Translating a book-newbie
Thread poster: Savina N Savova

Savina N Savova
Bulgaria
Member (2011)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Sep 14, 2009

Hello,
I am a freelance translator and few days ago a person, claiming he is the author of a book asked me to translate it. Can anyone help me what I should include in my contract as terms, rates per 1000words, etc. Shall I bother about the copywrights and publishers or just to accept this offer as it is? Please, help!
Thanks in advance


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:49
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
trust your instincts Sep 14, 2009

If you think this is odd - it probably is, OR you just got incredibly lucky...

Depending on the size of the book (and the amount of work) you probably could ask for an advance, partial payments, some stuff about possible revisions, partial delivery (what if they do not like your translation?)

In general book publishers have very strict payment terms and not very nice contracts, it surprises me this is all negotiable.....

See if you can agree on the price amd dead;ome first, before putting too much energy into the rest of the contract...


===
Ed


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Savina N Savova
Bulgaria
Member (2011)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
re Sep 14, 2009

The book is 110 000 words!!! May I apply 0.09 GBP per surce word? Is it reasonable? Uff, I am so confused...

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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:49
English to Arabic
+ ...
Echo Edward's good points about a contract and terms of scheduled payments Sep 14, 2009

Greteings.

May I echo and reinforce Edward's good points about your first receiving an executed/signed contract which includes the agreed-upon rate and terms of scheduled payments, before you undertake that large a project.

If you examined the book's contents and find that its subject matter is unfamiliar [i.e., very technical], then also insure that the contract stipulates that your client will provide you with [1] a glossary or similar reference and/or [2] access to a subject matter expert who can clarify what a term means, versus what it just says.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro, California


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:49
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Id' be really surprised if you could get away with that Sep 15, 2009

Sorriso wrote:

The book is 110 000 words!!! May I apply 0.09 GBP per surce word? Is it reasonable? Uff, I am so confused...


If you could charge that it would be great (depending on the complexity and deadline of course)...
But I doubt it - however it's all about what it's worth to the client, if he is going to make a couple of million profit on the books sales in your language, spending 50.000 on the translation would still be peanuts...
But realistically books do not pay much (somewhere between 0,04 and 0,06 ???)
(which is exactly the reason I don't translate books...)

===
Ed


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Savina N Savova
Bulgaria
Member (2011)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
re Oct 2, 2009

The author proposed me the rate 0.024 GBP?!?! At the same time he asked me to tell him my final price? I wish to make the translation but the price seems so low. Uff, what I should do?
Thank you.


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Savina N Savova
Bulgaria
Member (2011)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
re Oct 2, 2009

I forgot to mention that the deadline is 6 months, which is quite reasonable.

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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
I wouldn't do it, but I am not a literary translator Oct 2, 2009

I wouldn't do it, but I am not a literary translator so I don't know if this is reasonable at all. In my fields, I wouldn't work for less than 0.10 €/word, but I know there are translators within my same fields/language combination that are willing to work for 0.07/0.08 €/word and some even for less.

If you are to do a professional job, you should be paid as such. Unskilled jobs are paid more than this (0.024 GBP) at least here where I live. For instance, maids make a lot more than that... and they don't need any previous education, they don't need to buy/update their material, they don't need to keep on learning in order to perform their jobs, etc.

I knew literary translations were paid peanuts, but I wouldn't have thought that it was this little...

Good luck!!!


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