Reviewing Translation Books

Are you looking to start your small translation business? Or are you trying to gain more direct clients but don’t know how? These two books will give you great insight in that regard (and more).

The book I would recommend to a translator in his/her first year of business would be:

How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator by Corinne Mckay

After reading it, I can say that it’s a great book for beginning translators. Once you’ve finished your startup phase, you might want to pick a book that goes even further. But, with that one you can take away interesting advice and relevant input for a one-person business, regardless of how long you’ve been practising. It’s easy to read and very informative, although I’d note that it’s really focused on the US market and US specificities. Nonetheless, it’s often easily transposable to other contexts.

In conclusion, it is your go-to book if you are launching your activity or in your first year of business. Then, it’s time to take it up a notch and move on to:

The Entrepreneurial Linguist | The Business-School Approach to Freelance Translation by Judy & Dagmar Jenner.

I really enjoyed this book written by the famous Jenner Twins. It covers a wide array of topics from marketing advice to strategies enabling you to acquire more clients, as well as ideas for professional development. I thought the many illustrations based on their own experiences (negotiation, networking, association volunteering, etc) were extremely relevant. Besides, they offer a very positive, dynamic outlook on the possibilities that await you if you’re willing to put in the hard work. After reading it, you will feel pumped up and ready to take on the translation world. As the Jenner twins work only with direct clients, their view of the industry is refreshing and very stimulating. After finishing it, I was bursting with ideas allowing me to grow my own business. Try it, you won’t put it down.

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