Author Topic: How many books does it take?  (Read 3311 times)  

Online Crystal_

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Re: How many books does it take?
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2020, 01:09:38 pm »
I would not ask someone to work for free with promise of future work. I try to pay all my contractor's a fair rate. Yes, I may take advantage of a deal is someone is offering a sale, or if they're new and have lower rates, but I won't pay below market rates.

I was not so concerned with this earlier on my career when I was hard up for cash, but now I have enough profit I really have no excuse to underpay.

Different people have different philosophies but I do find, for the most part, good work isn't cheap. It isn't necessarily expensive, but it's not cheap.

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    Offline Alex Anders

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #26 on: October 27, 2020, 01:49:17 pm »
    I would not ask someone to work for free with promise of future work. I try to pay all my contractor's a fair rate. Yes, I may take advantage of a deal is someone is offering a sale, or if they're new and have lower rates, but I won't pay below market rates.

    I was not so concerned with this earlier on my career when I was hard up for cash, but now I have enough profit I really have no excuse to underpay.

    Different people have different philosophies but I do find, for the most part, good work isn't cheap. It isn't necessarily expensive, but it's not cheap.
    I agree with everything you just said. In fact, just yesterday I voluntarily increased the pay for my German translator. She's translated about 6 of my novels and has done a good job. So, she deserved a raise.

    But last week I posted an ad for a few new Spanish translators. I posted my price and found my 2 translators. However, there was another person who quoted me a price 1/4 of what I was asking. I first ignored him and then I decided to have his submitted sample evaluated. It turned out he did a very good job. But he had no reviews, no real editorial plan past the basics, and there is a possibility that he could flake if I assign him anything of substance.

    I decided to contact him to feel him out. I asked him his price again and he lowered it even more saying that he is really looking for reviews. Now I'm giving him his first shot at translating a book and I'm getting a superb price for my willingness to take a risk. FYI, he offered to lower the price even more than what I settled on. 

    There are translators out there thinking about the long term. There are other who live in parts of the world with a lower cost of living. And, there are people who just enjoy translating books in their spare time. Working with freelancers isn't a one size fits all situation.

    Just food for thought.
    « Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 01:56:58 pm by Alex Anders »
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    Offline Marco de Hoogh

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #27 on: November 09, 2020, 04:04:42 pm »
    I agree with everything you just said. In fact, just yesterday I voluntarily increased the pay for my German translator. She's translated about 6 of my novels and has done a good job. So, she deserved a raise.

    But last week I posted an ad for a few new Spanish translators. I posted my price and found my 2 translators. However, there was another person who quoted me a price 1/4 of what I was asking. I first ignored him and then I decided to have his submitted sample evaluated. It turned out he did a very good job. But he had no reviews, no real editorial plan past the basics, and there is a possibility that he could flake if I assign him anything of substance.

    I decided to contact him to feel him out. I asked him his price again and he lowered it even more saying that he is really looking for reviews. Now I'm giving him his first shot at translating a book and I'm getting a superb price for my willingness to take a risk. FYI, he offered to lower the price even more than what I settled on. 

    There are translators out there thinking about the long term. There are other who live in parts of the world with a lower cost of living. And, there are people who just enjoy translating books in their spare time. Working with freelancers isn't a one size fits all situation.

    Just food for thought.
    Hi Alex Anders. I think you make a lot of sense. Would you be willing to share the contact info of your German translator with me?
    Cheers,
    Marco



    Offline Alex Anders

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #28 on: November 09, 2020, 04:14:12 pm »
    Hi Alex Anders. I think you make a lot of sense. Would you be willing to share the contact info of your German translator with me?
    Cheers,
    Marco
    Haha. Umm... I think I'll let you find your own. The last thing I want is competition in getting time with the translations I've been working with for years. I keep my translators pretty busy. :-)
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    Online Decon

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #29 on: November 09, 2020, 06:23:37 pm »
    I still say, it's not about how many books, but how much you need to invest to reach and maintain that monthly income you aspire to.

    If you are struggling with finding excess money over what you you need to live without publishing, then the answer is likely to be it probably won't matter how many books you publish, you'll likely not achieve your goal as an ongoing income

    As for German translations if the translator is native to Germany, they are entitled to a % royalty on each sale by law, beside payment for the initial translation They may not ask for it, but make a success of it, and they likely come knocking. There's no such thing as "work for hire" as there is in the US. Same for Brazil and Portuguese translation. Don't think you can contract out of it either.

    If I'm wrong, please put me straight, but that is my understanding when I did the research

    I'd recommend looking up the laws for the applicable countries before looking for a translator. It's a minefield. Especially Chinese by a native of China. If I remember correctly after a period of a few years the translation reverts to them to do with as they please.


    Even trad publishers can get caught out as case law proves. Just ask the Portuguese translator of Lord of the Rings

    They even managed to get payment for the use of their translation used for film sub-titles after the event, besides back royalties for book sales after it became a bestseller in Brazil, none of it contracted with the publisher. Can't be certain because it was some time ago I read it, but I could have been Harper Collins.

    Look it up on the net if you want to veryfy what I'm saying.
    « Last Edit: November 09, 2020, 07:09:38 pm by Decon »


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    Online chrisstevenson

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #30 on: November 09, 2020, 08:04:44 pm »
    I've got to agree that it's solid marketing campaigns and frequent promotion on a few or many of your titles. Of course, considering all other ducks are in a row. I'm primarily trad published with 17 books and nowhere near that monthly intake allotment. A Big-5 hit via my agent would turn things around but we're not seeing action there--pretty much of a closed shop for little mid-listers like me. Very rough and tumble out there.
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    Offline Marco de Hoogh

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #31 on: November 10, 2020, 06:54:23 am »
    Haha. Umm... I think I'll let you find your own. The last thing I want is competition in getting time with the translations I've been working with for years. I keep my translators pretty busy. :-)

    Haha yeah I can appreciate that.  :)
    The upwork tip was good - I posted my job and am reviewing proposals. I also reached out to some freelancers on fiverr.

    Decon, thank you for your response. It's good food for thought. I appreciate the caution and the warning about royalties but I don't intend to make millions. If I do, they can come get their 2% LOL



    Offline Douglas Milewski

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #32 on: November 10, 2020, 06:54:42 am »
    Myself, I'm almost twenty books in and I've yet to see any significant dollars. I'm also highly inattentive to my marketing, so that's on me.


    There's an alchemy to selling well which makes comparisons difficult. I've seen lots of folks hit it with a series, try to start another series, and bomb. Same writer, same skills. There's no guarantees.

    Disclaimer: I sell horribly. Set your filters accordingly.

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #33 on: November 11, 2020, 12:03:10 pm »
    How fast you publish has zero effect on sales.
    Yeah, my whole publishing career disagrees with that.

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    Offline Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #34 on: November 11, 2020, 12:24:53 pm »
    I'm on 11 books in my main series presently. Not quite at 'quit the day job' money.

    But close enough that I know with a bit of a marketing push, I can do it...

    Problem is, we're living in hard times, and with being furloughed from work earlier this year, bills need paying, food needs putting on the table, a roof over our head.

    So every penny that's come in from books the last couple of months has gone to keeping the wolf from the door.

    However... bills will soon be caught up to. And another book is soon to be released.

    Come Dec/Jan, I'm gonna be releasing another book AND simultaneously ramping up the marketing. Hoping next year will be the year that all the hard work finally pays off. We shall see.

    I can dream, eh?

    Offline KevinH

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #35 on: November 11, 2020, 12:42:38 pm »
    I'm blessed in that I was able to do it with one book, but I'm obviously an outlier. As I'm sure others have said, I don't think there's a certain magic number of books that will assure you of reaching your goal, but more titles is obviously better.  However, it's worth bearing in mind that other factors can also play a role: genre, marketing, etc.  Frankly speaking, it's just hard to pin it down and say that X number of books will get you there.


    Offline ShayneRutherford

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #36 on: November 11, 2020, 03:16:02 pm »
    Haha. Umm... I think I'll let you find your own. The last thing I want is competition in getting time with the translations I've been working with for years. I keep my translators pretty busy. :-)

    I have to call BS. This is a crappy attitude to have. By refusing to give credit to your translator, you're screwing them out of a lot of potential work that they might need to make a living. People should allow their service providers to determine their own schedules rather than do it for them. If your translator gives you good service, you should want them to succeed and make lots of money, not withhold their name and screw them out of a lot of potential business.
             

    Offline nightwork

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #37 on: November 11, 2020, 03:25:22 pm »
    I have to call BS. This is a crappy attitude to have. By refusing to give credit to your translator, you're screwing them out of a lot of potential work that they might need to make a living. People should allow their service providers to determine their own schedules rather than do it for them. If your translator gives you good service, you should want them to succeed and make lots of money, not withhold their name and screw them out of a lot of potential business.

    not BS at all

    i've lived to regret giving an enthusiastic review or reference to a provider who does something that isn't scalable... several times... it's a stupid way to cost yourself money with no upside...

    "loose lips sink ships"

    Offline ShayneRutherford

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #38 on: November 11, 2020, 03:30:49 pm »
    not BS at all

    i've lived to regret giving an enthusiastic review or reference to a provider who does something that isn't scalable... several times... it's a stupid way to cost yourself money with no upside...

    "loose lips sink ships"

    It totally is. Because providers don't stay in business very long if they don't get work. And one of the best ways for providers to get work is to get referrals from satisfied customers. Trying to keep a provider all to oneself is simply selfish.

    Also, how on earth does giving a reference to someone cost you money?
             

    Offline Alex Anders

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #39 on: November 11, 2020, 04:06:37 pm »
    I have to call BS. This is a crappy attitude to have. By refusing to give credit to your translator, you're screwing them out of a lot of potential work that they might need to make a living. People should allow their service providers to determine their own schedules rather than do it for them. If your translator gives you good service, you should want them to succeed and make lots of money, not withhold their name and screw them out of a lot of potential business.
    Haha. Good for you for taking that attitude. However, I've shared a major sales strategy to the readers of this forum, and the platform I found them on. And I did it to be generous. Yet, you chastise me for not giving you more. How very gracious of you.

    FYI, there isn't a minute this year when I haven't kept my German translator working. So... you know... assumptions.
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    Offline ShayneRutherford

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #40 on: November 11, 2020, 04:22:24 pm »
    Haha. Good for you for taking that attitude. However, I've shared a major sales strategy to the readers of this forum, and the platform I found them on. And I did it to be generous. Yet, you chastise me for not giving you more. How very gracious of you.

    FYI, there isn't a minute this year when I haven't kept my German translator working. So... you know... assumptions.

    That's great that you shared your strategy. Which is really nice for the authors here. But it's not nice for your translator. And I'm not chastising you for not giving ME more. I'm saying it's a really crappy way to treat your translator. Because regardless of how busy you think you're keeping them, they might appreciate being recommended to other people. Because this is the freelance version of having all one's eggs in one basket. If all their work comes from you, what are they going to do if something happens in your life and their work dries up? They'll be up poop creek, that's what. And that seems a really poor way to repay someone who's doing a good job for you.
             

    Offline Alex Anders

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #41 on: November 11, 2020, 06:12:29 pm »
    That's great that you shared your strategy. Which is really nice for the authors here. But it's not nice for your translator. And I'm not chastising you for not giving ME more. I'm saying it's a really crappy way to treat your translator. Because regardless of how busy you think you're keeping them, they might appreciate being recommended to other people. Because this is the freelance version of having all one's eggs in one basket. If all their work comes from you, what are they going to do if something happens in your life and their work dries up? They'll be up poop creek, that's what. And that seems a really poor way to repay someone who's doing a good job for you.
    🤨 Yes, you're right. I apologize for sharing any information at all. You've shown me the error of my ways. Either I share absolutely everything, or get told how I'm supposed to do it by someone like yourself. Thank you for clearing that up for me and showing me the error of my ways because it is absolutely my job to go above and beyond anything that any freelancer has asked me to do.

    You know, you act like you're the only one who's ever known a freelancer, or perhaps has been a freelancer. I was a freelance for 15 years before I became an author. Don't you think it's kind of rude of you to lecture others with a tad bit more experience in the topic than you have?

    I mean, seriously, how long have you been writing for? How long have you been hiring cover artists and translators for? When you reach book 300, maybe we should talk then.

    But, I'll step out of this exchange because you have effectively shown your moral superiority and I am nothing in your presence.  🙄
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    Offline CatherineM

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #42 on: November 11, 2020, 06:38:39 pm »
    Who wants to read crap?

    One good book is better than ten bad ones. Don't tell anybody I told you.

    Offline ShayneRutherford

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    Re: How many books does it take?
    « Reply #43 on: November 11, 2020, 06:41:11 pm »
    🤨 Yes, you're right. I apologize for sharing any information at all. You've shown me the error of my ways. Either I share absolutely everything, or get told how I'm supposed to do it by someone like yourself. Thank you for clearing that up for me and showing me the error of my ways because it is absolutely my job to go above and beyond anything that any freelancer has asked me to do.

    You know, you act like you're the only one who's ever known a freelancer, or perhaps has been a freelancer. I was a freelance for 15 years before I became an author. Don't you think it's kind of rude of you to lecture others with a tad bit more experience in the topic than you have?

    I mean, seriously, how long have you been writing for? How long have you been hiring cover artists and translators for? When you reach book 300, maybe we should talk then.

    But, I'll step out of this exchange because you have effectively shown your moral superiority and I am nothing in your presence.  🙄

    Wow. Way to miss the point.

    I don't hire cover artists. I am one.

    Good for you. And nope, I don't. I see this service-provider hoarding mentality all over the place and it's a crock. People find a good cover designer, editor, etc., and refuse to credit them in the front of the book or tell people about them when asked, because they want that provider to be available to them whenever they want them. And you mistake my intent. I'm not lecturing you - I'm calling out this behavior in the hopes that other people who read this, who might not have considered what this means for the providers they hire, might treat those providers with a bit more fairness. Because word of mouth is one of the best ways for service providers to get more business, whether they ask for that word of mouth or not. And as a freelancer yourself, you should understand this.
             

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