How much to charge for translating a 500 page novel?
Thread poster: Tamara Sinobad

Tamara Sinobad  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 23:34
Member (2005)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Jul 11, 2005

How much would you charge for a project of this size? Should I ask for advance payment?
All suggestions are welcome!


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:34
English to German
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More detailed info...? Jul 11, 2005

Hi pickwick,
I don't think it's possible to answer this question (if that can be answered at all, without specific knowledge of your particular situation) with the information provided.

The only answer I can give you is that you should definitely ask for some upfront payment, and further instalments based on progress.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:34
English to Russian
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why not Jul 11, 2005

for such a big project it is not a shame to ask for a letter of credit if you work with this client for the first time.

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Jussi Rosti  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 00:34
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Less than for translating technical stuff Jul 11, 2005

pickwick wrote:
How much would you charge for a project of this size?
All suggestions are welcome!


At least in Finland translation rates for novels are only about 50% of those for technical translations. On the other hand, the work is much more interesting and also the deal is a long one (low administrative overhead). Normally, you will work together with and editor, so the work can sometimes be very enjoyable team work, too.

Hourly rates vary vastly due to the incomparable amount of research needed for different novels.

Partly pre-payment is typical. I hope the orderer is a stable publishing house...?

If you've never done literature before, 500 pages sounds quite a big challenge to start with...

Good luck,
-jr

[Edited at 2005-07-11 12:23]


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Scheherezade Suria Lopez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:34
English to Spanish
+ ...
it always depends... Jul 11, 2005

Hi everybody!

Like you, I have been given a 400pages novel and it is the first time I have to cope with such large project.

In Spain it is not that common to be able to charge them your price. In my case, they're paying 10 euros/page, but the ratio is sometimes lower, 7 or 8.

About the advance of a small amount of money, it also depends... I began in May and I must deliver the translation in September and I haven not seen a cent! Some colleagues working there say that they don't usually pay in advance, but a month after you have given your translation...

As you see, each project, each text and each publishing company is a world....

Congratulations and good luck with your novel, though!!!


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:34
English to German
+ ...
Free credit...? Jul 11, 2005

Hi...
About the advance of a small amount of money, it also depends... I began in May and I must deliver the translation in September and I haven not seen a cent! Some colleagues working there say that they don't usually pay in advance, but a month after you have given your translation...


Just bear in mind that in essence, you're extending free credit to your customer. Did you conduct a thorough check of their creditworthiness?

Best regards,
Ralf


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Rina LS  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 23:34
English to Serbian
+ ...
Ask for some amount in advance Jul 12, 2005

Dear Pickwick,

I guess that this is not your start 'cause your membership here does not mean that you haven't had earlier experience.

This is a great challenge; just bear in mind the deadlines, research needed etc. Anyway it can be very interesting.

Concerning your question, I agree with Ralf upon some amount to be paid in advance. You should live, pay your bills and so forth during the project as well. It is a large project, and depending on your client it could be finished in a few months, but also in a year.
I would never accept such an offer without asking some upfront payment. I had a similar experience, the deadline was in 6 months and I was paid half an amount in advance as to be able to refuse some other offers I could and maybe should (have) accept(ed) during that period, 1/4 after 3 months and the rest when the project was finished.

Always keep in mind that your bill collector won't wait until you get paid.

For the price, I cannot specify it. It is hard to say because your work may be not your translation only and it may include other activities, and for sure research. It takes time as well and your time is precious.

Good luck!

Regards,

Rina


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Tamara Sinobad  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 23:34
Member (2005)
English to Serbian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Too risky Jul 12, 2005

As it turned out, the offer is coming from the author and not from a publishing house, so I'll pass. Volunteering for months would be crazy, don't you think?
Thank you all for your for helping


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:34
Member
English to Turkish
This very much depends on the national market Jul 12, 2005

Hi Pickwick,

As it should be already clear by now, every national publishing industry has its own rules and precedents. I am familiar only with the Turkish market where an advance payment is not typical, payment is usually made after publication, translator is protected by the contract and copyright laws, and receives a certain percentage after taxes (something between 6 to 10% of the print, depending on your experience and reputation, as well as on the size of the publisher). So, you will find the best advice from among your colleagues working with Serbian-Montenegrin publishers. But -though needless to say- whatever the conditions in that market are, you should never undertake anything without a contract.

Best of luck

[Edited at 2005-07-12 17:51]


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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 23:34
English to French
+ ...
very wise Jul 12, 2005

pickwick wrote:

As it turned out, the offer is coming from the author and not from a publishing house, so I'll pass. Volunteering for months would be crazy, don't you think?
Thank you all for your for helping


The author has no business to have the book translated. It is the work of the publishing house, where they care about the legal aspect and they have the money to pay in advance (let alone the whole sum).


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