Buying rights to translate a book
Thread poster: Alessandra Armenise

Alessandra Armenise  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Member (2016)
English to Italian
+ ...
Jul 31

Hi,
I am interested in translating a book from English to Italian, and I am trying to propose the work to some Italian publishers.
Alternatively, I am considering the crowdfunding and self-publishing route.
I asked the rights owners how much the rights would cost and they said "the author and agent would accept an advance of Euros 2000 – maybe even 1500 to be set against royalties on the retail price for a seven year term".
Does this mean that I or the publisher would p
... See more
Hi,
I am interested in translating a book from English to Italian, and I am trying to propose the work to some Italian publishers.
Alternatively, I am considering the crowdfunding and self-publishing route.
I asked the rights owners how much the rights would cost and they said "the author and agent would accept an advance of Euros 2000 – maybe even 1500 to be set against royalties on the retail price for a seven year term".
Does this mean that I or the publisher would pay this amount to the author and then not having to pay them any selling percentages for 7 years?
I am confused by the way they phrased it, so I thought I would ask your help before asking them to clarify.
I am new to this publishing business so please bear with me
Also, any other tips much appreciated!
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:44
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I understood Jul 31

Alessandra Armenise wrote:
They said "the author and agent would accept an advance of ... 1500 euros to be set against royalties on the retail price for a seven year term".


The way I understood it (and I'm as clueless as you are), is that you have to pay them royalties for 7 years, but they want to receive EUR 1500 in advance. This means that they'll get EUR 1500 now, and then for a while they'll get nothing until the number of sales reach a point where the royalties will have reached EUR 1500, and from that point onwards they receive royalties, until 7 years is up.

You'd have to ask them what percentage of royalty they would want (it's not standard).


Tina Vonhof
Eliza Hall
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 05:44
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Advance payment on royalties Jul 31

Samuel is correct. That 1500 EUR represents the first 1500 EUR of royalties that would be paid.

 

Alessandra Armenise  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Member (2016)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Percentages Jul 31

Thanks guys, it makes sense!
So I guess as the translator I would get another percentage decided by the publisher?
Or, if I self published. I would get all the rest.

Did anyone go for this route? Any experience to share?


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 05:44
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Self publish Jul 31

You are not likely to persuade a publisher to publish on their money.

As for self publishing, if the publisher is just printing the book for you, then obviously you keep everything but have to sell it yourself. If your arrangement involves the publisher marketing and selling the book for you, then you should expect maybe 50% of the proceeds to go to you, but this is before the original author's royalty, which comes out of your share.


Tina Vonhof
 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 14:44
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
One option Jul 31

One option for self-publishing is via Amazon. They will give you all kinds of help, including selling, but I don't know any of the details. And Amazon is not the only one, there are other companies that specialize in guiding you through the process. Search online and find out as much as you can before making any decisions.

DZiW
 

Eliza Hall
United States
Local time: 16:44
Member (2018)
French to English
+ ...
A few links Aug 1

Here's some info...

https://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/MegaBBS/forumthread26209.htm

https://www.thebinderyagency.com/blog/howdopublisherspayauthors

See more
Here's some info...

https://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/MegaBBS/forumthread26209.htm

https://www.thebinderyagency.com/blog/howdopublisherspayauthors

https://intralingo.com/10-truths-on-royalties-and-literary-translation/
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Buying rights to translate a book

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