How to Get A Book Ghostwritten in Spanish
If you decide to publish your book in Spanish, you could reach up to 54 million more potential readers. Self-publishing in Spanish-speaking countries is still new, and more and more authors want to reach this market. Only around 6% of books written in English have also been published in Spanish. Getting your book ghostwritten in Spanish can help you expand to new markets such as Europe and Latin America, reaching dozens of millions of new readers and customers. But, how to get your book ghostwritten in Spanish the right way? This article will give you a couple of useful tips for finding a good Spanish ghostwriter and publishing a book that will conquer new markets.
Define Your Book and Market
There's no point in looking for ghostwriting services for your Spanish books before you've mapped out your book. Using all sources available, compile a concise presentation of your book idea focusing on:
- The niche and industry;
- The exact book topic;
- The structure of the book;
- The goals and the message of the book; and
- The tone and voice of the book.
You can draft your book idea any way you like, from a PowerPoint presentation to a regular folder, or even a scrapbook. The main purpose is to clarify your idea to the writer so that they understand what kind of book you want. Keep in mind that there's no TMI when it comes to informing the ghostwriter about your book. A vague book idea almost guarantees multiple edits, adjustments, and revisions at extra cost.
Outsource Ghostwriting Spanish Books
If you want to get a book ghostwritten in Spanish, you'll need to find a Spanish ghostwriter first, and then hand the finished work over to a Spanish editor. However, the first decision you need to make is whether or not you're publishing a book specifically for the Spanish-speaking market (e.g., Latin America, Europe, or the US Hispanic) or you're writing the book for the global market, and you want it done correctly in Spanish. Next, you want to look at your competitors and how they've tackled the book topic for your specific market. At the same time, you want to be mindful of the Hispanic reader base. Think about:
- Their age, likes, dislikes, and pet peeves when it comes to books;
- The specific problems your book might solve for the readers, also known as "pain points" (in non-fiction); and
- The linguistic characteristics and preferences of the subcultures you are targeting, such as the tone, voice, and content presentation.
Not All Spanish is the Same
When it comes to choosing a Spanish ghostwriter, it would be a good idea to decide the dialect for the book. While European Spanish, spoken in Spain, is the standard form, it differs from Latin American, Central American, Cordilleran, and the Caribbean when it comes to the writing style, phonetics, spelling, etc. There are differences in dialects when it comes to slang, terminology, humor, and other relevant aspects. When it comes to choosing a ghostwriter, focus on the following:
- The exact market (e.g., all Spanish-speaking readers, Latin American specifically, or European Spanish readers);
- The preferred Spanish dialect. This includes deciding between using Standard Spanish or focusing on dialects:
- Standard Spanish: Iberian, Castilian, or Peninsular;
- Equatorial Guinea: combines Castilian and Peninsular;
- Latin America: similar to Iberian Spanish with differences in the use of terminology, phonetics, and pronouns;
- Amazon Region: influences of the aboriginal languages;
- Bolivia: minor differences when it comes to the use of 'b' and 'v';
- Caribbean: influences of African languages;
- Central America: different use of terminology compared to the Standard and Latin American Spanish;
- And many more;
- The writer's niche and expertise relevant to the book topic.
If the variety of linguistic differences seems overwhelming, don't get alarmed. The truth is, Standard Spanish will work great for the majority of Hispanic readers. However, if your book is culture-specific, you might want to focus on a correct dialect.
Otherwise, the same criteria for hiring any ghostwriter applies to Spanish ghostwriters, like:
- Do you want a native Spanish writer or you're willing to work with a native English-speaking writer who is fluent in Spanish?
- Do you want to work directly with a ghostwriter, or prefer to work with a company who'll mediate between you and the writer?
- Is the writer talented and creative enough to write an authentic, quality book?
- Is the writer familiar enough with your niche and industry?
- More importantly, does the writer understand how your ideas apply to a different language and culture (your audience)?
The choice of a ghostwriter can make a world of difference to the book. There are both advantages and shortcomings of each:
Hiring a Native Spanish Writer
Hiring a native Spanish ghostwriter could be a bit more time-consuming but might pay itself off when it comes to the quality of the book. A native Spanish ghostwriter will be familiar with the aspects of writing such as phrases, metaphors, humor, and culture, which could be out of the native English writer's grasp. On the other hand, if your Spanish ghostwriter isn't as fluent in English as desired, they might not understand your requirements properly.
Hiring an English Writer Who is Fluent in Spanish
Hiring a native English writer (or a writer of any other ethnicity) who is fluid in Spanish also has its advantages. Mainly, a native English writer will be able to understand your requirements fully. They'll know what you want and have enough skill to put it into writing. But, are they familiar with the culture of Spain or Latin America? Do they understand the historical background and cultural climate of the countries? Will they be able to craft jokes and play with words in a way that will appeal to the native Spanish speaker?
While the decisions remain only yours, it also depends on the book and your budget. A native Spanish ghostwriter might cost more, but you won't fear negative feedback from the readers. On the other hand, if your book doesn't require a lot of cultural knowledge, but rather putting your ideas into fine Spanish wording, a native English ghostwriter who is fluent in Spanish will do a good job.
How to Decide Who Will be Ghostwriting Your Spanish Books
When deciding who will be ghostwriting your Spanish books, the process will depend on your level of Spanish fluency. If you're able to evaluate their work and ask them to write a small sample you'll quickly assess, you can interview both types of writers and compare the results. If not, you can follow a couple of guidelines:
Spanish Language Education
Native or not, your Spanish ghostwriter should have some history of education when it comes to the language. Arguably, the higher, the better, but also more expensive. You'll have to decide whether or not you're comfortable working with a writer of different levels of qualification like:
- A native English writer with a completed course in Spanish language and literature;
- A native Spanish writer without official language education;
- A native English writer with a degree in Spanish language and literature; or
- A native Spanish writer with a degree in language and literature.
The more education the writer has, the better quality they'll produce. Their price will rise accordingly, however.
Interviewing the Writer
When interviewing the writer for your book in Spanish, focus on:
- Being crystal clear about your book idea;
- Learning about their level of education in Spanish language and literature; and
- Comparing the written samples from different writers (this will also require a small compensation, so make sure to account for samples when budgeting your project).
Find a Spanish Editor
After you've got your book written, now it's time to have it edited. When it comes to editing your book in Spanish, you have two options:
- To work with an English-speaking editor who is fluid in Spanish; or
- To work with a native Spanish editor.
Either option has both advantages and drawbacks. If you decide to work with an English editor who is fluent in Spanish, they'll be able to communicate the edits a lot better. When working with you directly, they'll be able to translate your ideas into the Spanish terminology accurately. They'll also be able to tell you if the book was written properly, in case you don't speak Spanish and can't verify that on your own. On the other hand, your editor will be less fluent in Spanish than your native editor. If you choose a native Spanish editor, their ability to communicate the edits may not be the same as that of an English editor, but they're more likely to do a better job at polishing your book. The right choice depends mainly on book ideas:
- Are there ideas and messages that can be misinterpreted?
- Are there jokes, metaphors, or allegories that you want to use that might not translate well into the Spanish language?
- What is the cultural context of the book? Is the book being written for the Latin, European, or American Hispanic market?
- Which goals and values the book propagates, and how they align with cultural values, and their verbalization, of your new reader base?
If your book involves culture-relevant and sensitive content or messages, working with a native Spanish editor will help you bridge the cultural gap. They'll be able to interpret your messages and present them properly to your Spanish-speaking readers.
For example, publishing a "how-to" guidebook can work well with a native English ghostwriter and editor who are fluent in Spanish, as long as it doesn't involve much cultural knowledge. However, if your book contains the elements of storytelling, real-life examples, humor, or moral lessons (e.g., a self-help book, a success manual, psychology non-fiction, a book on diet and nutrition), you're going to need a native Spanish ghostwriter and editor.
Publishing a book in Spanish is a great way to expand your market and a prospective reader base. However, stay thoughtful of the specific market you're trying to access. The cultural aspect remains relevant when it comes to drafting the book idea and writing engaging content. For starters, define your reader base and their cultural context. Take that into consideration when planning your book, and make sure that the writer you choose knows how to craft content that will appeal to a native Spanish speaker. A thoughtful choice of a ghostwriter plays the most important role, as the level of the writer's knowledge of fine linguistic elements specific to the Spanish language and dialects decides how well your ideas will be communicated to the reader. With the right choice of a ghostwriter, your book will perfectly cater to a native Spanish reader, and your ideas and messages will be presented in the best way possible.