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Publishers Should Include Translators’ Names on the Cover of Books


The Authors Guild encourages members to sign open letter from the U.K.’s Society of Authors in support of book translators

“As the U.S. counterpart to the UK’s Society of Authors (SOA), the Authors Guild fully supports today’s open letter from the SOA to all published writers asking them to request that their publishers provide cover credits for the people who translate their work, “ said Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, which earlier this year issued the first model publishing contract for literary translators.

“Translators play an irreplaceable role in creating a vibrant world literature and introducing new readers to important works by authors across the globe. Yet all too often they are overlooked when it comes to the publishing industry, viewed as neither authors nor editors. It is long past time that translators be acknowledged for their contributions by including their names on the book’s cover. That’s only the first step, however; translators should also receive royalties and a share of subsidiarity rights. We also urge both authors and publishers to hire more translators of color or from diverse backgrounds to better reflect and capture the unique perspectives they bring when translating a manuscript,” she added.

More than 844 authors have already signed the letter, which was written by Jennifer Croft (translator of Olga Tokarczuk’s International Booker Prize-winning Flights) and Mark Haddon (author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), and issued today by the SOA. Croft also published a strong op/ed two weeks ago making the case for translators’ names to appear on the front covers of books along with the author.

The Authors Guild urges its members and others to support translators and sign onto this important letter.