At the end of last year, I saw Secrets of Six Figure Translators advertised on Instagram and thought it might be worth a read. As an avid reader and a relative novice to the field of freelance translation, it looked useful. So, for any other aspiring freelance translators out there, I thought I’d do a little review of it!
Secrets of Six Figure Translators is a non-fiction/workbook for freelance translators, either who are new to the field or who want to improve their income.
The first chapter covers the difference between a linguist and a translator and the rest of the chapters address various different aspects of marketing yourself as a translator, including choosing your specialisation, writing your CV, working out how much to charge, the difference between working with agencies and direct clients and useful tools for translators.
The chapters include explanatory passages giving you information on the particular topic and then, at the end of the chapter, there are a couple of activities for you to fill in to help you personlise the advice to your own career.
I have to admit that a lot of the information in this book was not new to me. Having read Tess Whitty’s books on being a freelance translator, most of the topics had already been covered. That being said, the activities at the end of each chapter were really useful to actually think about my own career as a translator. For example, in the fees chapter, there is a table where you can work out, based on the information in the rest of the chapter, how much you want to charge, what your minimum charge should be, etc. Having this all written down is actually really helpful for me when contacting new clients, because I can refer back to it and feel more confident that I am charging the right amount.
The single most useful part of the book, for me, is the chapter at the end ‘the three-day challenge’. This gives you a list of three tasks each for three days that you can repeat every month to keep on top of marketing yourself. This includes applying to clients, posting on social media, etc. I suppose I could have thought of these prompts myself, but having the list readymade there for me was really useful!
Overall, I would say that this book is useful for new translators who are just starting out and haven’t read any other books on translation. In terms of actually bumping you up from a lower earner to a six figure translator, I’m not sure that there is actually that much this book suggests, other than just upping your rates.
Next week I will be talking about how to keep motivated during the covid-19 lockdown.