Translations and Excerpts FAQ
I am often asked about whether any of my books or writings are available in languages other than English. And sometimes I get offers or inquiries from people who wish to excerpt or translate my books and writings. Below are my answers and advice regarding these common questions:

1) currently (or soon to be) available translations of my books and writings: 2) what you need to know if you wish to excerpt my books or writings:

The publishing rights to my first two books, Whipping Girl and Excluded, are controlled by Seal Press, part of the Hachette Book Group. This means that they - *and only they* - can grant permission for excerpts from those books. Their contact page is here:

If the piece you wish to excerpt appears in an anthology that was edited and published by someone else, you may need to contact the publisher of that particular anthology in order to obtain permission. It all depends upon whether they have exclusive publishing rights to the piece, or whether I signed a non-exclusive agreement with them (which means that I still control the publishing rights myself, and therefore can grant permissions). I can let you know for sure if you contact me.

Note: some publishers may charge a fee for excerpt/reprint permissions, especially if the excerpt is of considerable length.

If you wish to excerpt any of my self-published writings (e.g., those that *only* appear on my blog, website, or self-published books), no permission is necessary provided that the excerpt is 500 words or less, and that it includes a proper citation denoting that I am the author and referencing where the excerpt originally appeared. If the excerpt is longer than 500 words, then you should contact me for permission. In your inquiry, please include what passage(s) you wish to excerpt and where & what context they will appear.

A few notes/suggestions:
  • According to the Fair Use doctrine, fairly short excerpts can be used without permission provided that they are properly cited. While there is no cut-and-dried word limit here, I have been told that excerpts of 50 words or less are generally considered safe. If the excerpt is longer, you might want to secure permission.
  • From what I can gather, obtaining permission for excerpts is significantly more important if the excerpts will be included in a for-profit venture (e.g., a book you will be selling). If the excerpt appears in a non-profit context (e.g., your personal blog), I doubt that you will encounter problems provided that you aren't posting large swaths of my book online or distributing a large number of physical copies.
  • If you wish to reprint or excerpt parts of my books for educational purposes (e.g., a class you are teaching), there are complicated rules surrounding that that I am not fully knowledgeable about. I suggest that you ask folks at your school/institution, as they will usually have guidelines for this sort of thing.
  • These notes/suggestions are *merely suggestions*, and should not be misconstrued as legal advice or permission on my part.
3) what you need to know if you wish to translate my writings or books into another language:

If you wish to translate any of my self-published writings (e.g., those that *only* appear on my blog, website, or self-published books) into another language, inquiries should be directed to me. Please let me know what you wish to translate and where & what context it will appear.

As I mentioned above, the publishing rights to my two current books, Whipping Girl and Excluded, are controlled by Seal Press. This means that they - *and only they* - can grant permission for translations of those books.

Some people who have asked me about translating Whipping Girl or Excluded simply want to share parts of what I have written with other activists in their country or community. As with excerpts more generally (detailed above), so long as you are not trying to make money off the translation or reproduce large swaths of the book, I doubt that you will face negative repercussions, especially if there are no existing versions of the book in your language. (once again, this should not be misconstrued as me giving “permission” to do this, as I do not have that legal authority.)

Others have asked me about translating the entire book so that it can be available for sale in their country. From what I have been told, Seal generally deals with publishers, not the translators themselves. So if you wish to translate Whipping Girl and Excluded (or large sections of those books) into another language, you should start by contacting publishers who regularly release books in that particular language. If you do manage to convince them that a translation is worthwhile for them, and that you are the right person to do it, they would then contact Seal Press and work out a licensing deal (which generally involves the publisher paying Seal a certain amount of money for the right to publish the translation).

If you are a translator who does not currently have a traditional publisher, but are experienced & able/willing to enter into a licensing agreement with Seal Press directly, then you should contact me, and I can put you in touch with the appropriate people at Seal.

Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. -julia

Subscribe to Julia’s email list for updates about new books, writings, performances, etc.!

* indicates required
homepage - about - booking - news & events - writings - social media - contact

julia serano ©2002-2024