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Last updated Dec 20th, 2023


Literary translation is the art of carrying a piece of prose or poetry from one language to another. Translating your work into another language can give you access to a new market, helping grow your audience and increase your sales. Translating literature requires great deliberation and strong linguistic capability in both languages.

A literary translator will compellingly convey the content, tone, and style of a book in a new language.

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Book Translation

A literary translator is a publishing professional specializing in book translation, i.e. the translation of literary works, both fiction and non-fiction.

What can I expect from a translator?

In traditional publishing, translators most often deliver an unedited translation, which is then edited and proofread by the publisher’s team. When working directly with independent authors, translators generally strive to deliver a “ready-to-publish” translation. To achieve that, they’ll often partner with a colleague on a given project: one will complete the translation, and the other one will edit and proof it.

Translators may also be available to help the author market foreign-language editions, mostly by translating any marketing materials such as the book description, author bio, editorial reviews, and advertising blurbs.

Translation Assessment

This is a service offered by a publishing professional to assess the quality of a work in translation. A popular option with multilingual authors working in a second or additional language, this service can help ensure that the translated edition of a book meets the standards expected by readers.

What can I expect from a translation assessment?

If you request a translation assessment, you will receive a written report detailing:

  • The quality and tone of the translation;
  • Any irregularities that may confuse readers;
  • Any idiomatic phrases that do not translate;
  • An appraisal of the manuscript’s readiness for the book market.

A translation assessment will not include any direct line edits to your manuscript.