Fees when working with academic publisher
Thread poster: Kelly Neudorfer

Kelly Neudorfer  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:22
German to English
Mar 17, 2015

I'm currently in discussions with an academic publisher in Germany to translate a book in their program. Right now we're still in the very initial phases (I proposed the translation and asked about rights; they responded and said they were interested and would want to publish the translation themselves then asked for more information on my qualifications and a detailed description about the project proposal; I sent them both), but I'm wondering how to proceed when it comes down to the money issue.

I've translated and published 3 books before, but they were always translations that the author or the publisher arranged - I've never initiated the process before. In the past, I was paid a per page rate for my translations and that was it.

Now I'm wondering what is typical in the situation, especially if any of you have experience in Germany - would it be normal for me to ask for a per page fee and when the translation is done, the payment is over? Or would it be typical for me to ask for the fee as an advance on the royalties? If it makes a difference, it's a non-fiction, glossary-type book.

I'd appreciate any tips you can give me on what I should be asking for in terms of payment now and/or in the future!


[Edited at 2015-03-17 08:25 GMT]

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Sprachfuchs  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:22
Member (2010)
English to German
+ ...
http://www.literaturuebersetzer.de/ Mar 17, 2015

Hier gibt es viele nützliche Tipps.

Auch was das Urheberrecht betrifft.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:22
Member (2008)
Italian to English
My experience Mar 17, 2015

In my experience, the best way is to deliver a book translation in parts, with a fee for each part. Your rate should be the same as what you normally charge, or more if the text is particularly demanding.

You should not ask for royalties. In my experience, this type of book never sells enough copies to generate royalites and after the Author and the Publisher have taken theirs, little or nothing is left for anyone else (including the translator).

I would add: do not accept revisions or additions after you've received the text to be translated and absolutely not after you've delivered the translation. I've had bad experiences with academics who kept on thinking, and "having better ideas", after I had already done the translation !

[Edited at 2015-03-17 09:49 GMT]

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Fees when working with academic publisher

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