readers and new fans, and boldly go where few writers have gone before…

Dave Chesson

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

  • Freelance Translators: Final Thoughts & Tips
  • Publish & Monitor

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53 thoughts on “ How to Get Your Book Translated ”

I have worked with Babelcube for a while now and I am not convinced that this platform is the way forward. One book I translated took nearly 1 1/2 years for them to publish and now, nearly two years in, this book is still not on Amazon! They do not reply or very slowly reply to messages, they are paying late, and as a translator you are getting less and less.

I do understand that as an indie writer you don’t have buckets of money to splash out, but I think to agree on an amount which both will find reasonable and then maybe pay in instalments and/or milestones would be a much better idea.

What annoys me the most is the attitude of some. Like, it is “just” a translation. We translators are spending hours and hours to find the right words to express and transfer your ideas into a different language. This can only be done perfectly if you are a native speaker of the target language AND eloquent in this as well, have the ability to pick up the feelings, meanings etc. Not everybody has a talent to translate literature.

So, yes, it might be a couple of thousand quid for your book to be translated into a different language. But if you go with a professional translator, you should at least be safe from some google translate/babelfish nonsense which I had been asked to proofread and edit more than once.

Book Linker does not allow an URL longer than 22 characters. Links to books on Amazon are WAY longer than that!

Hi, I’m a Spanish translator myself and I I just one to add that one of the most important things to take into consideration is that translating a book is not like translating any other type of document. A book is a finished product, so to speak, so there are needs that do not normally add to regular translations. For a book to be published you need to go through other steps not related directly to the translation job, but are affected by it. So for starters, when translating a book your first step is to find a translator who is native, knows about book publishing or is an author himself. then once the translation is done, even if it is indeed a good translation, you still need to proofread it, edit it and adapt the style to your particular niche/ genre. All that will add up to the costs. Non fiction will be easier to tackle but fiction, will be much more difficult. So always consider that no matter how good your translator, you need to be prepared for the rest of steps if you want to create a high quality work.I would recommend hiring a freelancers over any other medium anytime.Most of the ones already mentioned are good, You can go to upwork, fiverr , etc. That way you can assemble a team for your specific needs. I would recommend to always test your team members, once you have found your match, half of the heavy work has been done. Translating takes time even for short texts that do not need much editing, so translating books is indeed a whole other game.Blessing Luis Rodriguez

Hello Luis, mi nombre es Gladys A Paredes, publique mi libro en español El camino de siete años. Ahora quiero traducirlo al idioma Ingles. Me gustaria saber si podrias ayudarme con alguna informacion de como hacerlo.

Sure Gladys, you can contact me here: decidoserlibre at gmail com

hello , i am loking for a translator from italian to english. i wrote a book about music therapy with almost 56.000 words. But i have only 250 USD of budget….somebody can help???

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Blog • Understanding Publishing

Last updated on Apr 25, 2022

How to Translate Your Book in 6 Simple Steps

As of 2017, the US and UK made up just 34 percent of the global ebook market . This means that anyone who only self-published in English runs the risk of neglecting a whole 66 percent of the publishing pie. While not every author will necessarily benefit from translating their books into another language — those with a solid presence in their native language who are now looking to expand their reach may find it to be worth the extra effort.

If you’re ready to connect with new readers, sell more books, and develop your author brand and global footprint, then here are six steps to translate your book:

1. Find out where your strongest markets are

2. search for book translators with experience, 3. have a discussion with your shortlist of translators, 4. agree on the scope of the translation work, 5. start translating the text, 6. format and publish the translated edition.

“Know your audience” is a maxim that you probably already recognize as an author . It’s important when you’re writing and selling a book in your own country, and doubly so when you’re selling a book abroad. Literary translators really don’t come cheap, as you’ll soon see: you should only get your book translated if you think you can recoup the cost in sales .

The key to coming out on the right side of this equation is understanding the global book market — and picking the ideal market to enter.

What are the most popular countries and languages for self-publishers?

Broadly speaking, the most popular foreign markets for independent authors are:

The German market in particular is growing rapidly in terms of digital sales, so much so that Amazon decided to open up Amazon advertising to Germany before any other foreign market besides the UK. (We’ll discuss how to market your translated book more in a bit).

Lots of self-publishers also consider the proven Italian, French, and Spanish markets. And with their enormous reading populations and burgeoning book markets, the much more complex Chinese and Indian markets are nevertheless hard to overlook entirely. 

Which foreign market should you enter?

Like any other big decision, you should choose your foreign market based on a ton of independent research. Keep in mind your personal position, and don’t make the mistake that a few unlucky protagonists in romcoms make: just because something is popular doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good or right fit for you and your book!

Here are a few things to do before deciding to swipe right on an international market:

  • Study the general state of the foreign market. Besides making sure it’s viable for your book (the book market in India, for instance, is extremely fragmented with its 22 languages, including English), be sure to confirm its suitability for your specific genre. Fantasy might theoretically be a trendy genre in the Spanish market, but not so much in the Italian one.
  • Check out the Amazon international marketplaces. If you’re interested in the German market, for example, check up on the books in your niche on Amazon.de. Same for the other foreign markets. This can help you gauge the popularity of your genre and your potential competition in that market.
  • Review your existing international sales. Have you noticed that some of your English-language book sales are starting to come from, say, France? Great! You’ve got a running start. It might be a good idea now to follow the (proverbial) scent, and get your book translated first into French — especially since you’ve already got that built-in French fanbase, which will prove very useful when you’re marketing the French edition of your book.

Though it might be tempting to cast your net wide, a good rule of thumb is to target only one market at a time. Just like big companies that expand internationally step by step, this will give you the opportunity to systematically test your book on new audiences. Until you’ve got at least two to three books out, it’s hard to gain a foothold in any market.

Just in case it needs to be said: don’t translate your book yourself. Just don’t do it. Don’t even attempt it. Don’t go to Google Translate, plug your book into the text box, and think about publishing whatever it spits back out. Spoiler alert: your new readers will not be impressed, especially when Google translates “poultry for sale” into their language as “sell the chicken murder.”

This is because translating books into a whole new language is hard . You’re not just translating words: you’re translating ideas, and all of the subtle nuances that come package-and-parcel with English. Unless the target language is your mother tongue, we strongly recommend that you get a professional to do it for you. Here’s the good news: you can find professional literary translators right around the corner.

Translation companies vs. freelance literary translators

Sure, translation services are generally on standby to translate any kind of written work. But such services offer faceless translators who are generally not specialized in literary translation for books , which is an incredibly important skillset to find in a translator if you want to be totally confident about the finished product that’s going to be placed back in your hands.

If you’re serious about producing a quality translation of your book, there’s no real replacement for a professional literary translator. Their insight, years of training, and familiarity with the book industry situates them in a uniquely helpful position to work with self-publishers. Many independent authors also develop long-term partnerships with their book translators, which can prove incredibly fruitful for future projects.

finding translators on Reedsy

The most straightforward way to find such a translator is to browse a trusted marketplace. You’ll find many professional literary translators here on, for instance, who have worked for the biggest publishing companies in their respective countries, and often on bestselling titles. They know exactly how to produce a faithful translation that sells.

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A collaboration with a book translator is a serious commitment — which is why you want to make absolutely sure that you’ve picked the translator who’s the best fit for you and your book.

What should you know before committing to a collaboration?

Out of all the publishing professionals out there who work with independent authors, the translator is probably most similar to the ghostwriter in terms of their skillset. You want a translator who can capture your voice, carry over your thoughts, and align your vision in an entirely new language. Even more than that, you want someone who gets your story.

So grab a shovel and be prepared to dig a bit deeper when it comes to each translator that you find. To match with a trusted professional who can carry out a translation that lives up to the original, be sure to know:

  • How much input will you be able to give? Will you get to provide feedback?
  • Will you get to retain full ownership over the translated work? Who will own the copyright to the translated edition of the work?
  • What’s the translator’s track record? What titles have they translated recently?
  • Which genre (or genres) does the translator primarily work in?
  • Can the translator provide samples of past work?
  • What’s the timescale? When can they reasonably finish the translation?
  • What’s the literary translator’s fee?

Though rates will differ from professional to professional, you can generally expect to be charged somewhere between $0.08 to $0.12 per word for the main European languages. Sometimes a translator will instead ask for a cut of your royalties as payment — it all depends. It’s up to you to clarify the costs on the table and make sure you’re not going over your budget.

Top tip: If you’re planning on entering a market outside of the popular European ones, prepare to hear a higher quote. Translations into Chinese, Japanese, niche languages, or other languages using a different alphabet will generally be more expensive.

Send a sample of your book

On Reedsy, you can send potential translators a short sample (250 to 500 words) of your book to be translated. This should be long enough for you to get a bit of a feel for the translator’s style and approach to the translation.

“But I won’t be able to tell if it’s actually decent or not when I get it back because I can’t read the language!” you might say — which is a really good point! Get a friend who is fluent to read the translator’s work and report back to you on its quality. Or if you’ve already got a reader base in France, you may want to see if you can ask them to review your French sample. That will also give them a tantalizing sneak peek of your upcoming French edition and get them excited to share the news with their non-English-speaking friends.

Top tip: Before you enter any collaboration with a book translator, calculate the approximate number of copies that you’ll need to sell in order to break even. Then make sure that that goal is reasonably attainable.

Once you find the right translator for your book, it’s time to nail down the exact scope of the work. Here are two important questions to ask to make sure that you’re both on the same page going into the collaboration.

Is the translator willing to translate marketing materials?

Let’s fast forward for a moment to the part where you’ve published your translated book and now must market it. To do so effectively, you must have all sorts of marketing materials at hand — blurbs, testimonials, book descriptions, author bios, etc. — in a language that’s entirely foreign to you.

Enter your translator again. Book translators are usually ready to translate all of these materials for you in addition to your manuscript, but be sure to ask to confirm.

Don’t forget about the proofread

Three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and the fact that a typo will signify the difference between an amateur and a professional on the bookshelf — no matter the country. That’s why editing and proofreading is so important: these steps are meant to perfect the manuscript and guarantee that it’s publishable for the greater public to enjoy. And you can bet that translated works shouldn’t be exempt from them.

When a translator is working with a traditional publisher, they will usually produce an unedited translation as the end product. The publisher’s in-house editors will then take over to check and proof the translator’s work.

Translators understand that independent authors don’t necessarily have entire editorial teams that are ready to spring to work at the snap of a finger, so they are usually open to going the extra mile and providing the proofread for the completed translation. To do this, they will partner up with a fellow translator (a cost that’s already factored into the original quote), who will be in charge of proofing the translated manuscript and making sure that it gets a pair of fresh eyes.

Pretty much all of the translators on Reedsy will include such a proof in their translation process, and will guarantee the delivery of a “ready-to-publish” book for you. If you’re working with a translator elsewhere, make sure that you ask about the proofread, and whether it’s encompassed in the collaboration or not.

Now onto the fun part: the collaboration itself!

Like other publishing professionals, such as developmental editors and book designers, translators work pretty closely with authors during their collaborations. The translator’s job is to faithfully carry over your story and voice into the translation — while preserving the original ideas, expressions, and jokes that might not transpose easily into a new language.

To do this, your translator will be in touch with you whenever interpretation questions arise during the translation process. Sometimes it might simply be to clarify your wording. Other times it might be to get your thoughts on a particular passage, or to discuss what you’d want your translated book title to be.

You’ll also find that most book translators are fairly flexible and want to make sure that you’re comfortable throughout the collaboration. You might want regular Skype calls to check in, or you might prefer to keep your communication to an email thread — either way, they can accommodate you.

And when you’ve got the finished work back to you? Congrats! Let’s get it published!

Top tip: To fix on the official translation of your book title, work with your translator and be aware that some rules for titling may also be different abroad. In Germany, for instance, book titles are copyrighted, so you shouldn’t use a title that someone’s already picked.

You've already got a headstart if you’ve self-published a book in the US or the UK before. The process itself is broadly similar — just in a foreign language. Here are some steps that you’ll probably want to take:

1. Research the big retailers in your new country — or pick an aggregator to distribute your book.

Nowadays, quite a few aggregators such as Draft2Digital , PublishDrive, StreetLib, and XinXii actually boast strong international presences and can offer authors distribution through a number of foreign distribution channels. Learn more about the best self-publishing companies and aggregators in this guide.

2. Publish your book on your country’s Amazon directly via KDP.

Otherwise, you don't get access to Amazon ads — and you also get less royalties on Amazon sales. And take extra care picking your categories and keywords, as other countries might not offer categories that are a 1:1 match with Amazon.com’s. Learn more about Amazon self-publishing here.

3. Set up an Amazon Author Central page on your target Amazon marketplace (amazon.de, amazon.es, etc).

You’ll probably still want to publish your book on Amazon for most countries, so make sure that you create another Amazon Author Central page for yourself and put your awesome translated author bio front-and-center. Learn more about optimizing your Amazon Author Central Page in this post.

What about your book cover art?

Nobody judges a book by its cover nowadays, right? And, okay, even if they do, nobody will really notice that the title on your book is maybe kinda sorta still in English, right?

Wrong! Everyone still judges a book by its cover, which is why it’s important to change your book cover accordingly. If you worked with a book cover designer for your original book, ask if they’d be willing to get you a design featuring the translated title.

Top tip: Note that genre conventions can vary in other countries — and that includes book cover designs. So it’s worth checking out your competition in your genre and jotting down the popular styles.

Check your rights, prices, and taxes

Don’t forget to read all of the fine print for anything that you sign, whether it’s with a publisher, self-publishing service provider, or translator. Just check and see what international rights you still own.

Perhaps most importantly, you want to make sure that you’re setting the right prices for a global audience. If you want to up your international game, we’ve got a free in-depth course on ways to optimize your international pricing. Check it out over here.

Effectively market your translation in your target country

You don’t need to buy a ticket to Germany and grimly prepare to start knocking on the doors of brick-and-mortar bookshops. But you should definitely put up the translated edition on your author website , and announce it to your mailing list. A translated book won’t do you much good if it doesn’t sell!

Speaking of mailing lists, check to see if you’ve got any existing subscribers in your target countries. If you do, the next step would be to reach out and ask if they’d want a free ARC to read. You might be able to get a couple of reviews for your translated book this way. (To get more reviews, consider searching for book blogs or reputable book promotion sites native to that country — though that might take a bit of tracking down.)

Ads are also always going to be one of most reliable ways to get eyeballs on your book. And the good news is that Amazon is (slowly) opening up its ads in countries abroad. Amazon ads recently expanded to amazon.co.uk, amazon.de — along with amazon.fr, amazon.it, and amazon.es.

As with any good trip abroad, you’re probably going to encounter some bumps on your path to a great book translation. But if you keep your eyes on the prize, you’ll end up with something that’s more than worth your while: a beautiful book in the hands of readers everywhere .

Heather Bourn says:

22/05/2020 – 09:15

Thank you for this interesting article. You list countries that have the most popular markets for translated books - is that just translations from English? I am a French to English translator and have translated a couple of French novels. I would love to do more, but I find that French writers don't usually think of exporting themselves. As a translator I don't necessarily have the necessary contacts in the publishing world to help them. Some resort to self-publishing on Amazon. I'd be interested to know your thoughts on whether this is a good first step to making an inroad to the American or British market?

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Science Editor

  • A Publication of the Council of Science Editors

Book Review: A Practical Guide to Scientific and Technical Translation: Publishing, Style and Terminology

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In a conversational tone and sometimes being repetitive, which shows a fear that the readers do not grasp the real goal of A Practical Guide to Scientific and Technical Translation: Publishing, Style and Terminology or do not understand clearly their advice, James Brian Alexander Mitchell and Anca Irina Florescu-Mitchell use their experiences as researchers, reviewers, proofreaders, and translators to give detailed instructions for writing in English and producing technical and professional translations. Mitchell is a native English speaker who translates from French to English, and Florescu-Mitchell is a non-native English speaker who translates from French to English, English to French, and English/French to Romanian. I write this book review from the point of view of a non-native English speaker who writes my own articles in English and does professional translations from English to Portuguese.

The book is divided into 2 parts. The first part, Direct Authoring, is devoted to helping scientists who are non-native speakers of English to write scientific papers. The second part, Technical Translation for Translators, provides guidance for professional translators of technical writing. 

According to the authors, “direct authoring” is when a non-native speaker, after deciding what to write in their paper, starts to write it directly in English. In this first part of the book, Mitchell and Florescu-Mitchell clarified that their goal is to help scientists to avoid making mistakes common to those who use English as a second language, and not to write a grammar book. They use examples in French from their experience working with authors to explain to scientists what to do and not to do in terms of style, grammar, and convention, when preparing a scientific paper for publication. Examples are observing the differences between UK English and U.S. English, the use of contractions, vague words and colloquial language, passive and active voice, present tense, past tense, future tense, gender neutral text, and numbers and units, among other rules. It is very interesting to note how the use of certain words reveals the identity of the author. In the excerpt below, we can see a mistake in a paper written by a French author using a false friend, or words that appear the same way but that have different meanings.

In English, “realise” means coming to the understanding of something: “I realise that I have to go to the dentist today so I cannot go for coffee”  In French, this word has a much wider meaning and it is common to see a French person write something like:  “The experiment was realized”  These sentences are completely wrong in English and should read like: “The experiment was performed”

The false friends here are reáliser (French) and realize (English). It is also intriguing to see that the origin of some grammar mistakes committed by non-native speakers when writing in English are the rules they learn to speak and write in their native language. As an example, let’s look at the mistakes in writing in English related to the plurals and adjectives pointed out in the book:

Plurals This is something that often shows up in articles written by a non-native English speaker. In fact, there are two problems, not using plurals when you should and using them when you should not. In French for example, the “s” at the end of a plural noun is generally not pronounced. It is often found in articles where the French author has thought about what they want to say but when they write it, they forget about the “s” in English because they don’t hear it

Adjectives One of the difficulties that arises when writing in or translating into English is the placement of adjectives where these are placed before the noun in English, while, in French for example, they are more often placed AFTER the noun (there are actually rules, even in French, believe it or not!)

This type of error may cause misunderstandings in a scientific paper and easily reveal to the editor and to the reviewer that the author is not a native English speaker. In the world of scientific publishing, papers written by non-native speakers open the door for publication bias during the peer-review process, showing the connection between both language and identity and language and power.

In this first part of the book, the authors also cover scientific writing style. They provide a good characterization of the scientific style, bringing up its main characteristics such as accuracy, clarity, and readability, and highlighting the importance of the concepts discussed in a scientific article. However, Mitchell and Florescu-Mitchell say:

This does not mean that it has to be written so that everyone can understand it. That is the role of the “popular press ” . A scientific article has a certain targeted audience who should understand the concepts presented so that they can take in this knowledge and access its authenticity. 

Although this is certainly true for some scientific journals, it should be noted that there is a recent push in many scientific journals to make scientific articles more understandable for a wider audience. Examples are the initiatives of the biomedical journals The BMJ and Research Involvement and Engagement in involving patients in their peer-review process. One of the roles of these patients is to check “the clarity of the reported research and its interpretation to a lay audience.” 1 Research Involvement and Engagement still asks authors to submit a plain language summary, 2 along with the manuscript and the abstract, to make the paper accessible to patients, reviewers, and to the public. 3 Thus, these bold initiatives are broadening the role of scientific journals, blurring the lines between scientific journals and science magazines, and making the authors write their articles in an understandable way in order to reach a wider audience. This wider audience may be scientists from different fields of knowledge or even non-scientists.

Before I start to review the second part of the book, I would like to comment on the advice given about how to write peer-review reports. In the Reviewing section, the authors talk about the fear of non-native speakers of English of unintentionally insulting the authors of the manuscripts that they are reviewing in the context of the anonymous peer review, mainly when they have to reject a paper. Based on their experience reviewing peer-review reports, some examples were given to deal with this kind of situation:

In one sentence, the reviewers said: “there were too many “useless” details”. While this may indeed have been correct, the word “useless” is very strong and perhaps a bit insulting. We recommended that this be changed to: “there were too many details that were not very useful”. This softens the tone and allows the author to reflect on whether this statement is helpful. To say that something is “useless” is very final and can put the author into a combative mood for the response.

As we can see, the tone of the report can hurt the feelings of the authors and put them in a bad mood when responding to a review, which may be unhealthy for all people involved in the peer review. Another fear of the non-native speaker is judging the English of other non-native speakers when they themselves make grammar mistakes. As a non-native speaker, I would like to add the fear of having your competence as a researcher put in doubt or your report disregarded. That was a case reported to me by an editor of a scientific journal: a non-native speaker of English reviewed an article of a native speaker and this article was rejected. The author was offensive with the editor, questioning the credibility of the journal by arguing why they would select non-native speakers to evaluate their article. To avoid this type of problem, Mitchell and Florescu-Mitchell suggest that reviewers concerned about the quality of their writing ask a professional or colleague proficient in English to check out their English before sending reports. It is a good idea, but sometimes it may be hard to do or awkward in practice. These concerns should be considered when implementing or researching models of open peer review to ensure participation of any interested member of the scientific community or the public and to reflect about diversity, equity, and inclusion in scientific journals.

The second part of the book, Technical Translation for Translators, is divided into sections discussing the essential tools to work as a technical translator, features, advantages and limitations, and technical problems of computer aided translations (CAT) tools, machine translation, translation in specific technical fields, translation of patents, legal contracts with translation agencies, internet searching and terminology, and translation as a profession.

The authors provide a realistic and critical view of the translators’ job market, presenting challenges ranging from where and how to find the right terminology for a document to common problems that translators face. However, the authors go beyond the idea that to do a translation is only necessary to find the right terminology. For them, professional translators must understand what they are translating. For this reason, if the translator does not know anything on the subject they were invited to translate, they must decline the invitation to avoid mistakes. Mitchell and Florescu-Mitchell summarize that “technical translation is not about words but about the meaning of words (Definition, Concepts and Content)” and more: “Technical Translation is all about context.”

From the experience of the authors doing translations in the fields of Physics, Automotive Engineering, Aeronautical Translations, Railways and Trams, Mechanical Engineering, Construction, Nuclear Engineering, Renewable Energy, Hydroelectric Power and Hydraulic Engineering, and Patents, professional translators can learn about the advantages of using spelling and grammar checks and the CAT tools and also how to avoid falling into some traps when using them. 

This second part of the book is richly illustrated with photographs of bilingual and specialized dictionaries used by the authors. The most interesting insight is how the authors bring to light the importance of the Internet and visual dictionaries to help the professional translator to find the accurate context for its terminology. 

Regarding translation as a profession, 3 examples of common problems faced by translators and approached by the authors are as follows: 1) The client says the translation is too literal, when sometimes it should be literal to be accurate. 2) The client accuses the translator of having used machine translation as an excuse to say they did not like the translation. 3) The client thinks the translation was not made by a native English speaker. I would like to highlight this last problem. Mitchell and Florescu-Mitchell criticize the notion of being a native speaker of a language. For the authors,

Just because you were born in a certain country does not mean that you necessarily have a good grasp of its language. Indeed, if you left the country early in life you may not speak that language at all. So what is your native language? Well, it is the language that you have learned to write in and master but legally this does not make you a Native XXX speaker. Of course, when you hand in a translation it should sound like what an English speaker would expect so in that sense it is a valid requirement. One of the points to consider though is to ask if the person making the comment is qualified to make it. Are they a native English speaker? In our experience, they are not. 

In fact , in my experience as a non-native speaker author and professional translator, it has been curious to realize native speakers of the English language are more understanding with the mistakes of non-natives than the non-natives themselves. For a non-native speaker of English, writing a paper in this language can be challenging. Not only because of the grammar rules, which can be learned by taking English classes or consulting books, but because it involves the embarrassment of sharing with others our writing imperfections inside a scientific culture where errors are not seen in a very good light. This way, I recommend A Practical Guide to Scientific and Technical Translation: Publishing, Style and Terminology for native and non-native speakers of English and for professional translators from any technical field. This guide will help scientists improve their writing in English and professional translators to refine their working practices.

References and Links

  • Schroter S, Price A, Flemyng E, Demaine A, Elliot J, Harmston RR, Richards T, Staniszewska S, Stephens R. Perspectives on involvement in the peer review process: surveys of patient and public reviewers at two journals. BMJ Open 2018;8:e023357. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023357
  • https://researchinvolvement.biomedcentral.com/
  • Carvalho do Amaral J, Schultz J. Sophie Staniszewska and Richard Stephens: democratizing science through public involvement. Sci Ed. 2021;44:110–115. https://doi.org/10.36591/SE-D-4404-111  

Janaynne Carvalho do Amaral is with Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.  

Opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the Council of Science Editors or the Editorial Board of Science Editor.

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Your Three Best Options for Efficient Book Translation

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OK, so you’ve completed (or are completing) your manuscript. Maybe it’s already (on the way to becoming) a published book. Even though your blood, sweat, and tears are on the pages–visible only to you–you now realize that this is, in fact, only the end of the beginning and far, far from the beginning of the end of your book publishing journey. Leave aside for the moment the important questions and tasks related to book marketing , social media , and public relations. Let’s focus on another topic that may prove equally important: translation. Tomedes has been translating books for more than a decade. Yet many authors, surprisingly, don’t even think of having their book translated.

Why, after all, limit your book to the language in which it was written? You can vastly expand your readership by creating multiple language editions.  Think about all the readers who don’t speak your mother tongue. Why deny them the pleasure of your brilliant thoughts and clever content?

Look Before You Leap

But just a second. It was hard enough, and costly enough, just to complete a book in one language. Won’t it just multiply your headaches, and your expenses, to undertake each additional language?

It doesn’t need to be so painful, or expensive, if you plan carefully.

A good place to start, not surprisingly, is reading. There are some excellent, authoritative resources for book authors and translators. These include the Translation Journal and Kindlepreneur (which focuses on ebooks).

But let’s assume you’ve done your homework and are ready to take a deep dive into the work itself. What are the best options out there for authors who want to get their works translated, quickly and efficiently, at a reasonable cost? Let’s look at the possible ways to get the job done cost-effectively, without sacrificing quality and accuracy. We consider a trio of approaches.

Do It Yourself

What was inconceivable just a few years ago is not firmly within the realm of the possible. Do It Yourself translation is within your grasp – if you have the courage, the time, and the nerves to undertake it.  The DIY option is, not surprisingly by far the cheapest option – but the cost in your personal effort and time commitment is greatest. Let’s weigh the pros and cons.

Pros of DIY Translation

There are many languages and translation tools out there, just waiting for you.  Some are free. Others have a nominal cost. Most of us are familiar with Google Translate but this is just the gorilla in the machine translation market. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of alternatives.  Some focus on a handful of translation pairs. For sure, as you will immediately discover, some are (much) better than others.

Thinking of Google Translate? Think Twice

For the sake of simplicity, let’s say you choose to use Google Translate. Not a bad choice: one of the biggest companies in the world – Alphabet – has poured millions of dollars/Euros/pounds into making this a truly sophisticated tool for professionals. Anyone who used Translate in its early days will be delighted to discover the algorithm and database improvements that now grace the current product.

Go to translate.google.com then copy and paste your brilliant first chapter into the left-column box. Then select your target language. As if by magic, voila, your chapter is now rendered into a whole new tongue. Ready to pop the cork on that expensive bottle of champagne? Maybe wait a minute.

If the target language is a second or third language to you, then you’re ahead of the game. You may be already able to spot the mistakes or awkward expression in your freshly baked translation. Maybe you know enough to fix them yourself. Maybe not. Google (and most other machine translation providers) helps you out by presenting a list of alternative word choices for the ones it initially selected. If you know a little about your target language, you may be able to use these lists to your advantage to tweak and smooth the translation into something less jarring to a mother-tongue reader of the target language.

Cons of DIY Translation

But let’s assume that you really have no competence in the target language. What then? You are left with three alternatives: friends, freelancers, and professional translation agencies.

Let’s dispense with the first option swiftly. Friends don’t ask friends to translate their writing. It’s more likely than not a recipe for the end of the friendship. Why?  Because translation usually does not fall into the category of a favor that friends do for each other.  True, if you have given up your kidney to your foreign-language friend, or they are hopelessly in love with you, they may feel obliged, or impassioned enough, to give your translation the time and dedication that it so richly deserves.  Otherwise, trust me, you are risking your friendship and probably not doing any great favors to your content.  Friends, even those competent or even expert in a foreign language, are not professional translators. They lack the experience, the tools, and the tricks, to get the job done. So don’t expect them to!

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The Freelance Option

If you are a professional writer, chances are that you may have already encountered freelance marketplaces like freelance.com, fiverr.com or upwork.com. Each day there are hundreds if not thousands of job offers on these marketplace sites, many of them for writing, editing, proofreading, and translation services. The offers come from companies and individuals. Some are for a fixed fee while others let you set your own rate or make an offer.  Freelancers compete to be selected for each of these jobs. The marketplace typically takes a commission of 10% to 20% of the freelancer’s earnings. Many writers supplement their earnings with these kinds of freelance gigs.

What To Look For in a Freelance Translator

In this case, though, we’re talking about crossing over to the client-side of the marketplace and seeking out potential translators for your book. Needless to say, the quality of translators varies drastically and you need to separate those who offer the best value for the money. Basically, you will post a job offer and receive after a day or three a list of candidates, each with a rating score, a profile, and many reviews of their past work.

ONLY seek out those who are mother-tongue speakers of the TARGET language.

That’s the thing that matters.  Read the reviews carefully. Select only those with excellent reviews and successful job completions, ideally with a published translation with explicit credit to the translator.

Contracting the Freelance Translator

Once you find a translator that seems the best value for your money, you will make a contract. Be sure to set milestones, especially in the beginning, to make sure you are happy with the translator’s work. In your contract, make sure you are explicit that you are contracting for human translation, not machine translation. There is a temptation to use software tools like Google Translate (or a similar machine translation) to expedite or check the work. While there is no harm in the translator using those tools as part of the process, a professional translator will not see machine translation as a substitute for “the real thing.”

Audit Your Freelance Translator to Weed Out Fakes

As the politicians say: trust but verify. Run your original through Google Translate and compare it to what your translator turns in to you.  If one seems to resemble the other, check additional passages. If the resemblance seems too close, don’t be shy about bringing this to the translator’s attention or, in extreme cases, canceling the contract then and there. Your book is your pride and joy, and you should get what you expect for a professional translator, no less.

Get a Second Opinion on Your Freelance Translation

Let’s say the process goes well and your translator presents you, proudly, with what he or she considers a final translation draft. Are you done? By no means! At that point, you would be well advised to post another job: editing and proofreading your translator’s work. Again, hire a native mother-tongue speaker of the target language. The editor/proofer will serve as a “second opinion” or “double-check” of the veracity and naturalness of the translation. Some will even add a “third opinion” but that becomes a matter of trust, comfort level, and (of course) budget.

Once you are satisfied that the translation is excellent, you will submit it to the publisher ( Lulu or other ) in the required format and/or according to the specified template. There still is a final round of review (proofing) before your translated work goes to press, and you should include this as a final milestone in your contract with your editor/proofreader.

Sell Your Book, Your Way

Sell books on your website with Lulu Direct.

Sell books on your own website with Lulu Direct.

Professional Agencies

If the process described above seems to you a bit daunting – involving more supervision and back-and-forth than you anticipated – fear not. There is an alternative. Find an agency that specializes in literary translation, including (explicitly) book translation. If they have strong references and reviews (including published works in the desired target language), then you can feel confident entrusting to them many of the intermediate steps described in the previous section. Translation agencies usually are also familiar with localization, which involves familiarity with the cultural and social norms of the target audience, which can help you avoid embarrassing mistakes.

Pay a Premium For Professional Translation Services

Sure, you will pay a premium for this professionalism, and for the accompanying management and supervision of the whole process. Translation pricing will vary from language to language, of course, often as a function of the local economy and the laws of supply and demand. As a rule of thumb, a top professional translation agency will cost 30-50% more in translation cost than the combination of a freelancer and an editor/proofreader. But then again, your time is valuable, and you are likely to get a better product by working with an agency with an excellent track record and years of experience under its metaphorical belt.

Look For a Long Guarantee on Translation Work

If you are a skeptical, untrusting sort – and we strongly recommend that you be one! – it’s not a bad idea to hire an independent editor/proofreader who will review the agency’s work at the “galley” stage to find any errors or typos or formatting issues that may have crept into the process. But the good news about working with translation agencies is that some offer a guarantee about the accuracy of their work. Many agencies offer a month while a few, like Tomedes, offer a full year. If you, or your “hired gun” editor/proofer, find errors, they will take responsibility for fixing them. And, if you are smart enough to include this clause in your contract with the agency, they will even reimburse you for at least some of your expenses for hiring an independent editor/proofer.

How to Stage Multiple Translations

There is one additional point to be considered: additional languages. It’s always a good idea to do one translation before undertaking others. You familiarize yourself with the process and you learn from experience. The big advantage of working with a professional translation agency is that the second, third and subsequent translations are likely to be far more efficient. Most agencies support dozens of target languages and have the resources to ensure that the result is flawless. Truth be told, the process of translation is likely to reveal flaws in your original. Once those are corrected, future translations will go more smoothly and usually will involve “economies of scale” that will save you significantly in future translations.

Paul H, Content Marketing Manager

Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the part-time editor at  Study Clerk  and the CEO of Tomedes, a language service provider where he manages a global network of translators and language specialists.

Still looking for software or service to translate my books into French, Spanish, German, Italian. Suggestions,


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Translating Your Book: Unlock Extra Revenue

  • By: Jenni Rempel
  • Updated: September 12, 2023

How to Translate a Book

Translating a book is an exciting way for self-published authors to reach new audiences, sell more book copies, and build their author brand.

However, due to all that goes into the process, many authors put off translation, even though it has the potential to increase their bottom line, purely because they’re not sure where to start.

To help more authors release translated copies of their books, the Booklinker team spoke to Jenni Rempel, a self-published author with four books out, which a few of them have been translated into Spanish and German.

She is also the owner of NonStopReviews , a service that helps authors get honest reviews on their books.

In this article, Jenni will break down:

  • Why an author should (and shouldn’t) translate their books
  • When an author should look into book translation
  • How to calculate expected translation ROI
  • Guide to Identifying Which Languages You Should Translate to
  • How to Find a Book Translator
  • How to Ensure Your Book Translation is Quality & More!

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Why should an author translate their book?

I recently attended Mark Dawson’s conference, The Self Publishing Show LIVE, in London.

Kristina Stanley, CEO of Fictionary and an award-winning fiction author, commented that it takes her around 100-150 hours for her to write a book.

Yet, it only took an additional five to 10 hours to release her translated book .

By hiring a translation service, she earned an extra income source by leveraging book content she already created.

For 99% of authors, their goal for translation is going to be to open up new revenue streams .

Why shouldn’t an author translate their book?

Book translation isn’t free, and it’s not always going to be profitable.

Before you can consider the translation process, you’ll first want to check a few things.

The first thing to ensure is that your book is already generating sales . There’s no point in translating a book that’s not already selling and validated by the market.

The ROI (return on investment) from the translation is going to take a long time to kick in if your book has no sales.

You also don’t want to divert time, attention, and money into translation that could be put into growing your author business.

Funds that you would spend on a translation generating little to no sales, could go into writing more books, or on other book marketing strategies like Amazon ads or social media .

I certainly noticed the biggest uptick in my publishing business when I published my second book. The number of books published matters. In fact, referring back to Mark’s conference, it was mentioned that where you really see a significant impact on your income is when you hit the 20-book mark .

Also, before thinking of translation, make sure the topic of your book spans different cultures .

For example, if you wrote a book about how to increase your credit score in the United States, that likely won’t translate well for an international marketplace.

In my case, all of my books are in the gardening niche . People all around the world love to garden and want to learn how to be self-sufficient in that way, so my books translate quite well.

What is the potential ROI for a translated book?

In order to determine the expected ROI and payback period for undergoing a book translation, you’ll first want to run some numbers.

Payback Period in months = (Cost to Translate) / ((Expected Translated Sales Per Month) * (Royalty Rate) * (Book Price))

  • $500 to translate a book into Spanish
  • You expect to sell two copies daily
  • You’re earning a 70% royalty
  • Your book costs $6

In this scenario, we’re looking at just a two-month payback period. As your book sales increase, the payback period only becomes shorter.

  • Asynchronous Translation: Keep in mind that it’s not going to be you performing a majority of the translation task, as you’re hiring help. After the payback period, all sales from there is straight profit.

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How do you find a book translator?

After running the numbers and projecting if book translation is going to be a profitable endeavor, it’s now time to hire a book translator.

Outside of doing the translation yourself, you really just have to decide whether you’ll be using a freelancer or a translation company.

  • For simplicity’s sake, I’ve found translation companies to be the way to go, but there are likely some cost savings going with a freelancer on a site like Fiverr , Upwork , or Reedsy .

Some of the best book translation services include:

  • Narrators Hub

In my case, I went with a translation service. Two to three weeks went by, and then, magically, I got an email saying, “Hey, guess what? Your translated copy is ready!”

And in that time, I was still working on my next book.

And I like that because, again, I want to be concentrating on my next book.

Hopefully, my next book is going to bring in a serious revenue stream.

I’m always feeding that funnel.

What would you recommend to ensure the quality of a translation?

I know some authors who take their translated manuscripts and publish them right away.

If you’re a more cautious person and are invested in the quality of the translation, I strongly recommend that you get a quality proofreader just like you would for a book in English.

Nothing drives readers crazier than spelling or grammatical mistakes. The opportunity for these errors is greater when you translate a copy. I don’t speak any other language, sadly, just a little bit of French.

I’m Canadian, so I have “survival French,” but I don’t have a way with any degree of quality or expertise, to proofread what’s been given to me.

Honest mistakes will happen.

How much does it cost?

As a blanket estimate, it’s safe to assume your book translation will cost anywhere between $500-$2000 depending on the language you’re translating your book to, as well as the length of the book.

I’ve only used one company, but I can tell you about that experience. All book translation costs were negotiated upfront. Once you agree on the price and the time, and sign the agreement, it takes about 2-3 weeks to get it back.

They do charge by the word, so for my books, which are all about 32,000-34,000 words, I paid about $500-$600 for a Spanish translation. The Spanish language is significantly cheaper than German, likely due to the lower labor costs.

I paid closer to about $800-$900 to get my book translated into German. This is still very inexpensive, especially when you consider that I likely spent about $4000 to produce my first book (and a lot of time!)

How did you choose which language you wanted to translate to?

I wasn’t very scientific in deciding which language to translate my book into. I had other people come to me from different author groups, and they were all saying, “Oh, I got my book translated into Spanish.”

I was like – oh, guess I’ll get my book translated into Spanish! I’m making money on my translations, but it’s definitely nothing crazy. I’m doing probably about two to five sales a day.

I’m grateful for every little trickle of revenue that comes in.

  • KDP Dashboard for International Sales: Some other ways to get insight into which country you should translate your book into, is by looking at your KDP dashboard and seeing what countries your sales are coming from. This will most likely be English speakers in countries that tend to be bilingual.

Another way to identify language candidates for translation is by using Booklinker universal book links.

With these links, authors can get data on which countries their marketing links are getting clicks from, and use that to guide their decision.

For example, looking at the data below, we can see our book gets decent traction in Spain, and hints towards a Spanish translation doing well.

book report translate

You can also try to get ahead of trends and identify fast-growing book markets. According to Mark Dawson, the German market is the fastest growing, so that’s where I’m concentrating now.

The United States is without a doubt the biggest and most important market, responsible for 67% of revenues, and it grew by 19% in 2021 .

The three following markets: Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan only add up to about 20% of marketplace revenues.

book report translate

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you need to provide to have your book translated.

When getting your book translated, you’ll need to submit all of the things that you’d normally submit when publishing. I provide my book or PDF , the cover art, and the cover, as I’ll need the cover translated as well.

I also gave them my Amazon book description to translate for me. These are all of the things I need to publish, and they do the rest from there!

Is your process before publishing any different with a translation?

Once your book is translated, you’ll find that the process is really the same.

I’ll send my book translation over to my book formatter. I work with the same cover designer each time, so I’ll send her the cover, the new title, and the new book description for the back.

I have her take the original cover, insert the translated words, and have a new one made. I pay her a little less as the design work is already done.

Then, of course, you need all the different variations of your cover, your ebook copy, your paperback & hardcover, Audible copy, the page number, and the graphics changes.

How Competitive are International Markets?

One thing many authors don’t realize is that while the United States book market is by far the largest and most important market, many other markets are growing and they are underserved.

I read a Facebook Post today that mentioned how saturated the USA market seems to be, making it harder for their books to gain traction.

It’s also the most competitive.

Marketing in international markets will take less time and effort, costing you less money. Your Amazon ads cost significantly less, and I highly recommend using them to promote your book in all the different geographies it’s listed on.

Less competition in that marketplace gives your book a better chance to get exposure. So even though there may be fewer total sales in a genre, by ranking higher, you can capture similar levels of sales.

Overall, book translation is something that most authors should look into once they have traction with their book. It can be done simultaneously with writing other books and lets authors leverage the content they’ve worked so hard on even more.

If you have any more questions about book translations, be sure to drop a comment, and either the Booklinker team or Jenni will get back to you promptly.

Jenni Rempel

Jenni Rempel is the owner of NonstopReviews.com, a company dedicated to helping indy authors and publishers gain reviews through done-for-you strategies. This family-run business helps authors who haven’t even published their first book to authors with several published books already. Jenni is also a passionate gardener, herbalist, and the author of 3 books from The Homesteader Herbs Series.

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The Ins and Outs of Translating A Book

Considering releasing your book in another language? Learn more about the translation process.

T L Murchison

While the United States is the largest English book buying audience, English is spoken by only 20% of the world’s population. That means there is a vast community of readers who can’t read your book simply because it’s not available to them. Book translation, or offering your book in other languages, is a powerful opportunity to reach a broader audience around the world and sell more copies.

If you are fluent in more than one language, translating the basics of your story into a foreign language might not be hard, but there’s more to converting a book from one language to another than just word translation. Some languages or countries have their own unique editing styles that you’ll want to be aware of before hitting the publish button. 

Then there are the rest of us, who aren’t bilingual for our target language. For us, literary translation might seem like a daunting task. Do you pay for a book translation service, or hire a freelance translator? How do you confirm the translation is correct if you don’t understand the language? 

Whether you’ve just released your first book, or you’re an experienced self-published author who knows the publishing process in-and-out, translation projects bring their own challenges. The good news is it  doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  

What Language to Select?

As stated, the US market is the largest for English-language books, but it is also highly competitive. About 2,700 new books are published every day . Expanding into other languages markets with a book translation has the potential to be worth the expense, because there may be less competition in other parts of the world. 

Below are the top two emerging marketplaces. One may be obvious, the other not so much. 

With a population of over 1 billion, this marketplace has a customer base three times that of the United States. Technology is on the rise in India, with many residents skipping paper-based and laptop-based reading methods, preferring phones and tablets. The win here is instant access to your book, easy purchasing, and impulse buying. 

Trend watchers pay attention to what Jeff Bezos does. Amazon is primed to invest 3 billion dollars into the Indian marketplace, as it is currently their fastest growing market. 

That’s right. Home of Cicero, Ovid and Virgil. Storytelling has been a passion in this country since the beginning of the written word. With a population of around 60 million people, Italy might not seem like a fertile ground, but the advantage here is that neither does anyone else. In a field with relatively low competition, translating your book into Italian and targeting this marketplace might get your book more exposure.

Other countries are also friendly to independent authors, including:

In addition, from Asia to the Americas, some form of Spanish is spoken by over 500 million speakers worldwide. 

Where to start?

If you’ve already published in English, you know you need to do your market research first. Finding the right international market for your novel is more than targeting the hot new spot on the book publishing landscape. 

The first step is to check your existing sales. For example, in Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) reports, you have the ability to break down sales by marketplace. This will give you an idea of how many sales of your English book are from other countries. Of course, there is still the possibility of these purchases being made by Americans living abroad, so study these numbers carefully. 

Follow the trends and find out if there are any areas of the world that tend to read your genre. For example, China has a huge non-fiction marketplace. Or perhaps your book, although written in English, might appeal to a certain culture. For example, according to Statista, 57% of fiction readers in the Netherlands read thriller books whereas only 22% read romance and 19% fantasy, the top genres in the United States.

Always look at books in your genre and compare in each marketplace. This will help you gauge the popularity of your book internationally. It may be tempting to cast a wide net, but that can be costly in both money and time. 

One way to research if your book is generating interest in different marketplaces is to sign up for a service like Book Linker . This free site allows you to create a universal link for every Amazon or Apple Books version of your book. If anyone clicks on it, the site will track where in the world they are before sending them to the retailer. So even if someone in India checks out your book but doesn’t end up purchasing your story, you will have a record of that when you check the stats. You’ll be able to easily see what parts of the world your book draws interest. 

‍ Pro-Tip: Put your universal link in an ad or other book promotion and you’ll have an easy way to track where your potential readers are coming from.  Book Translation – An Overview

Translating into another language takes some care. After all, you spent a lot of time and effort writing, editing, and polishing the English version of your book. A badly translated book will not only cause book sales to tumble, but it can also hurt your brand as well. Bad reviews over grammar mistakes are the worst. 

Start with the best

Don’t rush the translation process. Wait until your book is as pristine as possible in the English form before beginning to translate. Version control and fixing mistakes across multiple manuscripts in various languages is tricky and opens the manuscript up to more errors. 

Find the right language

Mentioned above, take care to do your research and focus on the languages that meet your target audience. 

‍ Pro-Tip: Split your research between paperbacks, hardbacks, and digital. Digital books read on devices like Kindle and phones are easier to produce and less costly. Ensure the target marketplace is digital friendly. For example, Germany is rapidly growing in terms of digital sales. The biggest indicator? Amazon recently opened up its advertising opportunities to the German marketplace. 

Get a sample

It’s always a good idea when working with a new translation agency to test the waters first. Any professional translator, just like any editor, should be able to convert a small sample into the language of your choice and give it back to you. A good translator should ask for a sample of your book to assess the cost in the first place, usually around 500 words. This is an excellent opportunity to judge the quality of their service. (More on how to access the quality of the translation below.)

Find the time

There’s an old saying, you can have it fast, but it won’t be good, or you can have high quality, but it’ll take a while. Just like with food, the time you put into your creation will most likely be a reflection of the quality of the outcome. If the translation service offers to convert your one hundred thousand word story in a week, that’s over fourteen thousand words a day. Highly unlikely a human is doing the translating. While AI and computers have come a long way, they can’t quite replace us yet. 

A feasible amount of time is about 500 words per hour. That could mean almost 200 hours of work for your one hundred thousand word book. 

Keep the course

To speed things up, you may consider splitting the translation amongst a number of contractors. Terrible idea. Language is not as finite as math, and each person has their own style. This could lead to terminology inconsistencies that will only confuse your readers. 

Translating is only the first step. Most likely, in the English version of your book, you went through at least one round of editing or at least proofreading. Be sure to leave time for back and forth with your translator as you work through passages of your book.

Consider the cost

Some translation services have an all-in- one cost, others charge by the word. There are some tips on finding the right service below, but whatever you choose, this will not be a small investment. You wrote the words in your manuscript for free, but the translator will adjust every single one of them. For example, if a translator charges $.05 a word, it will cost you $5,000 to translate your whole book.

Get it in writing

No matter who you use as a translator, a written agreement between both parties is essential. This is to protect your investment, and doesn’t have to be a multi-page contract. It can be as simple as one page, as long as the terms are laid out. Think of it this way: if you sell 50 books and then find out there are serious translation errors, who will pay to correct the situation? This is also a test of the quality of the translator, as an experienced contractor will be familiar with agreements and should have no problem signing a contract. In fact, they should want one to protect their own interests.  

Pro-tip: If your translator doesn’t have a written agreement, there are free online services that can help you create one. 

Set a schedule

In addition to the basic translation, there are other factors to consider. Set a payment schedule based on the key components of your book. This gives you the opportunity to monitor and complete quality checks on the translation along the way. In addition, these goal posts can relieve you of a colossal task at the end of the translation process when you have 100,000 words to evaluate. 

Proofing the work

Since you do not understand the language, having another pair of eyes read the full manuscript is another but essential step in translating your book. It may seem unnecessary, but just like you needed a proof-reader for your English edition, mistakes can and do happen. It’s much better to pay a little extra to have another proof-reader, preferably one who is a native speaker of the language, to review the manuscript. 

However, keep in mind, everyone has an opinion. There are probably ways you would reword sentences in this article, or maybe even choose a different word than I did in places. This is where having open lines of communication between you and your translator is important. 

There’s more to translate than just the manuscript. A few things that might be additional cost yet need translation to consider are:

Taglines like “Best-Selling Author”

Book Description

About the Author


Other books


Amazon keywords and categories

Marketing materials

As you know from launching your book in English, promotion is a large component of selling your book. And the English version of your book selling well doesn’t guarantee another country will find a translated version appealing without additional changes. 

There can be  differences in how a book is marketed across various countries and regions. Think about the work that went into creating your cover, how you targeted certain readers. Repeat that process here, but with your new readers in mind. 

The same goes for your marketing, ads, etc. What worked for an English-speaking audience may not work for the new target marketplace. Research similar titles in the same genre in the new language. Are the trends similar? Different? Maybe animated covers are popular, or bare-chested men (popular on romance covers in the United States) are not favorable in the new area. Keeping these little differences in mind can help your book sell internationally. 

The same yet different

Lastly, this is a new version of your book and will therefore require its own ISBN. Plus, it will be categorized differently on Amazon and other book sites and you may need help to navigate those sites as well as they may be in the translated language. 

Sell your international rights

If all of this seems daunting or just too much to handle, there is the option to try to sell the rights to your book to a book publishing company, either based in that region or which does business in that region. Most US publishers are not interested in selling books in another marketplace, unless it becomes a blockbuster. It’s simply not profitable for them to go through the steps above. However, a publisher already established or focusing solely on a local audience might be interested in publishing your book in their language.  Choosing a translator

Unless you or a friend are a native speaker, you will need to use a translation company to translate your book. When searching for the right fit for your book, keep in mind:

Reviews: Read them to see if the service has experience translating books similar to yours.

Price: Ensure you know what the total price of the entire project will be. Ensure there are no extra fees, so you can accurately determine how the cost fits into your book marketing budget.

Profit and Loss: Weigh your projections on how many copies of the foreign book you predict might sell against the cost of the translation.

Control: Outline your role in the process. How will your feedback or rejections be reviewed and accepted? Is there a limit on changes made?

Rights: Make sure you have full rights to your translation. Read all the fine print. 

Contact: Get clarity on who your point of contact will be. Are you working directly with the translator or is there a third party in-between?

Timing: The service should provide a scope for how long the translation process will take 

Translation Options

There are more and more choices when it comes to translation services. Your first decision is whether to go with a traditional translation service or a freelance option.


With clearly outlined contracts, pricing and most likely advanced booking options, a tried-and-true translation service might be the way to go. Choosing the right option is based on the level of involvement you want, your book publishing needs and how you want to cover the costs of the translation. Here are a few options in alphabetical order: 

Auerbach International: With 30 years of experience translating 2 billion words and across 120 languages, this company has proven its value. 

BabelCube: With no upfront costs, this service takes a flat 15% of royalties.  

Espresso Translations: Having worked with Amazon, Ernst & Young, Universal, and many more, all their translators have over 5 years of experience in the translation industry.

First Edition Translations: A UK-based service focusing on translating non-fiction books.

Mincor Book Translation: Their site asks: Did you know that dialogues in books are punctuated differently in different languages? For example, English conversation begins with "quotes" and Spanish conversation begins with a "―". Enough said. 

Today Translations: According to their website, Microsoft and London Metropolitan University use their services. Professional, but there might be hefty costs. 

Ulatus: Offers an end-to-end solution—from translation to book production. 

Another viable option is to hire a freelancer who speaks the language you want your book translated into. This option is most likely to require a more hands-on approach to the process, and may not come with some of the guarantees and securities of traditional translation services. It’s essential to be clear about your needs, timeline, and communication preferences. Below are some online sites where you can connect with individuals offering these types of services. 

Upwork: With an abundance of translators willing to take on your book on this site, finding talent to translate in the language of your choice here is straightforward. You create a job and contractors bid on them, offering terms and pricing. Once agreed upon, you pay Upwork and they hold the money until the job is complete, after taking a small percentage. However, remember that anyone can sign up as a freelancer on this site. For example, I am. Checking references and reviews is essential.

Fiver: Similar to Upwork, this is a networking site, but instead of creating a job, you search for possible freelancers based on terms like “translation service,” and contact the individuals you find that meet your needs. You can converse with translators to discuss your project and negotiate the terms ahead of time. At the end of the job, Fivver pays the contractor, taking a portion for themselves. Again, it is essential to read the reviews of each potential translator carefully and select an option that fits your work. Talking or, more likely, texting with the translator will give you an idea of what working with them will be like.

Reedsy: On the road to publishing, you’ve most likely come across Reedsy at some point. Their tag line, “Where beautiful books are made,” says it all. This site is a collection of professionals who focus on editing, designing and marketing books. Since books are their business, this site attracts a plethora of experienced book translators. Still, research is required to help create a smooth translation practice and prices may be higher here.  Assessing a translation

If, as suggested above, you’ve requested a sample of your work to be translated, ask yourself the following questions when reviewing the translators’ work:

Does the translation convey the same information as the original text? Are there any additions or omissions?

Is the translation smooth and easy to read in the new language? Or is it choppy?

Is the grammar and punctuation correct?

Your best option would be to find someone who is a native speaker of the language you are having the book translated into, who also speaks English. Have them read the passage, then provide their English translation of what they just read. This can help confirm the translated works are still holding true to your original intent. If you can’t find a friend of a friend, it might be worth paying another translator or finding someone on Upwork or Fivver and paying a small fee to do the job. Don’t buy foreign language dictionaries to attempt to confirm quality on your own!

Putting it all together

Translating a book is by no means as easy as running your manuscript through Google Translate. It is a time-consuming process that requires attention to detail. However, that work can have an enormous impact if you select the right language for an underserved or burgeoning marketplace.

A quality translation won’t happen overnight, but in the end, your book may be read by a wider audience, increasing your sales and expanding your brand. 

Want to read more about indie publishing?

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Book Report Fundamentals

Preparing to write, an overview of the book report format, how to write the main body of a book report, how to write a conclusion to a book report, reading comprehension and book reports, book report resources for teachers .

Book reports remain a key educational assessment tool from elementary school through college. Sitting down to close read and critique texts for their content and form is a lifelong skill, one that benefits all of us well beyond our school years. With the help of this guide, you’ll develop your reading comprehension and note-taking skills. You’ll also find resources to guide you through the process of writing a book report, step-by-step, from choosing a book and reading actively to revising your work. Resources for teachers are also included, from creative assignment ideas to sample rubrics.

Book reports follow general rules for composition, yet are distinct from other types of writing assignments. Central to book reports are plot summaries, analyses of characters and themes, and concluding opinions. This format differs from an argumentative essay or critical research paper, in which impartiality and objectivity is encouraged. Differences also exist between book reports and book reviews, who do not share the same intent and audience. Here, you’ll learn the basics of what a book report is and is not.

What Is a Book Report?

"Book Report" ( ThoughtCo )

This article, written by a professor emeritus of rhetoric and English, describes the defining characteristics of book reports and offers observations on how they are composed.

"Writing a Book Report" (Purdue OWL)

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab outlines the steps in writing a book report, from keeping track of major characters as you read to providing adequate summary material.

"How to Write a Book Report" ( Your Dictionary )

This article provides another helpful guide to writing a book report, offering suggestions on taking notes and writing an outline before drafting. 

"How to Write a Successful Book Report" ( ThoughtCo )

Another post from ThoughtCo., this article highlights the ten steps for book report success. It was written by an academic advisor and college enrollment counselor.

What’s the Difference Between a Book Report and an Essay?

"Differences Between a Book Report & Essay Writing" ( Classroom)

In this article from the education resource Classroom,  you'll learn the differences and similarities between book reports and essay writing.

"Differences Between a Book Report and Essay Writing" (SeattlePi.com)

In this post from a Seattle newspaper's website, memoirist Christopher Cascio highlights how book report and essay writing differ.

"The Difference Between Essays and Reports" (Solent Online Learning)

This PDF from Southampton Solent University includes a chart demonstrating the differences between essays and reports. Though it is geared toward university students, it will help students of all levels understand the differing purposes of reports and analytical essays.

What’s the Difference Between a Book Report and a Book Review?

"How to Write a Book Review and a Book Report" (Concordia Univ.)

The library at Concordia University offers this helpful guide to writing book report and book reviews. It defines differences between the two, then presents components that both forms share.

"Book Reviews" (Univ. of North Carolina)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s writing guide shows the step-by-step process of writing book reviews, offering a contrast to the composition of book reports.

Active reading and thoughtful preparation before you begin your book report are necessary components of crafting a successful piece of writing. Here, you’ll find tips and resources to help you learn how to select the right book, decide which format is best for your report, and outline your main points.

Selecting and Finding a Book

"30 Best Books for Elementary Readers" (Education.com)

This article from Education.com lists 30 engaging books for students from kindergarten through fifth grade. It was written by Esme Raji Codell, a teacher, author, and children's literature specialist.

"How to Choose a Good Book for a Report (Middle School)" (WikiHow)

This WikiHow article offers suggestions for middle schoolers on how to choose the right book for a report, from getting started early on the search process to making sure you understand the assignment's requirements.

"Best Book-Report Books for Middle Schoolers" (Common Sense Media)

Common Sense Media has compiled this list of 25 of the best books for middle school book reports. For younger students, the article suggests you check out the site's "50 Books All Kids Should Read Before They're 12."

"50 Books to Read in High School" (Lexington Public Library)

The Lexington, Kentucky Public Library has prepared this list to inspire high school students to choose the right book. It includes both classics and more modern favorites.

The Online Computer Library Center's catalogue helps you locate books in libraries near you, having itemized the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries.

Formats of Book Reports

"Format for Writing a Book Report" ( Your Dictionary )

Here, Your Dictionary supplies guidelines for the basic book report format. It describes what you'll want to include in the heading, and what information to include in the introductory paragraph. Be sure to check these guidelines against your teacher's requirements.

"The Good Old Book Report" (Scholastic)

Nancy Barile’s blog post for Scholastic lists the questions students from middle through high school should address in their book reports.

How to Write an Outline

"Writer’s Web: Creating Outlines" (Univ. of Richmond)

The University of Richmond’s Writing Center shows how you can make use of micro and macro outlines to organize your argument.

"Why and How to Create a Useful Outline" (Purdue OWL)

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab demonstrates how outlines can help you organize your report, then teaches you how to create outlines.

"Creating an Outline" (EasyBib)

EasyBib, a website that generates bibliographies, offers sample outlines and tips for creating your own. The article encourages you to think about transitions and grouping your notes.

"How to Write an Outline: 4 Ways to Organize Your Thoughts" (Grammarly)

This blog post from a professional writer explains the advantages of using an outline, and presents different ways to gather your thoughts before writing.

In this section, you’ll find resources that offer an overview of how to write a book report, including first steps in preparing the introduction. A good book report's introduction hooks the reader with strong opening sentences and provides a preview of where the report is going.

"Step-by-Step Outline for a Book Report" ( Classroom )

This article from Classroom furnishes students with a guide to the stages of writing a book report, from writing the rough draft to revising.

"Your Roadmap to a Better Book Report" ( Time4Writing )

Time4Writing offers tips for outlining your book report, and describes all of the information that the introduction, body, and conclusion should include.

"How to Start a Book Report" ( ThoughtCo)

This ThoughtCo. post, another by academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming, demonstrates how to write a pithy introduction to your book report.

"How to Write an Introduction for a Book Report" ( Classroom )

This brief but helpful post from Classroom  details what makes a good book report introduction, down to the level of individual sentences.

The body paragraphs of your book report accomplish several goals: they describe the plot, delve more deeply into the characters and themes that make the book unique, and include quotations and examples from the book. Below are some resources to help you succeed in summarizing and analyzing your chosen text.

Plot Summary and Description

"How Do You Write a Plot Summary?" ( Reference )

This short article presents the goals of writing a plot summary, and suggests a word limit. It emphasizes that you should stick to the main points and avoid including too many specific details, such as what a particular character wears.

"How to Write a Plot for a Book Report" ( The Pen & The Pad )

In this article from a resource website for writers, Patricia Harrelson outlines what information to include in a plot summary for a book report. 

"How to Write a Book Summary" (WikiHow)

Using Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as an example, this WikiHow article demonstrates how to write a plot summary one step at a time.

Analyzing Characters and Themes

"How to Write a Character Analysis Book Report" ( The Pen & The Pad )

Kristine Tucker shows how to write a book report focusing on character. You can take her suggestions as they are, or consider  incorporating them into the more traditional book report format.

"How to Write a Character Analysis" (YouTube)

The SixMinuteScholar Channel utilizes analysis of the film  Finding Nemo to show you how to delve deeply into character, prioritizing inference over judgment.

"How to Define Theme" ( The Editor's Blog )

Fiction editor Beth Hill contributes an extended definition of theme. She also provides examples of common themes, such as "life is fragile."

"How to Find the Theme of a Book or Short Story" ( ThoughtCo )

This blog post from ThoughtCo. clarifies the definition of theme in relation to symbolism, plot, and moral. It also offers examples of themes in literature, such as love, death, and good vs. evil.

Selecting and Integrating Quotations

"How to Choose and Use Quotations" (Santa Barbara City College)

This guide from a college writing center will help you choose which quotations to use in your book report, and how to blend quotations with your own words.

"Guidelines for Incorporating Quotes" (Ashford Univ.)

This PDF from Ashford University's Writing Center introduces the ICE method for incorporating quotations: introduce, cite, explain.

"Quote Integration" (YouTube)

This video from The Write Way YouTube channel illustrates how to integrate quotations into writing, and also explains how to cite those quotations.

"Using Literary Quotations" (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison)

This guide from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writing Center helps you emphasize your analysis of a quotation, and explains how to incorporate quotations into your text.

Conclusions to any type of paper are notoriously tricky to write. Here, you’ll learn some creative ways to tie up loose ends in your report and express your own opinion of the book you read. This open space for sharing opinions that are not grounded in critical research is an element that often distinguishes book reports from other types of writing.

"How to Write a Conclusion for a Book Report" ( Classroom )

This brief article from the education resource  Classroom illustrates the essential points you should make in a book report conclusion.

"Conclusions" (Univ. of North Carolina)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Writing Center lays out strategies for writing effective conclusions. Though the article is geared toward analytical essay conclusions, the tips offered here will also help you write a strong book report.

"Ending the Essay: Conclusions" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Pat Bellanca’s article for Harvard University’s Writing Center presents ways to conclude essays, along with tips. Again, these are suggestions for concluding analytical essays that can also be used to tie up a book report's loose ends.

Reading closely and in an engaged manner is the strong foundation upon which all good book reports are built. The resources below will give you a picture of what active reading looks like, and offer strategies to assess and improve your reading comprehension. Further, you’ll learn how to take notes—or “annotate” your text—making it easier to find important information as you write.

How to Be an Active Reader

"Active Reading Strategies: Remember and Analyze What You Read" (Princeton Univ.)

Princeton University’s McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning recommends ten strategies for active reading, and includes sample diagrams.

"Active Reading" (Open Univ.)

The Open University offers these techniques for reading actively alongside video examples. The author emphasizes that you should read for comprehension—not simply to finish the book as quickly as possible.

"7 Active Reading Strategies for Students" ( ThoughtCo )

In this post, Grace Fleming outlines seven methods for active reading. Her suggestions include identifying unfamiliar words and finding the main idea. 

"5 Active Reading Strategies for Textbook Assignments" (YouTube)

Thomas Frank’s seven-minute video demonstrates how you can retain the most important information from long and dense reading material.

Assessing Your Reading Comprehension

"Macmillan Readers Level Test" (MacMillan)

Take this online, interactive test from a publishing company to find out your reading level. You'll be asked a number of questions related to grammar and vocabulary.

"Reading Comprehension Practice Test" (ACCUPLACER)

ACCUPLACER is a placement test from The College Board. This 20-question practice test will help you see what information you retain after reading short passages.

"Reading Comprehension" ( English Maven )

The English Maven site has aggregated exercises and tests at various reading levels so you can quiz your reading comprehension skills.

How to Improve Your Reading Comprehension

"5 Tips for Improving Reading Comprehension" ( ThoughtCo )

ThoughtCo. recommends five tips to increase your reading comprehension ability, including reading with tools such as highlighters, and developing new vocabulary.

"How to Improve Reading Comprehension: 8 Expert Tips" (PrepScholar)

This blog post from PrepScholar provides ideas for improving your reading comprehension, from expanding your vocabulary to discussing texts with friends.

CrashCourse video: "Reading Assignments" (YouTube)

This CrashCourse video equips you with tools to read more effectively. It will help you determine how much material you need to read, and what strategies you can use to absorb what you read.

"Improving Reading Comprehension" ( Education Corner )

From a pre-reading survey through post-reading review, Education Corner  walks you through steps to improve reading comprehension.

Methods of In-text Annotation

"The Writing Process: Annotating a Text" (Hunter College)

This article from Hunter College’s Rockowitz Writing Center outlines how to take notes on a text and provides samples of annotation.

"How To Annotate Text While Reading" (YouTube)

This video from the SchoolHabits YouTube channel presents eleven annotation techniques you can use for better reading comprehension.

"5 Ways To Annotate Your Books" ( Book Riot )

This article from the Book Riot  blog highlights five efficient annotation methods that will save you time and protect your books from becoming cluttered with unnecessary markings.

"How Do You Annotate Your Books?" ( Epic Reads )

This post from Epic Reads highlights how different annotation methods work for different people, and showcases classic methods from sticky notes to keeping a reading notebook.

Students at every grade level can benefit from writing book reports, which sharpen critical reading skills. Here, we've aggregated sources to help you plan book report assignments and develop rubrics for written and oral book reports. You’ll also find alternative book report assessment ideas that move beyond the traditional formats.

Teaching Elementary School Students How to Write Book Reports

"Book Reports" ( Unique Teaching Resources )

These reading templates courtesy of Unique Teaching Resources make great visual aids for elementary school students writing their first book reports.

"Elementary Level Book Report Template" ( Teach Beside Me )

This   printable book report template from a teacher-turned-homeschooler is simple, classic, and effective. It asks basic questions, such as "who are the main characters?" and "how did you feel about the main characters?"

"Book Reports" ( ABC Teach )

ABC Teach ’s resource directory includes printables for book reports on various subjects at different grade levels, such as a middle school biography book report form and a "retelling a story" elementary book report template.

"Reading Worksheets" ( Busy Teacher's Cafe )

This page from Busy Teachers’ Cafe contains book report templates alongside reading comprehension and other language arts worksheets.

Teaching Middle School and High School Students How to Write Book Reports

"How to Write a Book Report: Middle and High School Level" ( Fact Monster)

Fact Monster ’s Homework Center discusses each section of a book report, and explains how to evaluate and analyze books based on genre for students in middle and high school.

"Middle School Outline Template for Book Report" (Trinity Catholic School)

This PDF outline template breaks the book report down into manageable sections for seventh and eighth graders by asking for specific information in each paragraph.

"Forms for Writing a Book Report for High School" ( Classroom )

In this article for Classroom,  Elizabeth Thomas describes what content high schoolers should focus on when writing their book reports.

"Forms for Writing a Book Report for High School" ( The Pen & The Pad )

Kori Morgan outlines techniques for adapting the book report assignment to the high school level in this post for The Pen & The Pad .

"High School Book Lists and Report Guidelines" (Highland Hall Waldorf School)

These sample report formats, grading paradigms, and tips are collected by Highland Hall Waldorf School. Attached are book lists by high school grade level.

Sample Rubrics

"Book Review Rubric Editable" (Teachers Pay Teachers)

This free resource from Teachers Pay Teachers allows you to edit your book report rubric to the specifications of your assignment and the grade level you teach.

"Book Review Rubric" (Winton Woods)

This PDF rubric from a city school district includes directions to take the assignment long-term, with follow-up exercises through school quarters.

"Multimedia Book Report Rubric" ( Midlink Magazine )

Perfect for oral book reports, this PDF rubric from North Carolina State University's Midlink Magazine  will help you evaluate your students’ spoken presentations.

Creative Book Report Assignments

"25 Book Report Alternatives" (Scholastic)

This article from the Scholastic website lists creative alternatives to the standard book report for pre-kindergarteners through high schoolers.

"Fresh Ideas for Creative Book Reports" ( Education World )

Education World offers nearly 50 alternative book report ideas in this article, from a book report sandwich to a character trait diagram.

"A Dozen Ways to Make Amazingly Creative Book Reports" ( We Are Teachers )

This post from We Are Teachers puts the spotlight on integrating visual arts into literary study through multimedia book report ideas.

"More Ideas Than You’ll Ever Use for Book Reports" (Teachnet.com)

This list from Teachnet.com includes over 300 ideas for book report assignments, from "interviewing" a character to preparing a travel brochure to the location in which the book is set.

"Fifty Alternatives to the Book Report" (National Council of Teachers of English)

In this PDF resource from the NCTE's  English Journal,  Diana Mitchell offers assignment ideas ranging from character astrology signs to a character alphabet.

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Collected wisdom: how to write a good reader’s report

Reader’s reports play an important role in the publication of translations. Editors use them to find out more about new books that they can’t read in the source language. For translators, writing reader’s reports is a good way to build relationships with publishers and—hopefully—make a case for brilliant new books that deserve to find a wide readership. For New Books in German, Emma Rault talked to some industry veterans about their expectations, preferences and pet peeves.

Be brutally honest

‘Readers from an academic background are often tempted to take a more analytical approach, but really it’s about your basic emotional reaction,’ says literary translator Ruth Martin. ‘Did you love the characters? Detest the reading experience with every fibre of your being? Or just feel lukewarm about it? Say that loud and clear, and say it in the first paragraph.’

Don’t talk it up in hopes of getting a translation gig out of it. Translator Daniel Hahn: ‘You develop your reputation with an editor by demonstrating good and reliable judgment, not undiscriminating enthusiasm.’

Balance opinion and description

‘It’s good to have a take on a book, but you also have to be able to look beyond your own preferences at the bigger picture,’ says literary scout Anne Vial. ‘What’s original about it? Who could it appeal to?’ This is where a plot synopsis and a description of the general writing style come in. Molly Slight, an editor at Scribe: ‘If the premise and the writing sound really intriguing, and the reader didn’t love the book but I like the sound of it, I might then get a second opinion, so it’s useful to have that balance.’

Don’t avoid spoilers

Remember that you are the editor’s eyes and ears—you’re writing a report that functions  instead of  reading the whole book. ‘I don’t need a blow-by-blow account, but I do want a good sense of the overall story arc,’ says agent Markus Hofmann about a synopsis.

Show, don’t tell

Describe a stand-out scene, or translate a paragraph that gives a taste of the prose and makes the book come alive. ‘The editor will have to convince everyone in the company that the book is worth taking a chance on. Think in terms of what information would help them go into that meeting,’ says translator Jamie Lee Searle.

Contextualize the book

‘The reader needs to tell me what genre the book is, what the writing is like: literary, upmarket, commercial,’ says literary scout Mira Trenchard. It’s also helpful to know how the author’s work has been received in their own country, and how it might compare to books published in the English-speaking world, or anything else that’s similar. ‘But be specific,’ says Daniel Hahn. ‘It’s not “the Polish Harry Potter” just because it has some magic in it, even if that’s the only children’s book you’ve heard of.’ It can also be useful to mention which other foreign publishers have bought the book, says Peter Blackstock at Grove/Atlantic. ‘If Gallimard is publishing it in France, that tells me something. And I can then write to the acquiring editor to get their opinion.’ ‘Don’t say, “You publish writer X, so you should definitely publish this because it’s exactly the same,”’ Blackstock adds. ‘If anything, the opposite is true—it means I’ve already got that niche covered.’

Other things that it might be useful to include:

Sarah Hemens, editor-in-chief of NBG: ‘It’s good if reports can point out any issues in language or the way groups or individuals are described that might be sensitive or objectionable.’ And make sure to get the report in on time! Editors are counting on having the information by a certain date, and will likely have scheduled around that.

And last but not least… be entertaining

Tanja Howarth, a literary agent who has sold more than 250 German titles to British publishers, says: ‘Ideally, a reader’s report should be a real pleasure to read, the same way you might enjoy a very good introduction to a novel.’

book report translate

Emma Rault is a translator from German and Dutch. Her most recent translation, from the Dutch, is Nina Polak’s The Dandy , out with Strangers Press.

Among her previous translations is an NBG jury choice, Rudolph Herzog ‘s Ghosts of Berlin .

She is the recipient of the 2017 GINT Translation Prize.


Browse our most recent jury selections here

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A Beginner's Guide to Writing a Book Report (with Examples)

Last Updated: February 5, 2024 Fact Checked

  • Researching
  • Drafting the Report
  • Reviewing & Revising

Sample Book Reports & Summaries

Expert q&a.

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams and by wikiHow staff writer, Raven Minyard, BA . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,407,675 times.

A book report is a short essay that summarizes and analyzes a work of fiction or nonfiction. Writing a book report may not seem fun at first, but it gives you a great chance to fully understand a work and its author. In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about how to write a book report, from choosing a book and outlining to drafting and editing your final paper.

Things You Should Know

  • Read the entire book and take notes on important themes, characters, and events. Use your notes to create an outline with evidence that supports your analysis.
  • Include the title and author in your intro, then summarize the plot, main characters, and setting of the book.
  • Analyze the author’s writing style, as well as the main themes and arguments of the book. Include quotes and examples to support your statements.

Researching Your Book Report

Step 1 Follow the requirements of your assignment.

  • For example, find out if your teacher wants you to include citations, such as page numbers from the book, in your report.
  • Ask your teacher how much of your paper to devote to summary versus analysis. Most book reports are direct summaries with objective analysis rather than your personal opinions. In contrast, a book review or commentary is more opinion-driven.

Jake Adams

  • Some popular books for book reports include To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Animal Farm by George Orwell, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Choose a book at your grade level.

Step 3 Write down the key elements of the book.

  • Author: Who wrote the book? Do you know any other works by this author?
  • Genre: Is the book fiction or nonfiction? If it’s fiction, is it historical, fantasy, horror, etc.? If it’s nonfiction, is it a biography, memoir, science, etc.?
  • Audience: Who would find this book appealing? Is it intended for a specific age range or gender? Do you typically enjoy books like this?
  • Title: Does the title catch your interest? Does it fit well with the book’s content?
  • Book Cover/Illustrations: What does the book cover convey and does it accurately represent the book? How do you feel when you look at it? If the book has illustrations, what are they and do they hold your interest?

Step 4 Read the entire book.

  • Take breaks while reading to keep your attention sharp. Try to find a pace that is comfortable for you. If you get distracted after 15 minutes, read in 15-minute intervals. If you can go an hour, read for an hour at a time.
  • Give yourself enough time to read the entire book. It’s very difficult to write a book report if you’ve just skimmed over everything. Don’t procrastinate!
  • Don’t trust online book summaries. You can’t guarantee that they are accurate or true to the text.

Step 5 Take careful notes when reading.

  • For example, look for a sentence that clearly describes a main setting in the book, such as “The castle was gloomy and made out of large black stones.”

Outlining Your Book Report

Step 1 Create an outline.

  • Introduction: Introduce the title, author, and publication information. Include a brief overview of the book’s genre and main theme, and state your purpose for writing the report.
  • Summary: Concisely summarize the plot or central idea, highlighting main events, characters, and conflicts. Focus on important aspects while avoiding spoilers.
  • Analysis and Evaluation: Evaluate the author’s writing style and use of literary devices, like foreshadowing, metaphors, imagery, etc. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the book and use quotes and examples from the text.
  • Themes and Messages: Identify the book’s main themes or messages and how they develop through the course of the book. Provide specific quotes and examples.
  • Character Analysis: Analyze the main characters in the book, their development, and their relationships. Explain their motivations, personalities, and significance to the story. Provide examples and quotes to support your analysis.
  • Personal Reflection: Depending on your teacher’s instructions, you might share your personal opinions and discuss what you liked and disliked about the book. Reflect on how the book relates to broader themes or issues.
  • Conclusion: Summarize your main points and conclude with your final thoughts or reflections on the book.
  • Bibliography: If required, include a works cited page or bibliography listing all the sources you used to write your book report.
  • Outlining takes time, but it saves you more time once you reach the editing stage.
  • Some people prefer to outline with pen and paper, while others just type up a list on the computer. Choose the method that works best for you.

Step 2 Intermix examples and quotations from the text.

  • Be careful not to overuse quotes. If it seems like every other line is a quote, try to dial back. Aim to include a maximum of one quotation per paragraph. Quotes and examples should still take a backseat to your summary.

Step 3 Don’t try to cover everything.

  • For example, you’ll likely need to focus primarily on discussing the most important characters or the characters that appear most frequently in the text.
  • When you are finished with your outline, go back through it to see if it makes sense. If the paragraphs don’t flow into one another, move them around or add/delete new ones until they do.
  • Also, check to see if your outline covers all of the major elements of the book, such as the plot, characters, and setting.

Writing Your Book Report

Step 1 Open with an informative intro paragraph.

  • For example, a sentence summary might state, “This book is about the main character’s journey to Africa and what she learns on her travels.”
  • Don’t take up too much space with your introduction. In general, an introduction should be 3-6 sentences long, though in rare cases, they may be longer or shorter.

Step 2 Describe the book’s setting.

  • Use vivid language when you can and include plenty of details. For example, you might write, “The farm was surrounded by rolling hills.”

Step 3 Include a general plot summary.

  • For instance, if the main character moves to Africa, you might describe what happens before the move, how the move goes, and how they settle in once they arrive.

Step 4 Introduce the main characters.

  • For example, you might write that the main character is “a middle-aged woman who enjoys the finer things in life, such as designer clothes.” Then, connect this description to the plot summary by describing how her views change after her travels, if they do.
  • Expect to introduce the characters in the same sentences and paragraphs as the plot introduction.

Step 5 Examine main themes and/or arguments in your body paragraphs.

  • You might write, “The author argues that travel gives you a new perspective. That is why her main characters all seem happier and more grounded after visiting new places.”
  • For fiction, determine if the author is using the story to pass along a certain moral or lesson. For example, a book about an underdog athlete could encourage readers to take chances to pursue their dreams.

Step 6 Comment on the writing style and tone.

  • For example, an author who uses lots of slang terms is probably going for a hip, approachable style.

Step 7 Write a concise conclusion.

  • Some teachers require, or strongly suggest, that you include the author’s name and the book title in your concluding paragraph.
  • When writing a conclusion , don’t introduce any new thoughts. Any important points should be made in your body paragraphs. Save the space for your recap.

Step 8 Include a bibliography, if required.

Reviewing and Revising Your Book Report

Step 1 Edit your paper.

  • Before you submit your paper, make sure that you’ve spelled the author’s name and any character names correctly.
  • Don’t trust your computer’s spell check to catch all the errors for you. Spell check can be helpful, but it isn’t perfect and can make mistakes.

Step 2 Ask someone else to read it.

  • If you’re nervous about asking, try saying something like “It would be great if you could go over my book report and make sure that it reads smoothly.”
  • Remember, no one’s first draft is perfect, so don’t get upset if someone suggests you do something differently. They want to help make your report the best it can be, so don’t take constructive criticism personally.

Step 3 Polish your final draft.

  • For example, double-check that you are using the correct font, font size, and margins.
  • Once you've finished proofreading, revising, and checking that you've addressed all the requirements, you're ready to submit your book report!

book report translate

  • Even though your book report is your own work, avoid using “I” too much. It can make your writing feel choppy. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • It might be tempting to watch the movie or read the online notes instead of reading the book. Resist this urge! Your teacher will be able to tell the difference. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Tips from our Readers

  • Calm down and walk around if you get too frustrated while writing. If you write a book report while angry, you're more likely to misspell things!
  • Choose a unique book. Harry Potter or Percy Jackson is an absolute no. Everyone chooses those. Try something different!
  • Write when anything comes to mind! You don't want to lose your ideas!

book report translate

  • Stealing or using another person’s work is considered plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Make sure that the work you submit is all your own. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Give yourself plenty of time to write your report. Don’t wait until the last minute or you may feel rushed. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

You Might Also Like

Write a Comparative Essay

  • ↑ https://www.aresearchguide.com/write-book-report.html
  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 24 July 2020.
  • ↑ https://grammark.org/how-to-write-a-book-report/
  • ↑ https://library.valleycollege.edu/elements_of_book_report.pdf
  • ↑ https://takelessons.com/blog/steps-to-writing-a-book-report
  • ↑ https://www.infoplease.com/homework-help/homework-center-writing-book-report
  • ↑ https://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/wlf/what-setting
  • ↑ https://www.tcc.edu/wp-content/uploads/archive/writing-center-handouts/essay-types-plot-summary.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.cornerstone.edu/blog-post/six-steps-to-really-edit-your-paper/

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write a book report, start by introducing the author and the name of the book and then briefly summarizing the story. Next, discuss the main themes and point out what you think the author is trying to suggest to the reader. Finally, write about the author’s style of writing, paying particular attention to word choice and the overall tone of the book. For tips on editing and polishing your paper before turning it in, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Watch CBS News

The Book Report: Washington Post critic Ron Charles (February 18)

By Ron Charles

February 18, 2024 / 8:41 AM EST / CBS News

By Washington Post book critic Ron Charles

Snow and ice kept me trapped inside for weeks last month, but I didn't mind, because I had great new books to read, like these:


Forty years ago, a demonstration took place outside the Libyan Embassy in London. As students shouted protests against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, suddenly, from the embassy's windows, shots were fired into the crowd. A British police officer was killed, and 10 demonstrators were wounded.

In his quietly powerful new novel, "My Friends" (Random House), Pulitzer Prize-winner Hisham Matar imagines the life of one of those wounded students: a young Libyan man who finds himself permanently separated from his family and exiled from his country.

Read an excerpt: "My Friends" by Hisham Matar

"My Friends" by Hisham Matar (Random House), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon , Barnes & Noble and Bookshop.org

Hisham Matar on Twitter/X


As winter grinds on, "True North" by Andrew J. Graff (Ecco/HarperCollins) sounds like a warmhearted vacation. It's a family drama about a schoolteacher who suspects he's about to lose his job, his wife and his family.

To save his finances and his marriage, he concocts an unlikely scheme to buy a run-down rafting company in Wisconsin. Everything that could go wrong does – and then there's a cataclysmic flood.

But this is a sweet novel that never loses hope in the power of love and family.

Read an excerpt: "True North" by Andrew J. Graff

"True North" by Andrew J. Graff (Ecco/HarperCollins), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon , Barnes & Noble and Bookshop.org



Kiley Reid, author of the 2019 bestseller "Such a Fun Age," is back with a smart, wry novel about young women at the University of Arkansas.

"Come and Get It" (G.P. Putnam's Sons) features Millie, a hardworking African American student serving as a resident advisor in her dorm. She's well-liked and respected.

But then, a visiting professor asks Millie to help gather data on students' values and attitudes. That harmless-seeming agreement soon gets tangled up in all kinds of romantic and ethical complications that wreak havoc in the dorm ... and beyond.

Read an excerpt: "Come and Get It" by Kiley Reid

"Come and Get It" by Kiley Reid (G.P. Putnam's Sons) in Hardcover, Large Print Trade Paperback, eBook and Audio formats, available via  Amazon ,  Barnes & Noble  and  Bookshop.org



John Lewis, the legendary civil rights leader, rose from desperate poverty to endure threats and beatings in the struggle for equality, and then served in the House of Representatives for more than 30 years.

Now, less than four years after his death, we have the first full-length biography of this remarkable citizen.

"John Lewis: In Search of the Beloved Community" by Raymond Arsenault (Yale University Press) tells the story of Lewis' tireless work as a Freedom Rider, as an ally to oppressed people in every corner of America, as a defender for voting rights, and as the "conscience of Congress."

"John Lewis: In Search of the Beloved Community" by Raymond Arsenault (Yale University Press), in Hardcover, eBook and Audio formats, available via  Amazon ,  Barnes & Noble  and  Bookshop.org

Raymond Arsenault, University of South Florida

For more suggestions on what to read, contact your librarian or local bookseller. 

That's it for the Book Report. I'm Ron Charles. Until next time, read on!

      For more info: 

  • Ron Charles, The Washington Post
  • Subscribe to the free  Washington Post Book World Newsletter
  • Ron Charles' Totally Hip Video Book Review
  • Bookshop.org  (for ordering from independent booksellers)

       For more reading recommendations, check out these previous Book Report features from Ron Charles: 

  • Ron Charles' favorite novels of 2023
  • The Book Report (October 22)
  • The Book Report (September 17)
  • The Book Report (August 6)
  • The Book Report (June 4)
  • The Book Report (April 30)
  • The Book Report (March 19)
  • The Book Report (February 12, 2023)
  • The Book Report: Ron Charles' favorite novels of 2022
  • The Book Report (November 13)
  • The Book Report (Sept. 18)
  • The Book Report (July 10)
  • The Book Report (April 17)
  • The Book Report (March 13)
  • The Book Report (February 6, 2022)
  • The Book Report (November 28)
  • The Book Report (September 26)
  • The Book Report (August 1)
  • The Book Report (June 6)
  • The Book Report (May 9)
  • The Book Report (March 28)
  • The Book Report (February 28)
  • The Book Report (January 31, 2021)

      Produced by Robin Sanders and Roman Feeser.

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Think you know what the top scam of 2023 was? Take a guess


Every day people report to the FTC the scams they spot. Every year, the FTC shares the information we collect in a data book which tells a story about the top scams people tell us about – so we can all spot and avoid them.

The Data Book tells us that people lost $10 billion to scams in 2023. That’s $1 billion more than 2022 and the highest ever in reported losses to the FTC – even though the number of reports (2.6 million) was about the same as last year. One in four people reported losing money to scams, with a median loss of $500 per person. And email was the #1 contact method for scammers this year, especially when scammers pretended to be a business or government agency to steal money.

Here are other takeaways for 2023:

  • Imposter scams. Imposter scams remained the top fraud category, with reported losses of $2.7 billion. These scams include people pretending to be your bank’s fraud department, the government, a relative in distress, a well-known business, or a technical support expert.
  • Investment scams . While investment-related scams were the fourth most-reported fraud category, losses in this category grew. People reported median losses of $7.7K – up from $5K in 2022.
  • Social media scams . Scams starting on social media accounted for the highest total losses at $1.4 billion – an increase of 250 million from 2022. But scams that started by a phone call caused the highest per-person loss ($1,480 average loss).
  • Payment methods . How did scammers prefer that people pay? With bank transfers and payments, which accounted for the highest losses ($1.86 billion). Cryptocurrency is a close second ($1.41 billion reported in losses).
  • Losses by age . Of people who reported their age, younger adults (20-29) reported losing money more often than older adults (70+). However, when older adults lost money, they lost the most.

Check out the graphic for the top scams of 2023. Read the 2023 Data Book for more details and to learn what happened in your state.

A scammy snapshot of 2023

Want to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your communities from scams? Go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov to report fraud. Reports like yours help law enforcement take action with education and enforcement. By reporting what you see and experience, you can help protect your community.

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It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s  computer user records  system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s  Privacy Act system notices . For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy .

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Thank you for sharing information that I was not aware of. When people take pleasure in being deceitful! You can no longer trust in laws (especially) or your own family. The more J know the more I am aware of protecting myself and helping others as well!!

I think Congress should pass a bill to penalize the scammers.

In reply to I think Congress should pass… by Hi Nguyen

Thoroughly agree with Nguyen- scammers should be punished/penalized for their crimes. If Congress is required to do so, then Congress should pass the necessary laws to make this happen. Peter

In reply to Thoroughly agree with Nguyen… by Peter

You’re right

I think there are laws but the problem is finding out who and where they are.

In reply to I think there are laws but… by Wren

If they would hold some of the social media platfroms accountable for thier lack of care about any of these issues it would help a lot. Hackers are allowed to use accounts to scam people freely.

Yes definitely they should put them in jail longer than other crimes because it affects you mentally and socially more than a in person crime . This is because you do not know in reality who did the scam. The scammers are working with the person in the scam to rob you. Is gang stalking.

Can’t penalize foreign nationals who reside in foreign countries unfortunately

what a great idea. Robocalling already is illegal but doesnt seem to stop them. MOST coming from Jamacia. Only reason I know that is b.c I did the no no of calling back and it was on my phone bill

Thank you for the information!

I’m surprised that text messages wasn’t listed as a means of fraud or attempted fraud. I get phishing texts the most, followed by phone calls. Lately, I’ve received a few emails with a PDF attachment that is an alleged invoice. I don’t open it. It’s very interesting to watch the scammers attempts to get information or money from me. I’m already a victim of identity theft due to some major data breaches in 2021 to current, so I’m especially careful.

In reply to I’m surprised that text… by MN

Absolutely agree with MN. The phone calls start at 8:30 AM with so-called Medicare plans, or now it's Credit help! 99% of the time I don't answer. It doesn't stop there text comes in with "Hello how are you?" From some unknown number. I print them out in the event that someday I can help catch these creeps.

In reply to Absolutely agree with MN… by Bette Burton James

Bette if you receive the calls on your mobile phone you can block them. If you have an iphone, after the call ends, go to RECENTS, click on the i (information) button, scroll down to the end of the info and click on Block this Caller Forewarning though, they just have another number they can use :-\ Any number you don't recognize, don't answer . . . if it's legit, there should be a message, no message it's not legit. Unfortunately this doesn't stop the robocalls - I've blocked over 1,000 on my iphone in the last year. Good luck!

I've been gettng over 50 "lewd and suggestive" emails every day. I have blocked these and as of this morning there were over 199. Can this list be sent directly? They are insulting, and I would rather forward this to you, if possible.

Enid Hurwitz

In reply to I've been gettng over 50 … by Enid Hurwitz

call the opt out # for robocalls.... google it, it's everywhere... there must be an opt out for spam emails also. ask FTC and FCC and any other agency to report. This may stop it completely...if you're serious. sounds awful. good luck!

Thank you. Very important info!

So, My comment is simple---why isn't there more done to stop this? You have the most sophisticated people people working within the US---there should be a cure for this--shame on America for not having the answer!!!

In reply to So, My comment is simple--… by Deborah K Grimm

if this govt wold only pay folks like Snowden more than they've already made, have him and those like him work for the gov, we'd be In much better shape.

I have brighten a few items on line and got scared. It is hard to tell the difference between a legit company and a phoney one.

My 90 year old trusting and naive Mom has been sending 50 + small checks a month to various 'non-profits' associated with USA Cash Draw and other socalled million dollar sweepstakes. The operation is associated with many unfamiliar 'non-profits', giving her the idea that she is helping folks while assuring she will win at least one of the 20,000 prizes. She does not read the fine print, which has a deadline for a specific draw. However, she is already in the habit of sending 'gifts'. Examples are Citizens behind the badge, advancing American freedom, Fund for integrative Cancer treatment and some familiar ones like Am Against Drug abuse.

A second issue is all the political solicitations (she gets six to 12 inch stacks of mail per day. Some scare tactics of Lawyers requesting money - "they have put her on an important congressional committee" that leads her to believe without her money the political job wont get done. I think This is abusive of her and misuse/disrespectful of free speech. Nevertheless, being a generious person and wanting to help, all the solicitation become a burden and upsetting to this senior. Help!

Thank you Patricia Sargent

thanks for the great work you do....I am seeing lots of iCloud scammers trying to get me to reply to emails saying I have won a prize from big name companies like CVS, Lowes, etc .,,, I delete but would like to start reporting these....I am trying but can't figure out an easy way to report these scammers.

In reply to thanks for the great work… by Bess H Parks

Most big companies have email addresses you can forward scam emails to. You can open the companies' legit webpage & search for scam addresses or customer service. Always good to report to FTC as well.

I would add aggressive sales practices from car dealers to the list, the CARS act does not go far enough to protect consumers.

Publishers clearing house scammers keep calling my home. I cuss them out,hang up on them,etc. and it doesn't stop them from calling.

Thought ID theft has highest losses. ?

Why don't we have a govenment service to locate, arrest and shut them down.

Thank you for this information. We seniors are particularly vulnerable to scammers, and this helps us a lot.

I just contacted the FTC because I got a scam e-mail telling me my Social Security Number was used for Drug Trafficking in Texas and New Mexico! I don't even live anywhere these states! FYI... NEVER click on or open these scam e-mails!

I hope law enforcement is treating this like the huge crime wave it is. It is more than an inconvenience or annoyance. I hear stories of people loosing their life savings.

In reply to I hope law enforcement is… by Nancy Sheran

I agree, it should be considered a form of terrorism tbh. It's attacking US citizens and instilling fear and threatening, isn't that supposed to be terrorism? Whoever is the kingpin of these things should be sent to Guantanamo. It's costing tax payer dollars, counted a ton of the victims are on public assistance. So if our legislation doesn't think this is an attack on us from foreign soil and domestic. They are not thinking or looking at this bigger picture. Our economy is suffering because of scammers on this global scale and something definitely needs to be done. Educate citizens, if you're on public assistance maybe there should be restrictions on the monetary usage? Someone needs to come up with a logical bill for us to vote on. This is getting extreme especially with the ones SWATTING grandma. THAT IS USING OUR OWN DEFENSES TO INSTILL TERROR ON CITIZENS! So yes, I agree with you.

I report most of the email scams, but it takes time. It would be much easier if your program would allow us to forward these without going through the reporting portal. It is a constant battle. I have a call screen on my phone so never answer something I don't recognize, but I have seen texts that I have to block as I know they are scams. There really needs to be a crack down task force working on this. Lots of them are from out of the country.

Emails for payments to Geek Squad, Renewal charges for anti-virus programs like McAfee & Norton, I've dumped & blocked hundreds of them.

It is basically impossible to block the spam emails. Yes, they can be reported to the FTC but only individually, and the form is time consuming. EVERY spam email will have a different phony “From” email, even if there are multiple ones that appear to be from the same sender with same subject matter. There is absolutely no way to stop them. All advice says to just delete them - don’t open or reply. I was getting over 1000 spam emails daily, but interestingly that dropped to about 100-150 daily when I got a new phone. I check and group delete several times a day. Text messages (phone numbers) can at least be blocked. I also refuse cookies or modify them to “strictly necessary”; turning off all marketing and promotional settings. I agree that more aggressive measures are needed.

I have been getting emails from different vendors like Norton security thanking me for the purchase of their service on the day and time of the transaction mostly everyday with different names on them with a phone number for me to call them if I have any questions of the transaction. I just delete them and I have not reported them yet but I will now. Another thing that I have experienced is mostly all the people who walk in front of my door to try to sell some product or service without any proof of the company they represent are fraud and try to get my name and phone number for them to call me later but I do not give it to them. I do not trust no one at all. I get phone calls wanting to know if I have any Master Card and ask me to give them my name and date of birth to make sure it is me and I just hang up on them. I hope this helps somebody and make sure to put a Fraud Alert on your credit report with any of the 3 Credit Bureaus Like Experian.

Consumer education has no chance against fear and greed so ignorance and naivete will continue. Perhaps if the telco's had strong protection against SIM swaps and banks provided more than the weakest forms of 2FA we might have a fighting chance before the data brokers sell our PII to anyone with a credit card.

Please include Scam GAMES claiming PayPal or Cash App payouts. I've followed the game rules and watched HUNDREDS of ads, and as soon as I reached enough to get paid, the site stalls never to reopen, or they want you to do tasks, like spin the wheel 100 times and the error page pops up saying come back tomorrow day after day... granted all that is lost is time, but time is money!

Someone called me today at 5:28 PM, on February 14th, from: caller ID; YELLOWST, 1-307-227-9080, and ask if this was Stephen? They said "Stephen, is this Stephen", I replied "yes this is Stephen". They said then "have a good rest of your day" and abruptly hung up. I searched the number on the internet to try to find out who it was, could not find anything out without paying a fee. So I called them back within about three minutes, it rang a few times then went to a busy signal, I tried twice later that same evening, and got the same answer. I am wondering what kind of scam this is.

How can I know this site isn't a scam?

A whodunit about a missing novelist takes a bizarre, brilliant turn

Jennifer croft’s ‘the extinction of irena rey’ is a blackly comic, fiercely inventive drama that explores the cult of celebrity and the art of translation.

In September 2017, eight translators from far and wide arrive at an odd-shaped house in a remote Polish village on the edge of a primeval forest. This is the group’s seventh “translation summit” at the home of internationally renowned author Irena Rey. Once again, the translators will render her latest book into each of their languages. But before they can settle down and start work, their host disappears.

The intriguing premise of Jennifer Croft’s debut novel will prompt readers to wonder what kind of book this is. A fiendish whodunit? A riddling thriller about why the lady vanishes? A slice of psychological horror in which the assembled characters get nastily bumped off, one after the other? In fact, “ The Extinction of Irena Rey ” is something quite different. It is also, to a large extent, something quite brilliant. Croft subverts expectations with a blackly comic, fiercely inventive drama that explores the cult of celebrity and the art of translation (an art this critically acclaimed, award-winning translator has mastered) while spotlighting disparate individuals working together and falling apart.

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The book’s narrator is Emi from Argentina. She and her seven colleagues refer to one another by their respective languages. Alongside “Spanish” there are German, English, Serbian, Slovenian, Ukrainian, French and new recruit Swedish. All worship their dear leader — “Our Author” — Irena: “She was warmth, she was moisture, she was light, she was the adamant perfection of a million billion snowflakes in a split second’s descent.” They are therefore disconcerted to see that she is a shadow of her former self, not radiant and captivating, complete with aura and halo, but rather ghost-white and withdrawn. They also find she is incensed by a government measure to chop down the spruce trees in the neighboring Białowieża Forest.

When Irena goes missing, her acolytes air their suspicions: Has she been kidnapped by her husband, Bogdan, by Russians, by one of her trolls or obsessive fans? Aware that they are behind the curve (“as translators it was our lot in life to arrive after the fact”), the group starts combing the forest and trawling her new manuscript for clues. As they do so, they come out of Irena’s shadow and flout her rules, think for themselves, learn one another’s real identities and, in some cases, find romance.

Their investigations uncover hidden secrets about Irena, from dubious habits to illicit affairs to the shock revelation that the author might have been using her faithful followers for more than their translation skills. But as they get closer to the truth and reevaluate who Irena is, tensions flare, paranoia takes root, and rivalry between members of the group sours into deep-seated animosity. Soon it becomes clear that it isn’t just Irena’s life that might be in danger.

Croft won the 2018 International Booker Prize for her translation of Olga Tokarczuk’s “Flights.” While “The Extinction of Irena Rey” is markedly different from the Nobel laureate’s self-styled “constellation novel” with its patchwork of voices, stories and reflections, key elements of Croft’s book (madcap mystery, amateur sleuthing, off-the-beaten-track Polish setting) show that it comes from a similar mold as Tokarczuk’s 2009 work, “ Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead .”

Olga Tokarczuk’s ‘The Books of Jacob’ shows why the Nobel judges were so awestruck

But Croft has written a busier novel, one that is powered by rambunctious energy and packed with quirks and anomalies. There is jeopardy in the form of a venomous snake, a rogue archer, a strange ranger and, for Emi, a duel with fellow translator Alexis. There is an unexpected twist when a character presumed dead reappears, and a bizarre turn when Irena’s archnemesis Barbara Bonk darkens her door.

However, as Croft thickens her plot, she also clutters her narrative, often impeding momentum. We hear about, and try to make sense of, myths, hoofs, cryptic words and embroidered pouches. We take stock of the exotic and the esoteric: forest flora and fauna, the collection of museum artifacts and curios in Irena’s house, and the contents of the folders on her computer. When Emi talks of the “empty plenitude” of Irena’s home, she could be describing her creator’s surfeit of random detail on certain pages.

More book reviews and recommendations

But during Croft’s more streamlined sections, there is much to admire and enjoy. Her translators are a colorful bunch, particularly Serbian Petra, who swears Irena’s home is haunted, and Alexis from Arkansas, whose English translation of Emi’s book we are reading, and whose catty footnotes are a source of joy. Croft animates her characters while expertly skewering their fawning devotion toward the enchantress-author who has them in her employ and under her spell.

Best of all, though, are Croft’s insights into translation. Does Alexis have the right to “civilize” Irena’s text by making amendments? Do translations “adulterate” their originals? At one point, Emi declares how important translators are — “how we mattered, and how we dissolved, which came to the same, like the horizon at sea.” Elsewhere she notes ruefully that “Irena’s works were eternal, but our translations were no more enduring than socks.”

Now’s the time to read Esperanto literature — in English translation

Like her 2019 memoir, “ Homesick ,” Croft’s novel is interlarded with beguiling photos. They add to the display of creativity on show — a frequently dizzying display, which leaves the reader both disoriented and exhilarated.

Malcolm Forbes is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Economist, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New Republic.

The Extinction of Irena Rey

By Jennifer Croft

Bloomsbury. 320 pp. $28.99

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Learn about the FTC's notable video game cases and what our agency is doing to keep the public safe.

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Our mission is protecting consumers and competition by preventing anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices through law enforcement, advocacy, and education without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.

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Lina M. Khan was sworn in as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission on June 15, 2021.

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As Nationwide Fraud Losses Top $10 Billion in 2023, FTC Steps Up Efforts to Protect the Public


  • Consumer Protection
  • Bureau of Consumer Protection

Newly released Federal Trade Commission data show that consumers reported losing more than $10 billion to fraud in 2023, marking the first time that fraud losses have reached that benchmark. This marks a 14% increase over reported losses in 2022.

Consumers reported losing more money to investment scams—more than $4.6 billion—than any other category in 2023. That amount represents a 21% increase over 2022. The second highest reported loss amount came from imposter scams, with losses of nearly $2.7 billion reported. In 2023, consumers reported losing more money to bank transfers and cryptocurrency than all other methods combined.

"Digital tools are making it easier than ever to target hard-working Americans, and we see the effects of that in the data we're releasing today,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC is working hard to take action against those scams."

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Online shopping issues were the second most commonly reported in the fraud category, followed by prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; investment-related reports; and business and job opportunity scams.

Another first is the method scammers reportedly used to reach consumers most commonly in 2023: email. Email displaced text messages, which held the top spot in 2022 after decades of phone calls being the most common. Phone calls are the second most commonly reported contact method for fraud in 2023, followed by text messages.

The Commission monitors these trends carefully, and is taking a comprehensive approach to detect, halt, and deter consumer fraud, including in 2023 alone:

  • Leading the largest-ever crackdown on illegal telemarketing : The FTC joined more than 100 federal and state law enforcement partners nationwide, including the attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia in Operation Stop Scam Calls , a crackdown on illegal telemarketing calls involving more than 180 actions targeting operations responsible for billions of calls to U.S. consumers.
  • Proposing a ban on impersonator fraud:  The FTC is in the final stages of a rulemaking process targeting business and government impersonation scams.
  • Cracking Down on Investment Schemes:  The FTC has brought multiple cases against investment and business opportunity schemes, including Wealthpress , Blueprint to Wealth , Traffic and Funnels , Automators and Ganadores .
  • Confronting Emerging Forms of Fraud: The FTC has taken steps to listen to consumers and build knowledge and tools to fight emerging frauds. For example, the FTC announced a challenge in 2023 to help promote the development of ideas to protect consumers from the misuse of artificial intelligence-enabled voice cloning for fraud and other harms.
  • Stepping up CAN-SPAM Enforcement : The FTC is using its authority under the CAN-SPAM Act to rein in unlawful actions, including in cases against Publishers Clearing House and Experian .
  • Reaching Every Community:  The FTC has expanded its ability to hear directly from consumers in multiple languages through the Consumer Sentinel Network.

The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network is a database that receives reports directly from consumers, as well as from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau, industry members, and non-profit organizations. More than 20 states contribute data to Sentinel.

Sentinel received 5.4 million reports in 2023; these include the fraud reports detailed above, as well as identity theft reports and complaints related to other consumer issues, such as problems with credit bureaus and banks and lenders. In 2023, there were more than 1 million reports of identity theft received through the FTC’s IdentityTheft.gov website.

The FTC uses the reports it receives through the Sentinel network as the starting point for many of its law enforcement investigations, and the agency also shares these reports with approximately 2,800 federal, state, local, and international law enforcement professionals. While the FTC does not intervene in individual complaints, Sentinel reports are a vital part of the agency’s law enforcement mission and also help the FTC to warn consumers and identify fraud trends it is seeing in the data.

A full breakdown of reports received in 2023 is now available on the FTC’s data analysis site at ftc.gov/exploredata . The data dashboards there break down the reports across a number of categories, including by state and metropolitan area, and also provide data from a number of subcategories of fraud reports.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers . Learn more about consumer topics at consumer.ftc.gov , or report fraud, scams, and bad business practices at  ReportFraud.ftc.gov . Follow the FTC on social media , read consumer alerts and the business blog , and sign up to get the latest FTC news and alerts .

Contact Information

Contact for consumers, media contact.

Jay Mayfield Office of Public Affairs 202-326-2656

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U.S. Warns Allies Russia Could Put a Nuclear Weapon Into Orbit This Year

The American assessments are divided, however, and President Vladimir Putin denied having such an intention, saying that Russia was “categorically against” it.

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By David E. Sanger

Reporting from Berlin

American intelligence agencies have told their closest European allies that if Russia is going to launch a nuclear weapon into orbit, it will probably do so this year — but that it might instead launch a harmless “dummy” warhead into orbit to leave the West guessing about its capabilities.

Listen to this article with reporter commentary

Open this article in the New York Times Audio app on iOS.

The assessment came as American intelligence officials conducted a series of rushed, classified briefings for their NATO and Asian allies, as details of the American assessment of Russia’s intentions began to leak out .

The American intelligence agencies are sharply divided in their opinion about what President Vladimir V. Putin is planning, and on Tuesday Mr. Putin rejected the accusation that he intended to place a nuclear weapon in orbit and his defense minister said the intelligence warning was manufactured in an effort to get Congress to authorize more aid for Ukraine.

During a meeting with the defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, Mr. Putin said Russia had always been “categorically against” placing nuclear weapons in space, and had respected the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits weaponizing space, including the placement of nuclear weapons in orbit.

“We not only call for the observance of the existing agreements that we have in this area,” he was quoted as saying by the Russian state media, “but we have proposed many times to strengthen these joint efforts.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Putin reinforced the central role he believes Russia’s nuclear arsenal plays in the country’s defenses: Visiting an aviation factory, he climbed into the bomb bay of a Tu-160M strategic bomber, the most modern in the Russian fleet.

Mr. Putin has made no secret of his interest in upgrading Russia’s Cold War-era delivery systems, like the bomber, which can reach the United States and is designed to carry two dozen nuclear weapons. And he has advertised a fleet of new weapons — some still in development — including the unmanned Poseidon nuclear torpedo, which was designed to cross the Pacific, with no human control, to explode on the West Coast of the United States. (Russia has been less transparent about the accidents that have accompanied the testing of these new weapons .)

But a space weapon would be different. Unlike the rest of the Russian or American arsenals, it would not be designed to hit cities or military sites, or any place on Earth. Instead, it would be nested inside a satellite, capable of destroying swarms of commercial and military satellites circulating alongside it in low-earth orbit, including those like Starlink that are remaking global communications capabilities. It was Ukraine’s ability to connect its government, its military and its leadership over Starlink that played a critical role in the country’s survival in the first months after the Russian invasion, two years ago this week.

According to two senior officials briefed on the intelligence assessment that the United States provided to allies, American officials have said that Mr. Putin may believe that the mere threat of massive disruption — even if it meant blowing up Russia’s own satellites — might infuse his nuclear arsenal with a new kind of deterrent. Bloomberg reported earlier that the allies were told that a launch could come this year.

If the Tu-160 bomber that Mr. Putin clambered aboard on Wednesday ever dropped its bombs on the United States or a NATO nation, the retaliation would most likely be swift. But Mr. Putin, the American analysts have told their counterparts, may believe that the old Cold War doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” would not apply in space: No one would risk a war over blowing up satellites, especially if there were no human casualties.

But American officials admit they have low confidence in their own analysis of whether Mr. Putin is really prepared to launch a nuclear weapon into orbit. They have concluded that Russia tested such a system in early 2022, about the time that Mr. Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. But it took some time for American intelligence agencies to determine that test was a practice run for putting a nuclear weapon into orbit.

Now those agencies are divided in their assessment of what may come next. Some believe Mr. Putin might launch a “dummy” weapon, but leave it unclear whether it was fake or real — making a response all the more difficult.

But the concern in Washington is high enough that Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken warned his Chinese and Indian counterparts last weekend that if a nuclear weapon were ever detonated in low-earth orbit, it would take out their satellites, too. He urged them to use their influence with Mr. Putin to prevent the weapon from ever being deployed.

Mr. Shoigu, the defense chief, said on Tuesday that Russia was not violating the 1967 treaty, but he stopped short of talking about plans. “We do not have any nuclear weapons deployed in space, or elements of nuclear weapons being used on satellites, or fields created to stop satellites working effectively,” he said, according to Russian media reports.

“We don’t have any of that, and they know that we don’t, but they are still making noise,” he continued, at the meeting with Mr. Putin. “The reason why the West is making this noise consists of two things: first, to scare senators and congressmen, to extract funding supposedly not just for Ukraine, but also to counter Russia and to subject it to strategic defeat.”

“And second, in our view they would like to push us so clumsily into restarting a dialogue on strategic stability,” he said, a reference to talks that were briefly underway before the invasion of Ukraine about devising a successor to the New START treaty, which limits the number of overall weapons that the U.S. and Russia can deploy. The treaty expires in two years.

Those discussions also delved into new kinds of weapons and new technologies, including artificial intelligence, that could pose new nuclear threats. But the talks ended with the invasion of Ukraine, and have never resumed.

Audio produced by Adrienne Hurst .

David E. Sanger covers the Biden administration and national security. He has been a Times journalist for more than four decades and has written several books on challenges to American national security. More about David E. Sanger

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‘How To Become The Dark Lord (& Die Trying)’ In The Works At Legendary Television From Adam Wingard

By Peter White

Peter White

Television Editor

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EXCLUSIVE : Legendary Television has landed the rights to Django Wexler’s fantasy novel How to Become the Dark Lord (and Die Trying) and is developing it with Godzilla vs Kong director Adam Wingard .

The company snapped up the rights to the book in a competitive battle.

Wingard has history with Legendary, having directed Godzilla vs Kong and well as upcoming film Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire . He will produce with his manager Jeremy Platt ( Hap & Leonard ).

It follows a young woman from our modern world who finds herself stuck in a time loop within a realm ruled by the Dark Lord. Tired of dying over and over, she finally decides to stage a revolution and become the Dark Lord herself.

Wexler is the author of The Shadow Campaigns, The Forbidden Library, and The Wells of Sorcery as well as his latest, Emperor of Ruin . He is repped by Seth Fishman at The Gernert Company and Grandview.

In addition to the Godzilla franchise, Wingard is working on a sequel to Face/Off, which he is set to co-write and direct. He is also behind movies including You’re Next and The Guest . He is repped by Grandview and CAA.

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Ryan Murphy Reveals ‘Grotesquerie’ FX Horror Drama & Sets Stars; Watch Teaser

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