How to approach a publishing house
Thread poster: irene serafini

irene serafini  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:07
English to Italian
+ ...
Jun 1, 2007


I am considering the possibility of sending out some curriculums to independent publishing houses which I personally admire. It would be very nice to collaborate with them, but as I am new in this translation field I really don't know which is the best way to approach them, offering my services.
I know I would hardly receive any answer from them...but, does someone have any tips?


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Samia Touhami
Local time: 00:07
English to French
Tips Jun 1, 2007

Hi Irene,

I've been trying to approach publishing houses for several months now.

You'll not catch their attention by sending a CV because they receive loads of them everyday. Unless you have already been published, it will be hard. I think the best thing to do is call them, try to reach the person in charge of the translation department, and get an appointment to show your work. You can also send them translation extracts that have a link with the kind of texts they publish, along with your CV and whatever is relevant for your application.

Also, talk about it around you to find out if your friends or relatives know publishers or people working in a publishing house; they may introduce you to them.

I hope this helps.


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Take tips from advice for aspiring authors? Jun 1, 2007

There are countless sources of advice for authors who hope to have their book published; how to write a cover letter introducing their book, how to find the publishers most receptive to their pitch, etc. Perhaps it would be worth researching and applying these counsels, making the appropriate changes from "author" to "translator". Then again, it's never yet worked for me.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Samia may have the right answer Jun 1, 2007

Samia Touhami wrote:
Also, talk about it around you to find out if your friends or relatives know publishers or people working in a publishing house; they may introduce you to them.


This is specific input from Brazil. It might apply elsewhere or not, no way to find that out other than asking.

I actively participate in 4 translators' (only those having Portuguese as source and/or destination language) lists/newsgroups on Yahoogroups, hence I know - at least by name - a couple thousand Portuguese translators' names.

So I went to a good technical bookstore here in Sao Paulo, and browsed several books in my main specialty area (human resources). I narrowed my sample to books I could have translated myself, and looked up the name of who had translated each one. Not one single familiar-sounding one!

Then someone asked your question on one of these Yahoo lists, viz. how can a translator get in the book publishing market?

The general answer was that, in this case, unless you are famous (for having actually written a successful book), who you know is somewhat more inportant than what you know. In other words, your CV, no matter how attratctive, will have a lesser effect than being introduced by someone who is already in the publishing circle.

To reinforce this view, I recently had to proofread a miserably bad translation of a book. So bad I couldn't believe it! But the publisher, in dismay, told me that the translator who did it had shown "a quite impressive CV". This person probably had more contacts than actual knowledge.

So, check if this applies in your area, and go for it!

Good luck.


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How to approach a publishing house

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