Today we’re lucky to have Jae walk us through finding pirated translations.
In her recent newsletter for authors, Jae talked about a thief targeting sapphic fiction authors.
In short: a pirate or several pirates working together are stealing English-language sapphic novels, creating bad translations via Google Translate, and are publishing those stolen translations in multiple languages on Amazon.
By now, they have stolen 70+ sapphic books from 30+ different authors, and they are publishing more under new pen names practically every day.
Jae is checking Amazon for new stolen works daily and alerting authors, but you might want to do the same since you know your work best.
How to find stolen translations
- Go to a non-English-language Amazon store such as Amazon.es, Amazon.fr, or Amazon.de.
- Do a search for a keyword such as “lesbiana,” “lesbienne,” or “lesbisch” (the Spanish/French/German words for “lesbian”).
- Sort the results by publication date.
- Now look through the new releases. Here’s what to look out for:
- The titles are always bad direct translations that often don’t sound quite right in the target language.
- The books are, of course, not published under the original author’s name. Some of the thief’s pen names use all caps, e.g., TOM STOKES.
- The covers the thief uses are low-quality (But then again, not all legally published sapphic books have great covers, which makes the stolen translations harder to find).
- Most books are translated into several different languages (usually Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Dutch), using the same cover.
- Most of the covers are very generic—they usually show two women in an erotic embrace or kissing—and the title is pasted on top of the cover in a white font. But lately, the thief has branched out and used a different font and different colors and put a bit more effort into the covers. Here are two examples to illustrate the first and the second kind of cover the thief uses:
- You’ll have to click on every book that looks suspicious and check out the blurb. The book description uses the original character names.
What to do if you find a stolen translation
If you find a stolen translation of one of your books, contact Amazon right away and have them take down the stolen book. Otherwise, the thief will keep stealing from you until they have published your entire backlist. Not having Amazon take down the stolen translations could also cause trouble for you if you ever want to publish a legal translation of your work.
If you find a book by a fellow sapphic fiction author that you think might be a stolen translation, let the author know, but be aware that some authors have published legal translations of their works. They will always have the author’s name on the cover, though.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Jae at email@example.com
Jae is a writer and an editor who divides her time between writing her own books and helping other writers revise and polish theirs.
She holds a degree in psychology and worked as a psychologist for eight years before transitioning into a career as a full-time novelist—the best job in the world as far as she’s concerned.
Jae earned a certificate in editing from the Academy of German Book Trade and is now the senior editor of Ylva Publishing, a small press that publishes women’s fiction.
She has published sixteen novels and about two dozen short stories. Her books have won numerous awards and have been #1 best-sellers on Amazon on various occasions.