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I have written a book.

Well, actually, my mother-in-law told the story of her experiences as a German forced laborer in the Soviet Union after World War 2. This was given in German and recorded onto audio tape about thirty years ago by my sister-in-law. My S.I.L. later transcribed the story in German onto twenty or so tightly typewritten foolscap sheets, and a few years ago she gave us a copy of this. My wife and I eventually translated this into very rough English (we both speak German, my wife being a native speaker). It is quite a story and we have determined to self-publish it as a book. It's basically finished at this point. So this is what I need: a word (or two) for my having put it into a final form for the book.

See, the original telling was done pretty much as it occurred to her to tell it, and it tends to get lost in parts, backtrack, go forward, and around the bend at times. The final version is still her story, but it has been reworked into what I hope is a readable and understandable whole, with a beginning, a middle and an end. I've also a spot of research on historical matters pertaining to the story, and because some words she used were Russian, I used Google Translate and the Russian Language SE to get some more information.

On the title page, I am giving the title of the book, followed by a subtitle, then the author attribution.

Below the author attribution (she is now deceased, btw), I want to indicate that the work is a transcription and a translation of the original tale, and the word I need is for the really hard part, putting it into a coherent form for publication. Here's what I got, so far:

by

As told to her daughter .
Translated by her daughter
and xxxxed by

What is that word (or words) in the xxx's? Arranged? Edited? What? Or, as someone on the ELU SE said, perhaps I shouldn't even be mentioned at all? Although the form it was in before I worked on it for a few months was completely unpublishable.

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Have you considered listing both your names as co-authors? –  Monica Cellio Sep 16 '13 at 12:59

4 Answers 4

Don't over-complicate things. You are an Author. "Authored by _."

It would make more sense for you to write, "As told by (grandmother's name). Translated by (daughter's name). Authored by (your name)." Use an introduction to tell how this story came to be, which will explain each of your roles and your motivations.

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I'd go with "Edited by." You are not the author (the originator). You took existing work and edited it to make it readable. I think "edited" makes your relationship to the work clear.

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The border between Metilda and Lauren's answers is fuzzy and depends on how much of editing you did. If you took the story nearly verbatim, translated it, polished rough edges, added some preface and made it a smooth reading, you're the editor. If you retold that story, say, changing POV, making a set of memories into a smoothly flowing novel leaving no impression of being just told from distant memories but feeling more "then and there" with many artistic liberties with descriptions, places and characters, you're the author, "basing on..."

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Perhaps Adapted by ..... from an oral history of ..... translated from the German by .....

Your contribution has been to convert from one genre (an oral recount) to another (a printed text). In many ways this is comparable to turning a book into a screenplay where "adaptation" is the term used to indicate that the work is not "original".

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