How much does it cost to have a book translated?

Costs of a novel translation English to GermanAn example: a novel written in English, 100,000 words long, that is to be rendered into German.

The price consists of the expenses for translationediting, and proofreading. Altogether, you can expect costs in the range of 12,000 USD. That corresponds to a rate of 0.12 USD per word.

How long does it take?

The translation of the example above would take six months: 30,000 words per month for the translation, five weeks for editing, two additional weeks for the translator’s review of the editor’s work, and three weeks for proofreading.

Give us a try!

Would you first like to see our work for yourself? We offer a sample translation, with editing, of one page (max. 400 words). This will cost 70 USD*. If you then choose us to translate the entire work, the 70 USD will be credited to you as a down payment.

*VAT of 7% may be charged. Such is the case (1) if the billing address is in Germany or (2) if the billing address is in the EU (but outside Germany) and you do not have any VAT ID number.




Why does a novel translation cost so much?

The simple answer is: Because the translation of a book involves a lot of work. After all, you probably didn’t write your book within a month either! A literary translator can translate about 800 words per hour of a novel that is not too demanding (depending on the style of writing, it can be considerably less). For 400 pages, they need about 125 hours. After that, they work through the translation again and manage about 10 pages per hour, so they need another 40 hours. The proofreader also needs one hour per 10 pages to revise the translation so that another 40 hours are added to the list. The translator then goes through the editor’s changes, which should take them another 5 hours. Proofreading takes around 15 hours for 400 pages. Plus 5 hours for order management, the German version of your book will take around 230 hours of work. At 12,000 USD, that’s barely more than 50 USD per hour, which is not too princely a wage for a freelancer. Keep in mind that freelancers have to pay for health insurance, pension insurance, and all work materials (computer, software, etc.) themselves! The hourly rate cannot be compared to that of an employee.

Quality has its price. With us, you can be sure of getting a German version of your novel that you can publish without the danger of getting gloating reviews. Unfortunately, cheap translations are too often a waste of money.