what to quote for translating books
Thread poster: margarita506
margarita506
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 19, 2007

Hello. I have been translating for a few years, and have always charged by the word, or charged a minimum charge for small jobs.

I have been asked to quote two books, one that was on the New York Times Bestseller List! What to do??

Info: I charge my clients right now .16 US per word. I usually make around $40-60 US per hour doing this. These books each are around 550 pages long, and I estimate about 400 words per page.

I REALLY want the job, but don't want to underquote just to get it. Nor do I want to go in too high and lose it. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Also, am I correct in assuming it will take me at least three months to translate one book (non-technical). Thanks so much!!


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:29
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Charge your normal rate Mar 19, 2007

margarita506 wrote:

Hello. I have been translating for a few years, and have always charged by the word, or charged a minimum charge for small jobs.

I have been asked to quote two books, one that was on the New York Times Bestseller List! What to do??

Info: I charge my clients right now .16 US per word. I usually make around $40-60 US per hour doing this. These books each are around 550 pages long, and I estimate about 400 words per page.

I REALLY want the job, but don't want to underquote just to get it. Nor do I want to go in too high and lose it. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Also, am I correct in assuming it will take me at least three months to translate one book (non-technical). Thanks so much!!


Hullo Margarita,
In my experience of translating books, I charge my normal rate per word. If the book is very long (as in this case) it would seem quite normal to do it in batches (to be agreed with the client) and to invoice for each batch as you send it. Otherwise, if you wait until the whole thing is finished before invoicing, it willl be at least four months after you started before you get paid. Also, you might risk losing other clients if you devote 100% of your time to translating this book, so it's wise to allow a little leeway so you can fit in work for other clients while continuing with the book.
If you're really keen to land this job (understandable!), quote a price a little lower than your normal rate, but only a little.
Good luck,
Jenny.


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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
just a note on book translation Mar 19, 2007

Get a contract, and stipulate that you be paid 50% up front and 50% upon completion (better than upon publication, because all sorts of things can happen in a situation like this).


Jim

p.s.(I know this wasn't your question! But very important.)


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Ledja  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:29
Member (2008)
English to Albanian
+ ...
How much will you get in the long run? Mar 19, 2007

Hi Margarita,

I was in the same situation just recently, and I offered a reduced rate because I too was particularly interested in taking this job. The idea was that, even with a reduced rate, I was going to get good money coming in for several months. However, as even the reduced rate was deemed way too expensive (£0.06 too expensive?!) I had to decline.
Best of luck to you.
Ledja


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what to quote for translating books

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