Find work in literary translation with a publishing proposal

Few students of translation and interpretation not dream to engage in literary translation when they start the race, although over time tend to dissipate these aspirations after know how difficult that is access to this sector, the complexity involving this type of translations and the low remuneration that is received by these commissions. It is true that few colleagues live only of literary translation, in the same way that almost no one lives only sworn translation, or interpretation of conferences or audiovisual translation, nor of any other specialty in particular. Freelance translators normally try to encompass all sectors to reach more customers and to achieve a greater turnover at end of month.

In translation for publishers – which goes to the publication in digital or physical book – there are two main ways to find customers: a passive and one active, the first is to distribute our resume to all publishers that interest us and wait for that you get in touch with us, the second is to get down to work and present a proposed publishing a non-published work in our mother tongue that you edit with our translation, and it is on this strategy on which we will try next.

I decided to investigate this strategy work while reading a comic book of Deadpool, formerly known as massacre or the Mercenary largemouth, in which the protagonist did precisely that, proposing to a Publisher the translation from Chinese into English of the art of war of the famous military strategist Sun Tzu Chinese. As you can see in the image of the comic – property of Marvel Deadpool reject you the proposal in the first instance, among other reasons, because it is a work «requetetraducida» to all languages and with an infinite number of versions, there is even a version of The art of war for entrepreneurs In this case it is the employee of the publisher who proposes to provide something new so that they can accept the publication of his translation, but I will not reveal what happens in the end, what if I’m going to have is how to arm yourself with reasons to convince the Publisher that t a good literary translation project you raes.

To make a good proposal of translation for publishers , it is necessary to know in depth the work we intend to propose:

  • Sales volume in the countries in which has been edited.
  • Public which addresses the original work.
  • Public which intends to direct translation.
  • Critical.
  • Awards received.
  • Resume or letter of the translator.

We have to be able to raise a convincing proposal and want the editorial with which we are dealing. It is also essential to provide an extract from the work translated by us, to test our work and what we want to do with the rest of the text. Our cover letter should be professional: we have to demonstrate that we are professional suitable for that task. If it is the translation of a comic, we can contribute our experience as a reader, with titles read, research, and training courses related to literary translation we have done throughout our lives.