Leveraging the shift we've been observing in the publishing industry, a recently-created website aims at bringing authors and translators together in order to further literary translation worldwide. BabelCube creates a social space for collaboration, in which authors can post information about their own books that they would like to see translated and translators can make offers and submit a sample of their work for consideration.
The website, created by Carlos Granados, offers 10 easy steps for translators to identify authors and books that would be a good match for their skills and target language. It also has information on how to distribute and promote books once the translation is complete, in addition to managing royalties. Ultimately, publishers and literary agents can also create an account on the website if they're looking for scouting opportunities and ideas to bring to their own market.
In exchange for their services and the use of their platform, BabelCube is included in profit sharing, playing a role that is proportional to the longevity of book sales. In the beginning, translators and the website make more from royalties and, with time, the authors are the one pocketing most of the money from sales.
This project is just heating up the engines―the first blog entry was posted past July― but it will be interesting to follow up on a potential expansion as authors and translators start flocking to the site and interacting with one another. When the news breaks that the first deal to come out of BabelCube became a hit or got opted for a movie deal, for example, more websites offering similar services are likely to pop up to further tip the scale to the side of independent publishing and away from traditional publishers.