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Current market rate for publishing houses?
Thread poster: asapoet
asapoet
German to English
+ ...
Sep 2, 2005

Could someone please tell me what today's fair market price is for translating novels from German into English for a publishing house in the United States?
Thanks!


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 16:12
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Moving the thread Sep 2, 2005

to the Business Issues forum (and making it on-topic)

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Tsu Dho Nimh
Local time: 08:12
English
It depends on the publisher and the work Sep 5, 2005

asapoet wrote:

Could someone please tell me what today's fair market price is for translating novels from German into English for a publishing house in the United States?
Thanks!


That's like my asking for the fair market price of a "vehicle" in Germany.

It depends on the publisher and the work. A small publisher and an obscure work of little commercial appeal will pay less than a large publisher paying for the translation of a German best seller that has a large potential market in English.

Are they offering you a rate you are willing to work for?


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asapoet
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A large publisher and a German bestseller Sep 6, 2005

Hello Tsu!

Thanks for replying. No, unfortunately nothing is definite yet. The author is a bestseller in Germany, but not here yet. The publisher is large and international, but they haven't made me an offer yet. I just wanted to be prepared in case they ask me for an estimate. The author wants me to translate, but I don't even know how publishers work here in the US. For example, do they usually have their own database of translators or do they allow the author to decide? I just want to make sure that I'm not being taken advantage of and am not going to be rejected because I'm asking for too much. I think literature is paid less than other subjects, which is another reason for asking...

I'm not even sure if I'm using this forum correctly, since it said "Reply with a quote".

Thanks for any information you can give me. I'm lost when it comes to direct clients in the publishing world.

Take care,

Asapoet

Tsu Dho Nimh wrote:

asapoet wrote:

Could someone please tell me what today's fair market price is for translating novels from German into English for a publishing house in the United States?
Thanks!


That's like my asking for the fair market price of a "vehicle" in Germany.

It depends on the publisher and the work. A small publisher and an obscure work of little commercial appeal will pay less than a large publisher paying for the translation of a German best seller that has a large potential market in English.

Are they offering you a rate you are willing to work for?


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asapoet
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for moving my question to the correct forum! Sep 6, 2005

Hi Natalie!

Thanks for moving my question to the correct forum. I'm new to proz and missed that topic in the list.

All the best,

Asapoet

Natalie wrote:

to the Business Issues forum (and making it on-topic)


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Tsu Dho Nimh
Local time: 08:12
English
Negotiate - it's not illegal Sep 11, 2005

asapoet wrote:
... The author is a bestseller in Germany, but not here yet. The publisher is large and international, but they haven't made me an offer yet. I just wanted to be prepared in case they ask me for an estimate. The author wants me to translate, but I don't even know how publishers work here in the US.


If the author is bestselling in Germany and wants you to translate into English, the publisher will probably honor the request.



For example, do they usually have their own database of translators or do they allow the author to decide? I just want to make sure that I'm not being taken advantage of and am not going to be rejected because I'm asking for too much. I think literature is paid less than other subjects, which is another reason for asking...


I don't know about pay rates. Let them make the offer - publishers will negotiate, so if it's ludicrously low, make a counteroffer. Make up your mind what the absolute lowest you will accept is and stick to it.

One thing you can ask for is royalties: less money up front, and royalties based on sales. It's a bit of a risk, if the book doesn't sell well here, but might end up paying more over time.


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