How much to charge for translating a book
Thread poster: Mark Nathan

Mark Nathan  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:31
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
Sep 19, 2003

I have been asked to quote for translating a 55,000 word book about a semi-technical subject with which I am reasonably familiar.
They are prepared to give me a couple of months to do it.
Is 0.06 euros/word about right?
Is there a usual procedure for proof reading? i.e. am I or the client expected to pay someone else to proof read it?


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Gerard Michael Burns
Paraguay
Local time: 19:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Seems low Sep 19, 2003

I work in a combination that is usually lower paying, Spanish-English, but even to me 6 cents seems a bit low for a "semi-technical" subject. But if this is an important job for you, and if you have reason to believe it won't be especially difficult for you, then use your judgement.
Regarding proofreading: no matter how good you are, it is definitely smart to have someone else proofread, there's a kind of "snowblindness" that sets in during long projects.


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:01
English to Tamil
+ ...
If you are responsible for the proof reading too, your rate should include that as well Sep 19, 2003

There is no other way about it. Whatever you are asked to do, your rate should reflect all of them. If you assume 50% rate for the proofreading jack up your quotation by at least 60% as a precaution. Employ the best proof readers for the job. If the client is not willing then put the proofreading end entirely under his responsibility. Ask for a reasonable advance of 30% before starting the work. Most important, get a clearly worded job order. Billing should be on a regular basis at definite milestones. From each invoice you can deduct the advance on a prorata basis. Congratulations in advance!

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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 00:31
English to French
+ ...
Ask the client Sep 19, 2003

Mark Nathan wrote:
Is 0.06 euros/word about right?
Is there a usual procedure for proof reading? i.e. am I or the client expected to pay someone else to proof read it?


You have to ask the client, but usually the publishers have someone in house to do the proof reading.

0,06 est moyen. A vous de voir. Demandez d'abord un exemple du texte avant d'accepter et de decider.


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Marco Oberto  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:31
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Best tariff Sep 19, 2003

Mark Nathan wrote:
Is 0.06 euros/word about right?

In my combination (eng>It), 0.06 euro/word would be a bit too high. Publishing houses normally accept a range comprised between 0.03 and 0.04 euro/word, for semi-technical translations (i.e. IT, economics, marketing texts, etc.)

Is there a usual procedure for proof reading? i.e. am I or the client expected to pay someone else to proof read it?


As for proofreading, the task is entirely up to the client, as for my experience. I've always worked in cooperation with a proofreader/revisor chosen by the publishing house.


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Bill Greendyk  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:31
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with Marco Sep 19, 2003

[/quote]

As for proofreading, the task is entirely up to the client, as for my experience. I've always worked in cooperation with a proofreader/revisor chosen by the publishing house.

[/quote]

In my experience as well, proofreading is the responsibility of the publishing house. They sometimes ask me to find someone for the job, but in the end they still pay for all proofreading costs.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:31
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
For reasons of objectivity Sep 19, 2003

the proofreading is better left to a second person, whom the publishing house chooses. The price for proofreading is something between 30-40% of translation (average).

Setting your rates may depend upon the contract mode, though. In my experience, something done through a translation job purchase order pays per word, but books may be package deals with signed contracts and you may be entitled to ask for translation credits (your name on the frontispiece, for ex.) as per contract, especially if the subject matter is specialized. Translation credits are harder to negotiate with purchase orders, but two clients have conceded me the privilege (no royalties, of course, but the gesture counts a lot).


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pascie  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:31
English to French
+ ...
It is too low Sep 19, 2003

Usually publishers pay 0.09 per word. This only for translation.
Hope this helps.


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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 00:31
English to French
+ ...
Which? Sep 19, 2003

pascie wrote:

Usually publishers pay 0.09 per word. This only for translation.
Hope this helps.


Where? Where? [img]thumb_smileySII_064.gif[/img]


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:31
German to English
Fee vs. value Sep 19, 2003

Deadline seems generous and should allow time to fit in the odd extra piece of work or social activity. I would echo the points above about advances (even over the relatively short period of 2 months) and most definitely put the burden of proofreading back on the publisher at this rate.
By the way, what's often overlooked is that there's no reason to stick with 1 cent pricing steps. There could easily be a few extra tenths on the table if the publisher really wants your expertise.
Good luck
Dan Bird


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sandhya  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:01
German to English
+ ...
make a bargain Sep 20, 2003

if the client is stuck on 0.06 Euros/word, then make a deal with them! Ask them to publish your name on the translated version... Translated by: Mark Nathan. Published works showing your name would definitely look good on your CV

IMO, 0.06 is anyway a low rate, even if you and your client are based in France! But that is a decision you must make. However, proofreading and editing (better done by a third person, especially for published works) must be extra.
Normally the client assumes resp. for proofing. In any case, the publisher would (hopefully) have the copy edited/proofed before publishing it!

all the best

Mark Nathan wrote:

I have been asked to quote for translating a 55,000 word book about a semi-technical subject with which I am reasonably familiar.
They are prepared to give me a couple of months to do it.
Is 0.06 euros/word about right?
Is there a usual procedure for proof reading? i.e. am I or the client expected to pay someone else to proof read it?


[Edited at 2003-09-20 02:52]


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pascie  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:31
English to French
+ ...
certainly not in the Netherlands, sorry.. Sep 22, 2003

lien wrote:

Mark Nathan wrote:
Is 0.06 euros/word about right?
Is there a usual procedure for proof reading? i.e. am I or the client expected to pay someone else to proof read it?


You have to ask the client, but usually the publishers have someone in house to do the proof reading.

0,06 est moyen. A vous de voir. Demandez d'abord un exemple du texte avant d'accepter et de decider.


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How much to charge for translating a book

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