One of the possible translators I’ve been swapping emails with has balked a bit at some of my terms and conditions. No, not the ones specifying the transfer of his immortal soul and 10cc of blood; most academic contracts contain such terms these days, or so I gather. No, it’s the ones about how the contract runs. He suggested that I ask what people think.
So … what would YOU put in as a condition of getting the job done? Here’s a set that I sent out recently, slightly amended since I forgot an important bit!
I have to put a few conditions on this commission, as I have had some awkward experiences with people in Lebanon offering translations. These are negotiable, of course, and designed merely to avoid some awkward situations that would not arise with a reputable person like yourself.
Money: I offer 10 cents US. Do you have a Paypal account? That is easily my easiest method of payment, you see.
1. First, would you do a translation the first page of the material as a sample? I will then get the result checked by another scholar. If it is of academic standard, then I will pay for it then and there, and we will continue; if for any reason it is unsuitable then we will cancel the commission and nothing will be owing.
2. I would like to receive chunks of the translation at regular intervals (say once a week?), so that I can see that progress is happening. I will pay for these as they arrive. If there is a long period of no progress or no contact, of course I reserve the right to cancel and put the work elsewhere.
3. Delivery to be in electronic form, in Word .doc or .rtf format.
4. Copyright of each chunk passes to me on payment. [I then intend to place it in the public domain. However you get a non-exclusive right to do whatever you like with the results; if you want to revise it further and publish yourself with extra notes etc, then please do.]
The last bit in brackets applies to those commissions where I don’t intend to sell a book form of it.
Anything to add? Objections to the tone? Anything to subtract? All thoughts will be welcome!