Payment in the form of royalty-sharing?
Thread poster: Yehezkel Tenenboim

Yehezkel Tenenboim  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:41
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Feb 18, 2019

Now on the job board:

===
Seeking experienced literary translators for contemporary romance/romantic comedy series and possibly my other women’s fiction titles at a later date. I'm offering a commercial fiction translation opportunity with payment in the form of royalty-sharing.
===

I'm wondering about this kind of offers. Does it mean that I work on this for two months (173,000 words), then the book doesn't sell even a single copy and I've just literally
... See more
Now on the job board:

===
Seeking experienced literary translators for contemporary romance/romantic comedy series and possibly my other women’s fiction titles at a later date. I'm offering a commercial fiction translation opportunity with payment in the form of royalty-sharing.
===

I'm wondering about this kind of offers. Does it mean that I work on this for two months (173,000 words), then the book doesn't sell even a single copy and I've just literally slaved for two months?

How does this work? Would any of you respectable translators take such a job?
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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:41
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Royalty sharing Feb 18, 2019

I've seen the job post as well.

The way royalty sharing works is that you won't see any money until the book is sold. If the person already has a publisher who believes that the book will sell well, then you might see a percentage (usually 10 - 15%) of the net revenue. This means that first the publisher and the author receive their shares, then taxes are being deducted. Whatever is left is the base that your royalty share comes from. Now if this was another Harry P
... See more
I've seen the job post as well.

The way royalty sharing works is that you won't see any money until the book is sold. If the person already has a publisher who believes that the book will sell well, then you might see a percentage (usually 10 - 15%) of the net revenue. This means that first the publisher and the author receive their shares, then taxes are being deducted. Whatever is left is the base that your royalty share comes from. Now if this was another Harry Potter, then go for it.

However, the poster did not mention any previous publishing results in other languages, nor whether there is already a publisher on board. This means that you'd be working and then crossing your fingers that the book sells well enough to compensate you for the time you've spent translating 173K words.
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Yolanda Broad
Tina Vonhof
Teresa Borges
Josephine Cassar
 

Joel Pina Diaz  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:41
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Royalties Feb 18, 2019

here you can find all the information and job opportunities.
https://www.babelcube.com/


 

Eva Stoppa  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:41
Member
English to German
+ ...
How will I know? Feb 18, 2019

What chances do I have to check how many compies of this book are being sold and if any?

I once was contacted by some author who also made such an offer to me. I posted this question on some Computer Forum and someone answered that you can Programme a page to Show you some phantasy number of copies which have been sold, but this number does not have to Show the real number that actually was sold. So I am wondering wether the translator has a Chance to check how many copies were sol
... See more
What chances do I have to check how many compies of this book are being sold and if any?

I once was contacted by some author who also made such an offer to me. I posted this question on some Computer Forum and someone answered that you can Programme a page to Show you some phantasy number of copies which have been sold, but this number does not have to Show the real number that actually was sold. So I am wondering wether the translator has a Chance to check how many copies were sold.
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Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:41
English to French
+ ...
Yes, that's exactly it Feb 18, 2019

I'm wondering about this kind of offers. Does it mean that I work on this for two months (173,000 words), then the book doesn't sell even a single copy and I've just literally slaved for two months?


texjax DDS PhD
Tina Vonhof
Daryo
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:41
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
In short Feb 18, 2019

Eva Stoppa wrote:

What chances do I have to check how many compies of this book are being sold and if any?

I once was contacted by some author who also made such an offer to me. I posted this question on some Computer Forum and someone answered that you can Programme a page to Show you some phantasy number of copies which have been sold, but this number does not have to Show the real number that actually was sold. So I am wondering wether the translator has a Chance to check how many copies were sold.


You really don't have any chance at all to check how many copies have actually been sold, let alone, figure out how many copies your translated book might sell.

The only exception would be a bestseller, but this is obviously not the case here. If the book has already been sold an X-number of times in any given language, then the poster would have stated, even emphasized this.

[Edited at 2019-02-18 14:10 GMT]


Tina Vonhof
Teresa Borges
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
@Yehezkel Feb 18, 2019

Yehezkel Tenenboim wrote:
Does it mean that I work on this for two months (173,000 words), then the book doesn't sell even a single copy and I've just literally slaved for two months?


Yes. But there are may titles on Babelcube and similar sites. If you want to translate such a book, you should choose one that you believe will make you money. Very few of them actually do. Besides, if you look at Babelcube's royalty structure, and do the math, you'll find that it's always a labour of love.


Michael Wetzel
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 09:41
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Literary slavery Feb 19, 2019

Usually translators of literary work receive support from somewhere, at least here in Finland. Some get support for 5 years or so.
But if your country does not support translation of fiction, you have to get your share from the sales or do it for a fixed sum.
You better contact the publisher, if the author cannot pay you.
Or you do it for love of the art.


Carolina Finley
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:41
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Absolutely not Feb 19, 2019

Yehezkel Tenenboim wrote:

Would any of you respectable translators take such a job?


Absolutely not.

As a published author I can tell you that royalties are nothing but trouble. You probably wouldn't be entitled to any royalties at all until the book has sold a certain number (e.g., 1000 copies - which most books never sell anyway).

In order to keep track of the sales figures you would need to be in contact with the publisher (not the Author) and publishers are notoriously lax about providing such information.

And what happens if the publisher sells the book to another publisher?

All in all: stick to translating and getting paid for your translations.

Clearly, this Author is hoping that some ingenuous person might be willing to translate her books on a promise of "jam tomorrow".

[Edited at 2019-02-19 14:08 GMT]


Jan Truper
Kevin Fulton
Eliza Hall
Josephine Cassar
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Elena Aclasto
 

Florian PLATEL
France
Local time: 08:41
Member (2019)
English to French
+ ...
Books sales Feb 19, 2019

Hi,

In order to have an idea of the potential of sales of a book that has already been published, you may have a look at this site : http://www.salesrankexpress.com/
It lists number of books sales. The weak point is that it only lists sales from Amazon in the US and UK, but, as I said, it may give an idea of the potential.

Florian


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 08:41
Member (2016)
English to German
Ranks, not sales Feb 20, 2019

Florian PLATEL wrote:

Hi,

In order to have an idea of the potential of sales of a book that has already been published, you may have a look at this site : http://www.salesrankexpress.com/
It lists number of books sales. The weak point is that it only lists sales from Amazon in the US and UK, but, as I said, it may give an idea of the potential.

Florian


Florian, where does this site list the number of books sales? I see only sales ranks. And a sales rank is a rather useless information. When a book has a sales rank of #100,000 and another book has a sales rank of #500,000, this can mean that the first book sold 5 copies and the second book sold 2 copies. This information is quite meaningless, or have you a way to compute the real sales numbers from the sales rank?

Or did I miss something entirely and the site really shows sales numbers anywhere?


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:41
Serbian to English
+ ...
what is offered is simply not "payment" Feb 20, 2019

for your work but joint venture / joint investment.

Would you enter in any joint venture with someone who starts by misrepresenting what's on offer?

Besides the fact that in fact you would have no control whatsoever once you have delivered your "investment" ...


 


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