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Will Amazon KDP publish a book written in your language?

Will Amazon KDP publish a book written in your language?

 

This will be a short article helping self-published authors around the world understand if their book written in their unique home language will be accepted online. I will list the supported publishing languages of Amazon and Smashwords for those authors publishing an eBook and Createspace for those authors who still want to feel their book in a paperback format.

As a South African, our country supports 11 official languages and as a result I often have curious authors wondering if their Zulu, Xhosa or Swahili manuscript will be accepted for publishing on Amazon and the other online eBook platforms. I find that Googling “What languages does Smashwords/ Amazon accept” does not always give you an answer.

Amazon is one of the few eBook platforms that lists the exact languages accepted on the KDP platform. Other (e)Book sales platforms such as Smashwords and Createspace simply have sweeping statements such as “We support most languages.” Or something similar.

After chatting with the Amazon support staff their stance on supporting additional foreign languages seems to be that once the demand from authors is there, they will hire the necessary staff needed to police and review such titles. This quite obviously gives rise to a chicken and egg scenario.

So after some searching and sorting through online articles and even website source code, I have a list of language of publication that the major eBook retailers accept.

 

Some Notes about the languages

 

Why only include the publishing language options for Amazon, Smashwords and Createspace?

The short answer is twofold, (1) they are the biggest platforms used by self-publishing authors to sell their books and (2) they are open to all authors even the ones from countries you never hear of too often.

The smaller players in the eBook retail game such Apple and Barnes and Noble are considered exclusive for most authors who find themselves born outside the US and UK. Apple will only let MAC users publish their eBooks on the Apple iBookstore while Barnes and Noble (through the NookPress platform) only allows authors within the US to list their titles.

Smashwords ignores these limitations by allowing all authors from around the world and who have never heard of Steve Jobs to have the same reach. (An alternative to Smashwords would be the Draft2Digital platform)

 

Take the language listings with a pinch of salt.

Amazon aside, an eBook distribution platform such as Smashwords shares your eBook to many stores via a single (not-so-easy to understand) interface. This means that ALL the languages supported by at least one of the stores must be listed as options whilst you are busy setting up your book listing. So don’t be surprised if you choose to publish your Gujarati cookbook through Smashwords and only a single retailer of the many represented eBook retailers will be willing to list your title.

My advice for the author who is considering self-publishing a book in one of the less-heard-of languages would be to email Smashwords/ Createspace first to confirm that at last one store will accept your title.

 

Amazon via the KDP platform

 

Here is where the book’s language is selected on the Amazon KDP platform.

Amazon KDP Lanuage Selection

 

  1. Afrikaans
  2. Alsatian
  3. Basque
  4. Bokmål Norwegian
  5. Breton
  6. Catalan
  7. Cornish
  8. Corsican
  9. Danish
  10. Dutch/Flemish
  11. Eastern Frisian
  12. English
  13. Finnish
  14. French
  15. Frisian
  16. Galician
  17. German
  18. Icelandic
  19. Irish
  20. Italian
  21. Japanese
  22. Luxembourgish
  23. Manx
  24. Northern Frisian
  25. Norwegian
  26. Nynorsk Norwegian
  27. Portuguese
  28. Provençal
  29. Romansh
  30. Scots
  31. Scottish Gaelic
  32. Spanish
  33. Swedish
  34. Welsh

 

Here is the original article from Amazon that lists the supported languages.

 

Smashwords

 

Here is where the book’s language is selected on the Smashwords platform.

Smashwords lanuage selection

 

  1. English (dialect unspecified)
  2. English (Commonwealth/international, Oxford spelling)
  3. English (Australian dialect)
  4. English (British dialect)
  5. English (Canadian dialect)
  6. English (Indian dialect)
  7. English (Irish dialect)
  8. English (New Zealand dialect)
  9. English (Scottish dialect)
  10. English (South African dialect)
  11. English (USA dialect)
  12. English (Welsh dialect)
  13. English, simplified (e.g., Basic English, Special English)
  14. Afrikaans
  15. Chinese (simplified)
  16. Chinese (traditional)
  17. Chinese (writing system unspecified)
  18. Danish
  19. Dutch
  20. Finnish
  21. French (dialect unspecified)
  22. French (standard)
  23. French (Canadian dialects)
  24. German
  25. Greek
  26. Hindi
  27. Hungarian
  28. Italian
  29. Japanese
  30. Norwegian (Nynorsk)
  31. Norwegian (Bokmal)
  32. Polish
  33. Portuguese
  34. Romanian
  35. Russian
  36. Spanish
  37. Swedish
  38. Turkish
  39. Vietnamese
  40. Albanian
  41. Arabic
  42. Assamese
  43. Asturian
  44. South Azeri (Perso-Arabic script)
  45. Azerbaijani (North Azeri, Cyrillic script)
  46. Azerbaijani (North Azeri, Latin script)
  47. Basque
  48. Belarusian
  49. Bengali
  50. Bosnian
  51. Breton
  52. Bulgarian
  53. Catalan
  54. Cebuano
  55. Cherokee
  56. Czech
  57. Dinka Agaar
  58. Dinka Bor
  59. Dinka Ngok
  60. Dinka Rek
  61. Dinka Twic/Twi East
  62. Esperanto (h-orthography without diacritics)
  63. Esperanto (original orthography with diacritics)
  64. Esperanto (unspecified orthography)
  65. Esperanto (x-orthography without diacritics)
  66. Estonian
  67. Faroese
  68. Georgian
  69. Scottish Gaelic
  70. Irish (Gaeilge)
  71. Galician
  72. Gujarati
  73. Hausa (Boko script)
  74. Hawaiian
  75. Hebrew
  76. Croatian
  77. Serbo-Croatian
  78. Armenian
  79. Igbo
  80. Icelandic
  81. Ido
  82. Eastern Canadian Inuit (Inuktitut or Inuinnaqtun, syllabic script)
  83. Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)
  84. Javanese
  85. Greenlandic (Kalaallisut, Tunumiisut, or Inuktun)
  86. Kannada
  87. Korean
  88. Kurdish
  89. Latin
  90. Latvian
  91. Lithuanian
  92. Luxembourgish
  93. Macedonian
  94. Malayalam
  95. Marathi
  96. Malay
  97. Maltese
  98. Bishnupriya Manipuri
  99. Mongolian (Cyrillic script)
  100. Mongolian (Latin script)
  101. Neapolitan
  102. Low Saxon
  103. Newar/Nepal Bhasa
  104. Occitan
  105. Persian
  106. Lombard
  107. Piedmontese
  108. Romansh
  109. Sicilian
  110. Scots
  111. Slovak
  112. Slovenian
  113. Sesotho
  114. Serbian
  115. Swahili
  116. Tamil
  117. Telugu
  118. Tagalog (Filipino)
  119. Thai
  120. Tswana
  121. Ukrainian
  122. Urdu
  123. Volapuk
  124. Welsh
  125. Wolof (Latin script)
  126. Xhosa
  127. Yiddish
  128. Yoruba
  129. Zulu

 

 

Createspace

 

Here is where the book’s language is selected on the Createspace print on demand platform.

Createspace langauge selection

 

  1. Abkhazian
  2. Afar
  3. Afrikaans
  4. Akan
  5. Albanian
  6. Amharic
  7. Arabic
  8. Aragonese
  9. Armenian
  10. Assamese
  11. Avaric
  12. Avestan
  13. Aymara
  14. Azerbaijani
  15. Bambara
  16. Bashkir
  17. Basque
  18. Belarusian
  19. Bengali
  20. Bihari languages
  21. Bislama
  22. Bokmal, Norwegian; Norwegian Bokmal
  23. Bosnian
  24. Breton
  25. Bulgarian
  26. Burmese
  27. Catalan; Valencian
  28. Central Khmer
  29. Chamorro
  30. Chechen
  31. Chichewa; Chewa; Nyanja
  32. Chinese
  33. Church Slavic
  34. Chuvash
  35. Cornish
  36. Corsican
  37. Cree
  38. Croatian
  39. Czech
  40. Danish
  41. Divehi; Dhivehi; Maldivian
  42. Dutch; Flemish
  43. Dzongkha
  44. English
  45. Esperanto
  46. Estonian
  47. Ewe
  48. Faroese
  49. Fijian
  50. Finnish
  51. French
  52. Fulah
  53. Gaelic; Scottish Gaelic
  54. Galician
  55. Ganda
  56. Georgian
  57. German
  58. Greek, Modern (1453-)
  59. Guarani
  60. Gujarati
  61. Haitian; Haitian Creole
  62. Hausa
  63. Hebrew
  64. Herero
  65. Hindi
  66. Hiri Motu
  67. Hungarian
  68. Icelandic
  69. Ido
  70. Igbo
  71. Indonesian
  72. Interlingua
  73. Interlingue; Occidental
  74. Inuktitut
  75. Inupiaq
  76. Irish
  77. Italian
  78. Japanese
  79. Javanese
  80. Kalaallisut; Greenlandic
  81. Kannada
  82. Kanuri
  83. Kashmiri
  84. Kazakh
  85. Kikuyu; Gikuyu
  86. Kinyarwanda
  87. Kirghiz; Kyrgyz
  88. Komi
  89. Kongo
  90. Korean
  91. Kuanyama; Kwanyama
  92. Kurdish
  93. Lao
  94. Latin
  95. Latvian
  96. Limburgan; Limburger; Limburgish
  97. Lingala
  98. Lithuanian
  99. Luba-Katanga
  100. Luxembourgish; Letzeburgesch
  101. Macedonian
  102. Malagasy
  103. Malay
  104. Malayalam
  105. Maltese
  106. Manx
  107. Maori
  108. Marathi
  109. Marshallese
  110. Mongolian
  111. Nauru
  112. Navajo; Navaho
  113. Ndebele, North; North Ndebele
  114. Ndebele, South; South Ndebele
  115. Ndonga
  116. Nepali
  117. Northern Sami
  118. Norwegian
  119. Norwegian Nynorsk; Nynorsk, Norwegian
  120. Occitan (post 1500); Provencal
  121. Ojibwa
  122. Oriya
  123. Oromo
  124. Ossetian; Ossetic
  125. Pali
  126. Panjabi; Punjabi
  127. Persian
  128. Polish
  129. Portuguese
  130. Pushto; Pashto
  131. Quechua
  132. Romanian; Moldavian; Moldovan
  133. Romansh
  134. Rundi
  135. Russian
  136. Samoan
  137. Sango
  138. Sanskrit
  139. Sardinian
  140. Serbian
  141. Shona
  142. Sichuan Yi; Nuosu
  143. Sindhi
  144. Sinhala; Sinhalese
  145. Slovak
  146. Slovenian
  147. Somali
  148. Sotho, Southern
  149. Spanish; Castilian
  150. Sundanese
  151. Swahili
  152. Swati
  153. Swedish
  154. Tagalog
  155. Tahitian
  156. Tajik
  157. Tamil
  158. Tatar
  159. Telugu
  160. Thai
  161. Tibetan
  162. Tigrinya
  163. Tonga (Tonga Islands)
  164. Tsonga
  165. Tswana
  166. Turkish
  167. Turkmen
  168. Twi
  169. Uighur; Uyghur
  170. Ukrainian
  171. Urdu
  172. Uzbek
  173. Venda
  174. Vietnamese
  175. Volapuk
  176. Walloon
  177. Welsh
  178. Western Frisian
  179. Wolof
  180. Xhosa
  181. Yiddish
  182. Yoruba
  183. Zhuang; Chuang
  184. Zulu

 

 

What happens if you don’t see your home-language in any of the platforms? Well aside from hiring a translator (assuming your book has been completed) I would bombard the support staff of the various platforms with requests that they start supporting your language. Get your friends, family and fellow authors to join in the emailing, get your language on the radar of the major players, it has to start somewhere.

 


 

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