I’ve recently decided to share the freelance translator rate calculator I created for the Translation sales handbook. Catherine has offered me a chance to explain what it is I’m up to, and why fellow translators might be interested. So here goes!
What is this Rate Calculator you’re giving away?
It’s something I thought was missing. There are rate calculators for generic freelance jobs all over the internet, but none that take into account the kind of factors that determine our productivity and growth potential. It’s made specifically for translators, basically, and it also fits in neatly with the theme of the book that it was originally distributed with.
The Translation sales handbook (first released Nov 2012, now about to be released updated for 2014, in print, Kindle and pdf/mobi versions) advocates a value-based pricing structure, either on a time or project basis, where possible. The point of this change is to factor more than just your expenses and overheads into your pricing – we need to factor in the additional time and money required for growth and sustainability.
Living month to month on ‘minimum translator wage’ is fine if only temporary, but in the long term it becomes almost obligatory to start to plan for continual improvement in prices and clients. The book in question, and the rate calculator accompanying it, offers a roadmap for growth that aims to let you spend less time working, on higher quality projects, offering more additional services and at better rates. No small order, then, but also far from impossible.
The calculator itself takes all of this into account and is best used in conjunction with the book, although is perfectly serviceable on its own.
Why are you giving it away?
Well, the updated version of the book is soon to be released, and now in a wider range of formats and prices, so I thought it might simply generate some interest in that direction. Feel free to sign up and try it out over at my site and I’ll be happy to respond to any questions or thoughts anyone has on the subject!
Luke Spear has been a freelance translator for over 10 years. He also runs a translation agency that is in good standing with clients and linguists alike, and is building a translation management site for buyers and LSPs that aims to vastly improve the perception of and access to the translation market. His tweets can be found at @lukespear.