Information for books translation
Thread poster: Maika Vicente Navarro

Maika Vicente Navarro  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:17
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 12, 2005

Hello to everybody,
I am a freelance translator who is still getting stablished; I have few clients so far. I would like to work as book translator (fiction and non-fiction), but I have no idea on where to begin:
How should I proceed? How to know whether a book has been translated?
Who have I to contact to translate a book?
How much do I rate per word? My language pairs are English>Spanish and French>Spanish.
If any one could help and guide me I would really gratefull.
Thank you very much to everyone in advnace,
Maika Vicente

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Local time: 01:17
English to Dutch
Get in touch with publishers May 13, 2005

Hi Maika,

I started translating books recently. I have looked on the internet for publishers that publish books on topics I like. Then I tried to find out contact details and names of editors. And I just started calling them. Most have asked me to send them my CV and a couple reacted by asking me to do a test translation. Some have sent me whole chapters, others just a few pages. And I'm working on my first book now. So it can lead to results very quickly.

About rates: in the Netherlands there is an 'official' rate for literature of 5.8 cents. Furthermore, for every copy sold over 2,500 you get 2% royalties. For non-fiction, rates are lower and they don't offer royalties in general. One publisher offers a rate of 3.2 cents for popular fiction (thrillers etc). For the book I'm working on I've agreed a lump sum which comes down to 0.05 cents.
There is also an organisation that gives gives grants for translations, both for starters and experienced literature and literary non-fiction translators. Maybe they've got something similar for you to.

My advice: prepare yourself well and just get on the phone. That way you get a feel for the market, which might steer you in certain directions. It might also be useful to get in touch with an experienced book translator, who could tell you all the ins and outs of the market. I did that as well and that information was very helpful in dealing with the publisher.

Good luck!

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