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Novels, rates & royalties
Thread poster: Juliette Burns

Juliette Burns  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
German to English
Mar 12, 2007

I have recently completed a sample chapter for an author of a short novel. He likes my translation (Ger > Eng) and would like me to proceed with the whole book.

We haven\'t approached a publisher yet and I would like to know what rates / conditions I can expect from UK publishers in general, especially re. name on cover / royalty payments / rates I should be charging (per page or per word?).

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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nordiste  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Contact original publisher first Mar 12, 2007

Is the novel already published in the original language ? If so, you should check with the publisher if the tranlastion rights have been sold, and to which publisher.
For contract and conditions, contact an association of writers. The literary translator is similar to a writer regarding copyrights issues.

Literary translation is usually paid per standard page ("standard "variying depending on country !), in form of a fixed flat fee covering the translation work (1/3 at the beginning, 1/3 at time of delivery and 1/3 at time of publication, after all the editing has been made and the translator has made a last check before mass printing) plus additional royalties depending of the sales (think Harry Potter !) .

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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
Italian to English
The Translators Association Mar 12, 2007

The Translators Association has useful information on that sort of stuff for the UK market:

(click on "Translators Association" in the righthand sidebar).

Non-members have to pay a fee for the publications.

Good luck finding a publisher!


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Juliette Burns  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
German to English
Useful advice Mar 13, 2007

Thanks a lot for all your interesting comments.

The novel has been published in the original language already and the author is currently discussing the rights with the German publisher.

The Translators Assoc. looks like a good source so I might buy their recommended contract terms.

Thanks again - all very helpful.


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