In a recent conversation at a ProZ.com pow-wow (meet-up for professional translators) in Birmingham, I recommended the book The Entrepreneurial Linguist by Judy and Dagmar Jenner of Twin Translations, and their wonderful blog, Translation Times.
This book has given me some great inspiration and confidence to deal with marketing and business issues, and I would thoroughly recommend it to any aspiring translator or experienced translator alike. Even those of us with enough work to keep us going could always do with some more direct clients, more enjoyable work, longer deadlines and/or better rates.
For the record, I have not been asked to provide this recommendation, nor am I receiving any commission for doing so! No, I simply found this book to be amazingly helpful and would recommend it to all other linguists. Apart from everything else, books like this help to encourage and set professional standards – slowing the race to the bottom perpetuated by disreputable agencies and a combination of irresponsible and unprofessional translators (sometimes even fraudulent – oh, Google Translate there you are again!). The simple rule: PAY PEANUTS = GET MONKEYS. And no translator wants to be a monkey. *
* Please don’t get me wrong, I like monkeys. But lots of monkeys do not have nice lives.