How much does a translation cost? And how long does it take to translate a book?
So many questions! Let's see if I can answer some.
How much does a translation cost?
My rates are calculated per source word and can vary for each project, depending on the subject, the genre and the turnaround time. I sometimes offer discounts and first-time-client benefits, so the best way to know how much the translation will cost is to get in touch and I’ll get back to you within 48 hours, wherever you’re based!
How do I get a quote?
To receive a quote, send your book (or at least an extract) to firstname.lastname@example.org in editable format – preferably Microsoft Word – with the total word count. I will then give you a quote and a time frame for the translation.
When will my translation be ready?
This is hard to answer without context. It really depends on several factors, like the lenght of your book, the genre and the amount of research involved – think of historical fiction, for example. To give you at least an idea, translating a 70.000-word book of moderate difficulty would take me between 2 to 3 months.
What I can tell you with no shadow of doubt though, is that if we agree on a deadline, you will have your book ready on that day, no matter what.
Get in touch now and find out when your translation will be ready!
Which payment methods do you accept?
I accept payments via bank transfer and Wise. The quote you’ll receive will be in your currency, so you’ll know the exact cost of the translation. I will ask you for an up-front payment upon the signing of our agreement and the remaining amount will be due on the date of delivery. All transaction fees have to be covered by the client.
What's your process? What should I expect?
Good question! Here’s how I work. Once we have an agreement on the cost and delivery date of the translation, my work will be divided in four phases:
- phase one is where I take a few days to read your book from cover to cover so I get to know the story, the characters and – most importantly – your voice as a writer. This is also where I take notes of some of the challenges I might face while translating. Think about fantasy books, for example, where there might be made-up words that need to be translated while maintaing the same meaning and appeal. I don’t like to go in blind on such things, so I deal with them right at the start;
- phase two is all about translating. I set a minimum of pages to translate every day so I know I’m always on schedule (math doesn’t lie, right?). I will keep you updated – at least once a month – on how things are going and I might also have some questions for you regarding the text;
- phase three is where I take a few days off from your book. The translation is done at this point, but I need to get some distance between me and the text so I can review it and proofread it properly. Don’t worry though, this short time off won’t make me miss the deadline: it’s all scheduled to fit in the time frame we agreed on;
- phase four is about reviewing and proofreading. I will read the translation several times on different devices to make sure it reads smoothly. Why use different devices you ask? Because it’s been proven that switching devices while proofreading (e.g. going from a laptop to a tablet) is an excellent way to spot typos. And neither of us likes typos, right?
What about copyright?
There’s a lot of fuss aroud this topic but it’s actually very simple.
Let’s start by saying that the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to the book you’ve written will always be yours. When it comes to translated works, according to the principles of the Berne Convention and most copyright laws in European countries (Italy included), literary translators are to be treated as authors and enjoy the same legal rights, meaning that:
- the translator is the sole IPRs’ holder of the translated version of a book;
- the translator must be named on the book, either on the cover or in the title page;
Once the invoice is fully paid though, you will receive the sole right of use upon the translation. In other words, you will be free to publish the translated book in any format you wish and – unless otherwise stated in the translation agreement – no royalties will be due.
Click here if you wish to learn more about this topic.
I know this is tedious stuff and there are improvised “literary translators” out there who will not bother with it, but if you’re a professional you ought to work in the confines of the law.
Where else can I hire you?
You like my attitude and my experience but you’re not comfortable hiring someone you don’t know and have no means to vet? That’s completely reasonable but don’t you worry! You can also find me on Reedsy, an exclusive platform where you can connect with the best publishing professionals: from publicists to translators.
In order to be accepted on Reedsy, professionals have to be vetted and have to meet strict standards in terms of years of experience and success of previous collaborations. Reedsy also makes communicating and paying very easy and ensures that both professionals and clients are protected in case of a dispute.
So what are you waiting for? Come drop me a line here and let’s start working on your book!
P.S. Please understand that Reedsy takes a commission on every transaction, so my rates will be higher if you decide to hire me through the platform.