translating a book
Thread poster: Roger Marshall

Roger Marshall  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:28
Catalan to English
+ ...
Mar 27, 2013

Hi everyone,

I have the option of translating a book on psychotherapy. I have been charging the author of the book 0,08 EUR per word for articles that I have been doing for him. As the book is a long-term project I was thinking of charging 0,04 or 0,05. Does this seem reasonable? Are there other pricing criteria that obtain for book translation? Can anyone give me some idea of what they are?

Thanks a lot


LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:28
Russian to English
+ ...
Hi, Roger. Mar 27, 2013

I think it is much to little. I think you should charge him at least your regular rate. Your regular rate seems very low, to begin with. You don't have really that much space left to go any lower, unless you want to translate the book pro bono.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Flexible deadlines Mar 27, 2013

I've only translated one book myself and I allowed the author a slight discount (12,5%) on my normal rate (similar to yours) because there was no set deadline. However, if there had been one and if it was likely to prevent me accepting work from my other clients, then I'd have been less willing to consider it.

In the end I had to set a deadline myself, because I'm so used to working under pressure that I'd never have finished the book otherwise!


The Misha
Local time: 08:28
Russian to English
+ ...
It all depends on how much you value your time and effort Mar 27, 2013

I set a certain minimum rate below which I would not work. Period. It doesn't matter what it is, a book, a birth certificate or a message from God, or how long or short it is. If it doesn't pay that certain number of pennies per word, I am not interested. I got plenty of other things to do to keep me busy.


Phil Hand  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:28
Chinese to English
I wouldn't give that much of a discount Mar 27, 2013

It depends on what it's worth to you, of course, but there are a few reasons to think that you shouldn't lower your rates.

1) A long piece of work can be more work. Maintaining consistency of style and terminology is hard over 5,000 words - over 60,000 words it can be really time consuming.

2) You'll lose the opportunity to find other clients while you're translating the book.

3) You're perhaps more valuable to the client than you realise. Changing translators for a single article? Possible - the worst that can happen is the translator messes up one paper. But for a book, the author wants to be sure to get someone competent. And the one person he really knows is competent is you.


Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:28
English to Russian
+ ...
Would you? Mar 27, 2013

Roger Marshall wrote:

As the book is a long-term project I was thinking of charging 0,04 or 0,05. Does this seem reasonable?

Would you agree for less salary/wages if someone employed you till your retirement?
Does this seem reasonable?


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Monika Jakacka Márquez[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

translating a book

Advanced search

Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search