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Do translators approach publishers or do publishers approach translators?

Reading the Getting Started section may prove useful in understanding the processes involved. It is generally all about word of mouth. Very occasionally publishers will commission a book that has been brought to them by a translator they know and trust, but most frequently they find the book some other way and then seek out a translator for it. They will often go with a translator they've worked with before, or whose work they know and like, but sometimes this isn't possible and the net is cast wider.

It's worth remembering that it's not just a question of finding a good translator with the language, but the right translator, one who has a kind of sympathy for the original text and is at ease with the voice, so some publishers might commission samples from a few different translators as a kind of audition piece and commission a full translation from whoever delivers Who do translators work for? 

Literary translators are freelance, and for the most part, will work on an occasional basis for a number of different publishers. The publisher (whether a book publisher, a magazine or journal publisher or an online publisher) will commission work from the translator and draw up a contract for that specific piece of work – the terms of payment, publication, rights, etc. Because literary translators are hired job-by-job, and very few have agents, a fair bit of time can be spent obtaining the work, rather than actually doing it.  


Where can a publisher find a translator?

The Outside In World website now offers translators the opportunity to submit profiles, outlining their experience and interest in children's book translation.  You may also want to visit the Translators Association website. However, it is worth remembering that word of mouth and personal recommendations can be of the greatest value.  Many publishers understandably tend to prefer to work with people they know, and whose quality and judgment they can count on.





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