Shares, Commissions and Rush Jobs

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Shares Commission's and rush jobs when dealing with clients that are offering payments in shares or commissions, or clients with rush jobs. The basic gist is this, avoid them. At least that's my recommendation in general, I say to avoid them. But let me go a bit more into detail. First of all, I'm going to start talking about shares and commissions. Now, this is something you'll see most of the time with book translations.

So sure you have a standard rate and for your translation, and maybe even have a discounted rate based on volume. But let's face it, some authors simply cannot afford to pay you and they definitely cannot afford to pay you for their 200,000 word book to be translated. So instead, what they're going to do, and I've seen this quite often in, in the forums and on the website, is that they will offer you a commission based on sales in your language. Now, you might think that this could be a decent offer and for all anyone, no, they could. But there are several points against it, which is why I bring it up and I wanted to go through them. First of all, you should remember that your translator, you aren't, I assume an expert in book sales, or a literary agent in the books target market.

So this book that you're translating might have been a best seller back in its original language in Bulgaria say, so if you're translating from say Bulgarian to English, it might have done well in Bulgaria, but it won't. That doesn't mean that it will do well in the United States or in England, etc, etc. In fact, you don't even know if it'll be published in those languages. And even if it is, and it does start selling, do you have a way to track sales? Because those can be quite complicated to keep track of. And remember also that the author just got a translation for free So the author doesn't really have much skin in the game at this point, and will expect you to do the marketing.

This is all to say that basically you don't know what will happen. What you do know is translation. And so you can explain that you get paid as a translator. And that's it. Secondly, remember also that even if it is successful, and you are able to track sales, and it does make quite a bit of money, that there will be a huge delay in payment. Because remember from translation to then, you know publishing and to sales, don't be surprised if you have to wait about two years to see any payment.

Third of all, now that you've performed the translation, basically for free, the author knows that you have a stake in the book sales. And this means that he or she will probably expect you to do some if not all of the marketing in your target language. After all if the author was a Bulgarian author and doesn't even speak English Then this author will probably expect you to do a lot of the marketing in the United States or England or wherever else. And once again, your translator, so you don't specialize in marketing. And just because you speak the language of your target language doesn't mean that you're in any position to start marketing book out from scratch. So hopefully that was enough to dissuade you.

And I only bring it up because I've seen it several times. And I've been approached several times to perform a translation. So I've actually thought through a quite a bit. And in fact, I was going to do it at one point. And then at the last minute, basically, I decided not to. And I've also, by the way, seen similar, if not the same things with other businesses, such as with startups, mainly app developers, at least for me, where they offer basically shares in their business, in exchange for translations.

And this is pretty much the same concept and it brings about Pretty much the same problems. So as a general rule, I would say anytime anyone offers you shares or commissions instead of a direct payment for translation to say no, or at least value yourself, but keep in mind all these issues that might come up, and maybe you can negotiate some intermediate thing where maybe you get paid a certain amount, a small amount, but then you still get some commissions based on sales, etc. But remember, you need to feel comfortable with the marketing and sales because chances are, you're going to have to share in that as well. The next point is rush jobs. Now, here, there might be some disagreement, but you go to pretty much any job posting website and you'll see a couple of rush jobs or jobs that are marked urgent or very urgent, or due tomorrow, etc, etc.

Now, this isn't the case 100% of the time, but very often these will be problem jobs. So at least for me, whenever I see rush job or urgent or very urgent or anything else Long those lines, I think problem job. Remember that customers who need 5000 words, say Translated by tomorrow morning are the same ones that will find mistakes with your translation. Or that will say that the end client has been complaining about something or another, or that will ask you for a discount or be very late were their payments, etc, etc. I generally find that clients with the most relaxed schedule are actually those that are the most pleasure to work with. And those who pay me the quickest.

Those who who are stressed out are usually problems. Now, there's Now this might just seem like some random rule that I've set out. But there is sort of a logic behind this theory, at least from what I've seen. Any urgent job most likely means that someone along the chain chain of command is disorganized. After all that PowerPoint presentation that you're translating, wasn't just thought up and written out yesterday, and the client meeting that it's needed for tomorrow morning wasn't just planned out today. If they were, you know, maybe it was just written up yesterday evening, and it was just planned out at the last minute, but that also means that somewhere along the chain of command, you know, someone should have noticed that this was a bad idea or someone should have planned ahead.

Once again, I'm not saying that this is always the case, but it often is. And I can often sense the client being pressured by their client or their boss, and then they pass that pressure on to me. So whenever you see urgent, very urgent or rush job with a few exceptions, in that if there is say a medical emergency or anything along those lines, otherwise, chances are there was a problem somewhere down the chain of command and you might risk getting saddled with that problem. On the other hand, remember rush jobs, urgent jobs, and all these can also pay more because they are needed right away and they're desperate to find a translator. So once again, evaluate what it's worth to you and if you can negotiate a good salary or a higher salary for some rush job urgent job then by all means, but just realize that very often it means disorganization on the part of the client or somewhere along the chain of command.

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