Re: RARA-AVIS: Foreign HB novels

From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 29 Jul 2002 wrote:

> Have you really tried pricing competent to damn good translators lately?
> As a gaijin living in Japan who only has a child's command of Japanese,
> I consider myself lucky when I end up paying about $400 US per 10 double
> spaced pages. I also know from first hand experience, when proofing
> translations from Japanese to English, I get $10/page. So sit down and
> think about the costs in a 400+ page novel...

All I know about this is the fact that foreign publishers pay pretty darn well for American authors' books. In my own experience my advances from both Japan and France were only about 1/3 lower than my U.S. advance and THEY had to pay someone to translate the books into their native language on top of what they paid me. My second book, ANGRY MOON, is being released in Japan this month. Considering the numbers you're throwing out there, I'd rather have been the translator than the author, but they still paid the author very well. The idea that U.S. publishers couldn't afford to do translations is just silly. I think it is more a matter of cowardice and laziness than anything else. And I think they're missing a good bet.


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