Book review: A business guide for translators by Marta Stelmaszak

As I have been following Marta’s posts about the business of translation, I couldn’t wait to see what Marta had prepared for us this time and here it is, a thorough, practical, “Must have”, business guide for all freelance translators, written by a translator.
Because I am usually rather resistant to Economics in general, the first thing that kept me reading this book at least to start with was its structure: small, “digestible” chapters, perfect for busy people who cannot necessarily engage in long reading sessions at a time. It therefore gives you the time to reflect on, and digest even the most complex concepts exposed. It is also a perfect blend between economic and business concepts and practical information that we can actually use.

– In part 1 about economics and how freelancing works, each chapter exposes the concept or theory, then asks and explains how it applies to the languages industry, with resources at the end of each chapter.
– Part 2 about strategy starts each chapter by exposing the topic, then explaining how it applies to the languages industry, then following with an “invitation to act”, that is, an invitation to try and apply the principle in our business, for the benefit of our business as well as for our clients. For Marta never looses sight of the ultimate goal, to better serve our clients.
– Part 3 examines business management on a freelancer’s point of view, going through concepts such as goal setting, creating value, and diversification.
– Part 4 deals with business practice, and how we can make freelancing work for us, followed by extensive resources. Topics explored a vast range of skills, from visibility to quoting, invoicing, customer relationship management, negotiating skills, etc.

Among the most interesting principles or notions explored throughout the book were the ones of Strategy, Scarcity, Added value, Unique selling point, the Value chain, Negotiation “Stand your ground!”, and many more, all with practical examples, including some from the author’s personal experience.
Now the question is, am I going to use some of the information Marta shared, and try to apply it to my business? Definitely yes.
This is the advantage of having such a vast and arduous topic dealt with by a translator for translators: close to our reality, usable information that is relevant to our freelancing careers.

The book is available here:

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