Fair fee for translation of short story collection?
Thread poster: Inspectress

Local time: 09:12
English to Irish
+ ...
Feb 27, 2014

Dear all,
I am set to translate a number (10-12) of short stories as an educational resource primarily and wish to compile it as a parallel text publication with each language side by side.

Were I to put a figure on a fair fee for compiling such a book - selecting stories, translating, grammar notes, etc. what would that be, roughly?

I know this is one of those hard to answer questions but I would appreciate any ballpark figures or estimate.


Phil Hand  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:12
Chinese to English
Marxist fee or capitalist fee? Feb 27, 2014

Marxist price theory says that price depends on the cost of the resources (your time). Capitalist price theory says that price depends on the market.

As I understand it, education books make very few people rich. I don't think you're going to get much extra value for your grammar notes. If you can negotiate a price which recognises how much time you've put in, that's already pretty good. I'd do that by working out the cost of translation plus a few weeks' work on the notes and exercises.

You might get more useful answers asking educators and textbook people rather than translators.


United Kingdom
Local time: 09:12
German to English
+ ...
self-publishing? Feb 27, 2014

Reading between the lines of the OP's scenario, I get the impression this is a self-publishing project and not a job commissioned by a publisher or other party. Is that the case?


LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:12
Russian to English
+ ...
I personally think you should Feb 27, 2014

charge your regular translation rate plus a small percentage of royalties. Otherwise they may think that they own your text and can do whatever they want with it--don't forget about the contract.

[Edited at 2014-02-27 09:57 GMT]


Local time: 09:12
English to Irish
+ ...
Thanks all, just an extra note.. Feb 27, 2014

I had just recently had the idea for this and had intended to go through Amazon and self publish with them.

Then just this week I came across a news release about funding for educational resources where there is a market gap, amongst other criteria, such as being an aid to learners or teachers.

In this scenario I guess I'm just looking at the fee for compiling the book and maybe I could ask for funding for marketing purposes to get word out about it.

I'm just finding it hard to put a price on my work with this one and don't want to ask for too much but at the same time I don't want to look like I undervalue my own work!

But if sales are slow for the book it sure would be nice to get something for my time, and help learners also.


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Fair fee for translation of short story collection?

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