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Rate quote advice for literary project ENG-FR
Thread poster: Sophieanne

Sophieanne  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:55
English to French
+ ...
Feb 16, 2007

I was contacted by an agency in charge of books by a major science fiction writer, after a small test I did for them. Now they are asking for my rates, and I could use some guidance as to how much I should ask, as I have not done literary translations on that scale before, or for actual books. The target language is French... I don't want to ask to high or too low...Thank you for your suggestions.

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Sophieanne  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:55
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Still wondering... Feb 17, 2007

I'm wondering if asking for 0.10 is fine, or if I'll be asked to lower my price due to quantity. I get this feeling that because literary texts are more interesting, they're less well paid. Am I right about that?

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xxxPetra Raspel
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:55
English to German
+ ...
Still using normal rates Feb 17, 2007

Hallo Sophieanne,

I have exactly the same problem at the moment, although it's ENG -> GER.
I use my normal per word-rates here, all I'm really willing to do is maybe top off a bit (e.g., from 2.100 EUR on 2.000 EUR).

We should not forget that if a book sells well, in many cases the translator, if not very well established, doesn't see any percentage of the sales, and I really don't think that's right either, since it's not only translation in this case, but literary work. No one needs a translator who only translates word by word in this case, we need that certain amount of artistic skills as well.

So I would never go too low here, although this can mean in the end I'm not getting the job, which of course is a shame ...

[Edited at 2007-02-17 12:40]


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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:55
Member (2000)
Greek to English
+ ...
per page or per 16 pages Feb 17, 2007

Sophieanne wrote:

I'm wondering if asking for 0.10 is fine, or if I'll be asked to lower my price due to quantity. I get this feeling that because literary texts are more interesting, they're less well paid. Am I right about that?


Hi Sophianne,
I don't think they'll be very familiar with "per word" rates; usually they pay by sheet. Greek publishing houses usually pay by "16 sheets"; I don't know why. In my experience (and this applies to Greece only; I've never worked for a publishing house here in the US) prices range from €130 to €155 (even lower, such as €100, for the first book).
I find these rates ridiculously low, but until you make a name for yourself as a literary translator in Greece, you can't charge much more than that. I hope the situation is better in France!

Maria


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Sophieanne  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:55
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That helps Feb 17, 2007

Thank you for replying to my post. If I understand your calculations, and given that there are approximately 375 words per page, I get about $12.24 per page, and 0.3/0.4/word. So, I think I might double that. Waoh... that IS pretty low. I think since prices are generally higher in the US than in Greece, I'll quote $24/page, which amounts to roughly 0.06/word.
I'd like to get the job, but I still need to pay my bills! I guess I'm not the only one...
Thank you so much for your help, and I'm looking forward to more comments...


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Sophieanne  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:55
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Do you mean 0.2? Feb 17, 2007

Do you mean 0.2 Euros per word?


Petra Raspel wrote:

Hallo Sophieanne,

I have exactly the same problem at the moment, although it's ENG -> GER.
I use my normal per word-rates here, all I'm really willing to do is maybe top off a bit (e.g., from 2.100 EUR on 2.000 EUR).

We should not forget that if a book sells well, in many cases the translator, if not very well established, doesn't see any percentage of the sales, and I really don't think that's right either, since it's not only translation in this case, but literary work. No one needs a translator who only translates word by word in this case, we need that certain amount of artistic skills as well.

So I would never go too low here, although this can mean in the end I'm not getting the job, which of course is a shame ...

[Edited at 2007-02-17 12:40]


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:55
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
literay translation contract with copyrigts Feb 18, 2007

In France literary translation is usually paid through "contrat de droits d'auteurs".

You get :
- a flat fee, calculated on the number of pages in the target language - standard page = 1500 keystrokes, blanks and punctutaio included = 25 lines X 60 KS/page
- a % on sales after a certain number of sold copies is reached (could be 10 000 or more)

Price for a standard page is in the range of 12 to 20 euros.

More info on the ATLF website "association française des traducteurs littéraires" , with a model of contract designed with the ATLF and major French publishers - but is not a mandatory contrac, just "recommended"

[Edited at 2007-02-18 10:27]


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xxxPetra Raspel
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:55
English to German
+ ...
Was just an example ... Feb 18, 2007

Hallo Sophie,

that was just an example for the end price, not the actual per word rate of course

Here in Britain, for literary translation, two things are possible:

a) per word (source text) => using my normal rate here
b) per standard page (target language) => quite huge range between 10 and 15 £ per page (sometimes even lower)

The latter is mostly used by bigger publishers, and if you're lucky, you might get royalties as well (often only when more than so-and-so many copies are sold).

Per word is still quite common for self-publishers.

[Edited at 2007-02-18 13:36]

[Edited at 2007-02-18 13:37]


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Sophieanne  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:55
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sounds pretty close Feb 19, 2007

From all I have read, I think I'm about right with an average $24/page, and I will ask if there will be royalties involved...

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Sophieanne  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:55
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
in France Feb 19, 2007

Yes, I too was paid with droits d'auteur in France before, for writing jobs I did. But I don't think it works that way in the US. It's good to know however, as I might translate for French editors in the future, so I will definitely keep this in mind.

In France literary translation is usually paid through "contrat de droits d'auteurs".

You get :
- a flat fee, calculated on the number of pages in the target language - standard page = 1500 keystrokes, blanks and punctutaio included = 25 lines X 60 KS/page
- a % on sales after a certain number of sold copies is reached (could be 10 000 or more)

Price for a standard page is in the range of 12 to 20 euros.

More info on the ATLF website "association française des traducteurs littéraires" , with a model of contract designed with the ATLF and major French publishers - but is not a mandatory contrac, just "recommended"

[Edited at 2007-02-18 10:27] [/quote]


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