Help needed for quote to publisher
Thread poster: Irene Artegiani

Irene Artegiani
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
English to Italian
+ ...
Jul 3, 2013

Hi all,

I'm an EN>IT translator with 3 years' experience in the technical and audiovisual field; in order to broaden my experience and also because of a personal passion, I have contacted a publisher regarding the translation of a cooking book I particularly love, and am now negotiating conditions and pricing with them.

However, I realised I have no idea about how much I should charge when it comes to literary translation...

Assigment: 45,000 words
Language pair: IT>EN
Text type: cooking recipes and tips
Myself: not too much experience, but definitely not a newbieicon_smile.gif

Those are all the details as I can give at the moment, hope someone can help me finding the right rate

Thanks very much in advance!
Irene


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:06
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Some useful links Jul 4, 2013

Hi Irene,

For starters, here are two surveys that you might find interesting:
CEATL survey: http://www.ceatl.eu/current-situation/working-conditions
My "Working for publishers" survey: http://www.pirothattila.com/PI_Survey.pdf

Also, you may wish to check out the recommended minimum rates of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders: http://www.sfep.org.uk/pub/mship/minimum_rates.asp

Best,
Attila


 

Irene Artegiani
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your reply :) Jul 4, 2013

Hi Attila,

thanks very much for the links you sent! I already knew the CEATL survey and found it extremely helpful, although it refers to people with 10+ years experience therefore doesn't really apply to me, but overall it's a very good reference.

Checking out the other links just now, thanks again for your help!
Irene


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:06
Russian to English
+ ...
Probably about $5,000. Jul 4, 2013

You can charge slightly less if they offer you the royalties. Don't work for only the royalties. It is usually risky and you never see any real money.

[Edited at 2013-07-04 11:52 GMT]


 

Irene Artegiani
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Probably about $5,000 - isn't this too high for my experience? Jul 4, 2013

Thanks for your reply Lilian; would you say this rate applies to someone who has some little experience too?

I was wondering if $5000, roughly £3.300, wasn't a bit too high: my 3-years translation experience doesn't include literary translation (only technical and audiovisual so far) and it would come up at about 0.07p/word which is quite a high rate for freelancers here in the UK.
To give you an example, with my current rate at 0.06p/word I don't find any work and I'm constantly asked to lower it. But again, I don't usually deal with publishers and that's why I'm asking for advice in the first placeicon_smile.gif

Thanks for your point of view though!
Irene


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 06:06
English to Polish
+ ...
Not a rate per se but Jul 4, 2013

I'd try to think about an expression or phrase to convey that your rates are somewhat negotiable or on the indicative side but without projecting an image of yourself as a weak, gullible translator who will accept a 50% lower counteroffer just like that. Basically, this is a tiny bit of copywriting to serve your future, related needs, when you aren't sure what to do, know that the related category of job or client may pay less than normal, but don't want to lose too much in the deal.

 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 12:06
Chinese to English
Wrong idea about rates and experience Jul 4, 2013

Hi, Irene.

I think you're thinking the wrong way about both rates and experience.

1) Rates. Of course agencies are always pressing you to give lower rates. That's literally their job. It doesn't mean that your rates are too high - and I can assure you they're not.

2) Experience. There's no direct link between experience and rates. The question that everyone is trying to answer is this: will this translator do a good job? Experience is useful because it is good evidence that you can do a good job. But it's not the only argument you can make. Passion and interest are important, especially for a book-length project.
You could also try selling a sample. There are now cooking websites which might be interested in paying for individual recipes (they offer them to subscribers as recipe of the week or similar). If you can sell (or place for free, if necessary) a sample, that might help convince the publisher that you're the right person for the job.
Once the publisher believes that you're the person to do it, your level of experience or otherwise is irrelevant. You just have to negotiate hard.

Good luck!


 

Irene Artegiani
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the good advice about attitude more than rates Jul 4, 2013

Thank Lukasz and thank Phil. I guess it's quite clear that my little experience is mostly evident when it comes to adopting the right attitudeicon_smile.gif

Phil Hand wrote:

Hi, Irene.

I think you're thinking the wrong way about both rates and experience.

1) Rates. Of course agencies are always pressing you to give lower rates. That's literally their job. It doesn't mean that your rates are too high - and I can assure you they're not.


You're absolutely right Phil. I know my rates aren't low, but this is the highest market price I can currently charge in the UK if I want to get a few jobs (few, not many - I still consider myself not fully established as a freelance translator)

2) Experience. There's no direct link between experience and rates. The question that everyone is trying to answer is this: will this translator do a good job? Experience is useful because it is good evidence that you can do a good job. But it's not the only argument you can make.
Once the publisher believes that you're the person to do it, your level of experience or otherwise is irrelevant. You just have to negotiate hard.


Funny enough, the reason why agencies ask me to lower rates is because I "only" have 3 years' experience and not more. However, theoretically I couldn't agree more with you, and I believe the publisher in question has enough evidence I can do a good job by now.

Not a rate per se but

I'd try to think about an expression or phrase to convey that your rates are somewhat negotiable or on the indicative side but without projecting an image of yourself as a weak, gullible translator who will accept a 50% lower counteroffer just like that.


Lukasz, a very good point indeed. I'll put on my thinking cap and come up with a suitable phraseicon_smile.gif

thanks all, very helpful!


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:06
Russian to English
+ ...
$5.000 or $4,500 is not high at all -- it is even below the average rate Jul 4, 2013

It does not matter at all if you have experience or not. The translation has to be perfect anyhow, otherwise they will not publish it, or very few people will buy it. If you do not have that much experience, it will just take you more time to translate it, not that the outcome can be of a significantly lower quality. It will take you about a month to translate it.

 

Irene Artegiani
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I've learnt a lot here! Jul 5, 2013

Thanks to all of you who replied so far, I've learnt quite a few lessons from youicon_smile.gif
Cheers,
Irene


 

Irene Artegiani
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Quick Update Jul 16, 2013

Dear all,
last week I submitted my quote after a long research, which couldn't have been so precise without your help - the quote was fair to me and reflected my usual market rates; it has been accepted, and am now waiting for green lights to start my big project!

Thanks everyone for the support and information provided!!icon_smile.gif

Best,
Irene


 


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