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Rates for translation of book
Thread poster: Sibylle Gray
Sibylle Gray
United States
Local time: 14:31
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Apr 1, 2007

Hello there,

I have a question about rates reg. translations of books. I was asked to send in an offer for a book (diet book) that is 372 pages long, but I'd only need to translate 272 pages since someone else would be handling the rest. The company sent me a few sample pages ranging from 111 words to 300+ words per page. I was asked to send in the total amount I'd charge for translating the 272 pages. What would be an adequate amount? I'd have 2 months for the translation, so no rush job. Am I entitled to receive a certain portion of the running sales? What about copyrights?
I hope I did not ask too many questions and I hope that someone can help out. Thank you very much.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:31
English to French
+ ...
Search Google for "translation rights" Apr 2, 2007

If you search Google for "translation rights" and add the name of the country where the publisher is, you will most likely end up finding the laws that have to do with this. In most European countries, you are entitled to a percentage of the sales, but this will have to be negotiated. However, from what I heard, if you get a percentage of sales of the translated book, you don't get paid for the translation after you are done with it. You will only get royalty cheques (which should be fine, especially if the book sells well). You may end up maing much more money through the sales of the book than you would have if you charged per page or per word. However, I haven't done this before, so you may want to check with reliable sources.

If the company asks how much you would translate the material for, they are probably favoring a work-for-hire approach, which means that you will get paid per word or per page - and you can forget about royalties. I think that if you have the right to get a percentage of the sales, you can demand this to be applied. But then again, they can also find a different translator who will be willing to work for hire...

All the best!

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