For agents and publishers

Criteria for translation of non-fiction and fiction

The aim of NORLA’s translation subsidies is to contribute to increasing the number of Norwegian books that are translated, published and distributed abroad. NORLA’s board reviews the criteria on a regular basis.

Formal requirements:
•The applicant must be a publisher in a country other than Norway or an approved agent of the same.
•The book must have been first written and published in Norwegian and have a Norwegian ISBN-number.
•The translated book must not be published before NORLA receives the application, except in the event of special circumstances. NORLA shall be credited on the colophon page.
•The signed contract between the publisher and rightsholder for the Norwegian edition, and between the publisher and translator must be included.
•The translation shall normally be carried out directly from Norwegian. An exception can be made in the event of special circumstances, such as a lack of qualified translators from Norwegian. NORLA may in some cases inspect the quality of the translation before the translation subsidy is paid.
•In the event of translation via languages other than Norwegian, NORLA requests documentation that the rights on the new translation have been cleared with the primary translator.
•The quality of the book must be of an acceptable calibre and a quality assessment will be carried out by NORLA’s Committee of Experts for fiction and non-fiction. The Committee of Experts’ assessments of individual projects will be attributed particular importance with respect to the overall quality assessment and fulfilment of genre criteria. Contemporary literature will be given priority and fiction shall normally have been purchased by Arts Council Norway.

In general, a wide range of non-fiction genres receive funding, such as non-fiction genres for a broader, more general readership and textbooks targeting professional studies, university colleges and universities. Normally funding is not granted for:
•Unpublished research reports and scientific dissertations which either have not been published or, if published, have not been adapted to a broad readership.
•Handbooks and fact books for exclusively commercial purposes, such as hobby books, joke books, question-and-answer books, cookbooks, wine books, etc. An exception can be made for books that to an exceptional degree serve to transmit Norwegian culture to an international readership.

Digital publications:
•NORLA does not normally grant funding for translations of books published solely in e-book format. For countries where the e-book sales volume exceeds 20% (currently the USA and England), NORLA can nonetheless grant subsidies to publishers who meet the requirements in effect for established publishing houses. NORLA can in some cases request a marketing and distribution plan for publications of potential interest.
•NORLA will consider funding purely digital publications of book-apps and multimedia e-books (text with other elements such as photos, film, etc.), such as children’s books, given that the publisher is an established publishing house.
•Subsidies are normally not granted for Norwegian publishing houses’ own digital publications in other languages.

(Reviewed September 2013).