Translation of a book
Thread poster: giovanna diomede

giovanna diomede  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:35
French to Italian
+ ...
Jan 9

Hello collegues,
how much would you charge to translate a novel (around 250 pages, historic novel).
Would you charge per page, per word, lump sum?
Would ask for your name published as translator and for a percentage on sellings of the translated book?
Thank you


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:35
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Literary translations Jan 9

Hi Giovanna,

it depends on who your client is, an agency or a private individual.

If it's a private individual, you will usually be offered/can negotiate a lump sum for the entire translation. Some customers also offer a per page rate, but I haven't come across anyone (other than short stories or poetry) who offers a per word rate, or is willing to pay it.

Don't forget to clarify the copyright and have your name being displayed as the translator of that boo
... See more
Hi Giovanna,

it depends on who your client is, an agency or a private individual.

If it's a private individual, you will usually be offered/can negotiate a lump sum for the entire translation. Some customers also offer a per page rate, but I haven't come across anyone (other than short stories or poetry) who offers a per word rate, or is willing to pay it.

Don't forget to clarify the copyright and have your name being displayed as the translator of that book on the first or second page.
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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Thankless task Jan 9

Giovanna, while the question emerges from time to time at ProZ too, if you have never dealt with self/publishing, I would recommend to stay away from literary translation, especially without having much spare time and consulting a dedicated lawyer.

The problem is no so much low rates, copyrights, royalties, printed/issued copy numbers, popularity, and so on, as the fact the literary translation is the most tedious ever. One should consider so many intercultural aspects and zeitgeist
... See more
Giovanna, while the question emerges from time to time at ProZ too, if you have never dealt with self/publishing, I would recommend to stay away from literary translation, especially without having much spare time and consulting a dedicated lawyer.

The problem is no so much low rates, copyrights, royalties, printed/issued copy numbers, popularity, and so on, as the fact the literary translation is the most tedious ever. One should consider so many intercultural aspects and zeitgeist peculiarities, going extra miles and doing independent researches, that even a single phrase or sentence may take a few hours or even a couple of days--and many readers and critics will still grumble discontentedly.

As an independent businessperson, you may set your absolute bottom, say, $0.15+/word flat + edit/research $20+/per hour + 15% in advance + royalties and the rest to cover your costs, considering taxes.

Certainly, it makes sense to talk to someone in your language pair who was in your shoes.


Unfortunately, greedy clients even offer post-edit MT, literally sacrificing the quality. Little wonder after such a project rather many translators insist on removing/not disclosing their names. In a similar case don't be too shy: just say 'Have a nice day!' and walk away.
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:35
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Proviso Jan 9

Thayenga wrote:
Don't forget to clarify the copyright and have your name being displayed as the translator of that book on the first or second page.

It's certainly nice to have your name in books. However, be careful what you put your name to. Who is going to review the translation? Who is going to proofread the book? Are the publishers going to force any changes? You can only decide whether you want to be credited once you know exactly what the published version is going to look like. So you should insist on seeing it before publication so you can compare it with your own version. Also, I've known of cases where writing of the book itself is great quality, but then final blurbs have the quality of Google Translate. Just beware!


Josephine Cassar
Rachel Waddington
Teresa Borges
Franck Greco
 


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Translation of a book

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