How did I manage to publish my book in a different language?

"Mountains, Radio Waves and a Love Letter" is released on 22 February.

Finally, for the first time, my book was published in English.

The English title is the literal translation of the Japanese title.

"Mountains, Radio Waves and a Love Letter"

It had just been a year since I published in Japanese and I was thinking it was time for a new challenge. And I started to think that the content of my memoir might be interesting rather for English-speaking people.

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A must-have translation programme for English-language publishing is DeepL

DeepL is the website of a German company that develops AI-based translation programmes to translate Japanese texts into English or any other major languages.

In fact, unlike Google Translatation, its accuracy is extremely high. Literaly DeepL means Deep Learning.

The original Japanese manuscript is 200 pages long. But, it is converted to English in just five minutes. Lucky for me, it was a trial period for the paid version, so it was free after all.

So I had it translated a little bit more than 35,000 words in English.

But after all, this is AI, so if there is a mistake in meaning, or if the AI is not sure about an expression , it will show you different options.

I had to read through the whole translation by myself. This may require some knowledge of English.

Then, when I thought I had got most of the meaning across, I asked my daughter's English teacher, a British man, to help me with proofreading.


Native checking is still essential.

Then we decided to give it a go, and probably had about eight video sessions where we discussed, "What's the situation here?" Who is this guy?" We discussed things like, "This lacks a bit of spice, so I added it," or "This is something that English speakers would take as stingy, so I cut it out. It was fun. Anyway.

And he would say, "This is a masterpiece", "This could be the plot of a film. The main actor must be Brad Pitt" and other compliments, and we finished the manuscript in English.

The website Reedsy, introduced to me by my teacher, was next on the list.

I found in English-speaking countries, there is a community website that connects authors with publishers, editors, cover designers and marketers.

So I looked for publishers to send my manuscript. I applied to 23 of them. Some of them are direct to the publishers, others to agents.

So-called agents, especially larger publishers, won't even read a manuscript by someone who hasn't made their debut yet, unless it's recommended by a professional agent. It's like a grassroots baseball player who wants to join the major leagues and suddenly can't negotiate, no matter how good he is.

And the wait time is usually five weeks to six months.

Even if you wait, you usually don't get a response. The walls between new authors and publishers are high. They are in business too, so they can't look through every single one of the 100 or more manuscripts sent a day.

But finally, I've had offers to co-publish.

In my case, I sent my manuscript to Indian publishers by mistake. As I wanted to target Western Travelers I never thought of Asian publishers at all. But I was notified by a publisher called "Leadstart" that I had been accepted for review. At first, I thought it was some kind of scam and looked at their reputation on the internet, but in the end, I realized that there was no problem because they were a medium-sized publishing company introduced on Reedsy in the first place, and I signed a contract for much less than half a price of self-publishing in Japanese.

First edition is printed 200 copies. This is also reasonable based on my experience with my self-published book in Japan. It will also come with an e-book, which will be sold both in paperback and in 20 Indian bookshops and on Amazon in India, the US and the UK. It is now available on Amazon in Japan, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Italy, among others.

I set the bar low from the beginning, saying that I would never sell a book if the readers didn't know who it was from, so I can honestly say that I am grateful to this publisher for considering my book. I had an editor, I had an originally designed cover, they sent dummy prints to me. I don't know how it will turn out, but now they are looking for a publisher who might be able to publish in Spanish.

There's also a marketing team, which supports me with a division of labour, and they help me prepare 3D mock-up for publicity and find media outlets to publish review articles. I'm not a hard worker, but they still asked me to create my own website, so I got a domain name and created my original website. I also blog in English (this!) because it was necessary according to them.

Then they put the author's introduction on the publisher's page.

There were various interviews, or rather questionnaires, and I desperately wrote about my favourite films, my favourite books, my heroes, the people I admire in life, and so on.

I think that AI is so much of help, but at the end of the day, it's still important to season your work with man's ability.

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What do you aim to publish?

As an aside, this English version, in the hands of a Brit, is funnier than the original, with a bit of cynical humour added.

It's on sale to rave reviews at the following websites! I was surprised that it's on sale in Poland too! The e-book seems to be inexpensive in all sites.

The price is set by the publisher based on market conditions, so I didn't know about it until it came out.

Then, the stock belongs to the publisher, so the only way I can get copies is by buying it at the 30% author discount.

I personally don't want to make money from my book, and I'm glad that it has been published in both Japanese and English, as it has given me confidence and lots of new things to learn, and has made me realize once again that I have the support of many people. I thought it might be a good chance for me to take on new challenges.



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