If you’re a literary translator, you may not know so much about the Author’s Guild, an organization that advocates for the interests of writers. But you ought to know about the Guild because 1. It’s a great organization; and 2. Translators are among the varieties of writers it advocates for.
The American Literary Translators Association has just announced a new partnership with the Author’s Guild, which came about thanks to some expert matchmaking by PEN Translation Committee co-chair Alex Zucker. As a result of these negotiations, ALTA members are being invited to join the Author’s Guild at a discounted rate of $100/year (instead of the usual $125), provided they sign up by the end of August.
And the Author’s Guild is an organization you’ll be proud to be associated with; their history of advocacy is impressive. This year they’re working on a “Fair Contract Initiative,” and President Roxana Robinson recently issued a call to investigate Amazon’s business practices and their impact on the book industry. In general, the Guild works on projects connected with free speech, fair contracts and copyright protection. Here are some of the benefits of membership:
- Free legal help on writing and publishing matters – including written book contract reviews;
- Author website building with our exclusive Sitebuilder software and low-cost hosting ($6/mo in most cases);
- Free seminars covering topics such as marketing and publicity, movie deals, estate planning, and more;
- Access to members-only content on the Guild’s website, including an interactive forum where you can talk about a number of topics impacting the writing life.
Other benefits listed on the website include, among other things, access to an e-publishing service for out-of-print books and…dental insurance! But even if the contract vetting service were the only benefit available, that in itself would still be reason enough to sign up; $100 for access to contract vetting is a fraction of what you’d pay to hire a lawyer privately to look over your next contract. So if you’re in the business of translating and publishing works of literature, I think you should seriously consider joining. I’m a member. And if enough translators sign on, we’ll be able to ask for more offerings specifically geared to the needs of literary translators.
To receive the discounted membership, click here. And note that this discount offer
expires after Aug. 31, 2015. Translators will still be welcome to join the Author’s Guild after that, but the regular membership fee of $125 will apply.
UPDATE: The link for the discount appears to still be live after the Aug. 31 deadline, so you can still join for $100. And if at some point the link stops working, try this one instead (also for a $100 membership but linked through my own personal referral rather than ALTA).