Question How come novel translators commonly use patron?

Discussion in 'Translator's Corner' started by Danthefanokaku, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. Otwentyfirst

    Otwentyfirst skillfully clueless // lazy book reader ;)

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    mr/ms OP : since you believe translators should be able to make money, but feel that paywalls are "problematic." then are donations the only acceptable means in your eyes?

    also considering how smooth you are, are you trolling us here? i don't mind. I'm just here for the nuf bucks.
     
  2. DaoFox

    DaoFox 『Silkmaid』『Ishhara's Devotee』『Daoist』『WW Vet.』

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    Indeed, I hate how often a good series gets an adaption only to be majorly changed or for the scanlation group to use out of place names.
     
  3. Danthefanokaku

    Danthefanokaku Well-Known Member

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    I believe it’s problematic when I run into one once I’ve gotten really envolved with a novel series, but I honestly don’t think that they are that problematic. It’s certainly an interesting concept and I’m all for it so long the translators can make money off of it. Donations are definitely not effective, no matter how you look at it as you just can’t earn enough through simple donations.
    Also, I’m definitely not here to troll anyone, the reason I’m so “smooth” is because I really dislike the fact that when I asked this question it really upset a good number of people, hence I’m trying to do my best to smooth things over so that people can understand that I’m just truly after knowledge, not laughs.

    Yes! It gets a bit confusing too if you go from the manga series to the novel series since you lose the whole face to name association. I completely agree with you! It’d be awesome if there was a way to compile the proper nouns of a series into a list and pass that around to anyone who is interested in working on said series, but that’s a lot of work along with effort.
     
  4. LynneSuzuran

    LynneSuzuran JP Translator and Author

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    Mmhmm, I agree with you. Putting some translated chapters as Patreon reward and lock them will certainly garner the translator more money than simply "sponsored chapter", I don't really know why... but that's what I've been seeing. But anyway, the translators that have Patreon reward chapters must work more to keep up with their schedule, both the free one and the Patreon one. It can feel more like of a job for them, I guess.

    And uhh, I am too lazy to type a lot, but I have read the discussion about manga scanlation community and can't help but to agree with the points everyone has stated here. I have volunteered as a typesetter or editor in a manga scanlation team before, so I really feel like doing a solo work on a manga scanlation seems to be more tiring (lol), so most manga scanlators work in teams, meanwhile it's not weird to see a lot of solo translators in novel translation community.
     
  5. Danthefanokaku

    Danthefanokaku Well-Known Member

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    I’ve got to say I disagree with you that making chapters patreon rewards is good, as effective as it is since people usually want to read a series that has been locked behind a literal paywall, as it might be taking it a bit too far. I only slightly disagree with you though, as it really is a great way to earn money from translating. I personally think that the timed delay for releasing chapters is a cleaner (I guess that’s the word I’m looking for?) way of earning money as it doesn’t fully lock up the series but makes it so that there’s an incentive to pay the translator.
    But I definitely agree with you the scanlation manga is a huge undertaking as it’s not just about translating some pages, but you’ve got to clean it, proofread it, typeset it, and then replace all the text which is a lot of work. I like your comparison though, as manga being scanlated by one person is a rare and extremely tiring endeavor compared to translating a novel by oneself.
     
  6. Sakhyu

    Sakhyu Well-Known Member

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    Hi! This discussion caught my interest so I decided to come over and add my two cents haha~ I'm a slow and small fan translator with a small website, so maybe my views would be interesting for you guys?

    First of all, the website hosting. Currently, my website domain and hosting will come under $100USD per year, although a reason for that is because I don't have much traffic (approx. 100k views per month when I don't post chapters). However, from what I see, my current hosting plan would still hold even if my traffic doubles or quadruples, so really, managing a site isn't thaaat expensive. Most of the website costs are covered by the advertisement revenue, to be honest!

    Next, a little bit about myself. I started translating a month before I started my first year university, and I'll be entering second year soon. I study a program in life sciences, which entails heavy math and science courses and a handful of 3-6 hour labs outside of lectures and tutorials. In other words, I'm pretty busy haha~

    As for my projects, I currently have four (maybe five soon) and each of them gets updated roughly once a week if nothing comes up. Two of my projects are easier to translate, with 2k to 2.5k words per chapter. They take me roughly 2 hours or so each to translate. Next, we have a project with approx. 3.5k words per chapter and my final one, with chapter wordcount lengths ranging from 3k words to 11k words. These two are much more difficult to translate for me (if the two easier projects were like translating a middle school kid's chapter book, then these are like translating Shakespeare with their language difficulty) and a 3.5k word chapter can take me 5 hours to 9 hours (nonstop) to translate. Once again, I'm not a professional like the people pumping out daily chapters, but from what I see in my chats with other translators, I think I'm not considered to be too slow either.

    As for paetron vs regular donations, I personally just use ko-fi. I don't withhold chapters from my readers or do sponsored chapters, although I do sometimes translate quicker if people buy me a coffee out of gratitude for their kind thoughts, haha. Donations wise, I can definitely understand why some translators rather use paetron. Sometimes, my readers would buy me one or two coffees per chapter (each coffee is $3!), sometimes I get nothing haha. I guess if I had to say, I roughly get maybe $5 in donations per chapter? I think the largest donation I've gotten was $30 or so, and let me tell you that it only happened once LOL. It's a good thing I'm doing this mostly as a hobby.

    As for why I don't use paetron, it boils down to a simple 'I can't'. Sure, I have stockpiles sometime, but they get used up pretty quickly in those long exam and midterm hells. I simply can't guarantee that I'll have enough stockpile to keep giving patrons an advance reading opportunity, and I don't want to deal with potential fall-outs in the future with readers when I don't have enough chapters to supply them.

    So I guess I'm one of the translators translating mostly for fun, and who makes like pocket money for bubble tea on the side haha. I roughly spend ~15 hours on translating per week, and I do it because I love reading the happy comments my readers give me as we discuss series and novels I personally really like. Although that sometimes is a bummer too, since there had been times where readers comment just to tell me they don't like my website layout without saying thanks, LOL. But then again, I'm different from those who make this their job, since I currently don't work because my parents are helping me put me through school. So my model of translating is viable only for my current lifestyle!

    Okay wow this became really long LOL but last thoughts, I've volunteered as a typesetter for a manga scanlation group before, and I know how to draw anime styled digital art (albeit badly lol) so I can be a cleaner and redrawer as well. With how long I used to spend typesetting and my drawing/translating speed, I reckon one chapter of manga would approx. take me the same time as one of my harder to translate chapter translations, or maybe less. However, most fan manga translation groups don't go at it solo, so donations become a tricky thing to split up the money, especially when some don't get a lot in the first place. Unlike how right now, since I'm the only translator in my translation group and everyone volunteered for editing/proofreading, most of that pocket money goes to me. The manga aggregators mentioned before are also a huge issue. Although there's novel aggregators as well, most of our traffic come from NU, and NU helps us a lot by only listing us haha.

    ANYWAY WOWIE this has become so long, props to anyone who read it all. Feel free to ask me any questions if you have any, I'll try answering if I can!
     
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  7. Danthefanokaku

    Danthefanokaku Well-Known Member

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    Okay so I read all of your post, gonna give myself a small pat on the back for that as it was long however it was insanely interesting!! Thank you for your two cents as it was really interesting to read and gave me a bunch more knowledge on the subject of novel vs manga translation!
    A $100 a year definitely doesn’t sound too bad, especially considering the fact that you are able to cover your website costs via ads! Do you get paid by the ad that’s listed on the site, or by the amount of people that click on it? I’m just a bit curious about that, since making anywhere close to a $100 via ads on a novel site is pretty freaking awesome!
    Oh dang you’re a stem major as well?? *puts hand on your shoulder* I feel you’re pain my comrade. I’m going through a computer science program at the moment trying to become a full time developer.
    Man, you do a crazy amount of work then! Definitely keep up the good work!! Your translation speed is definitely pretty high, especially considering the character count. Of course, this is coming from someone who can’t understand a single lick of any Japanese/chinese/Korean so it may just be my viewpoint. I don’t know what series you’re working on, but I’m sure you’re doing stellar on them!
    What’s ko-fi? Is there really a platform where people can just buy you coffees? That’s incredibly cool. But yeah, I definitely can’t see the donations going up as people usually won’t spend money on something unless they are able to get something in return (from my experience dealing with fundraisers and other events like it).
    Having a stockpile definitely seems like a very difficult thing to have as one can easily blow through a stockpile if irl buisness creates too much havoc like exams and the like.
    Yeah, there’s always negative people out there unfortunately. Although, I can’t say I’m guilt free as I have complained about MoonBunnyCafe’s website in the past as I’ve had some really awful experiences with their website crashing for no reason. But aside from that, so long as the website works and has a next button I’m a happy camper.
    If you can draw anything then you instantly have my respect as I can barely draw a stick figure right. But yeah, in my own personal opinion I truly believe that scanlation a single chapter of manga is just as difficult or even more so than translating a novel as there are just so many additional steps to scanlation a manga rather than just the translation of a novel. With that being said, translating a novel is still incredibly difficult.
    Lol it was definitely a long post, so I thought that a long reply was in order rather than just a “K” or “Thx” like those rowdy teenagers would say LOL
    But anyway, thank you for your wonderful insight! I really enjoyed reading through your post!
     
  8. isecai

    isecai Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to butt in ^,^
    Ko-fi used to be a "button" service to help Paypal owners gain a button that says "Buy Me A Coffee" instead of "Donate". It sounds more chill and casual, and makes sense. I think that's why people love it.

    It's commonly used side to side with Patreon, because Patreon is a recurring support. Of course one can stop being a Patron after supporting for one cycle, but it's a bit too much of a hassle if they only want to say a simple thanks. So Ko-fi it is. :D

    Recently, it's been developing Patreon-like supporter-only posts though, which makes it a great alternative for Patreon. Especially because Ko-fi takes nothing from the users. There's only the processing fee of Paypal/Stripe, but otherwise, they also live from coffee donations. The supporter-only post is also limited for premium users, but it's pretty cheap, so I think it's cool to give back, especially if you're someone who will get many of those coffees in a month. :)
     
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  9. Sakhyu

    Sakhyu Well-Known Member

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    Wow dedication! //pats you on the back as well HAHA//

    That kind of depends on the advertisement network you're with! The one I used to use was wordads (the only advertisement network wordpress users can use), which was really kind of awful hahahah (something like 500k ad impressions for $30) since they only paid you for the ad impressions. The one I'm currently with is ezoic, which is heavens better, and I usually make around $15 a week even if I don't post anything! Ezoic works by paying you by the amount of unique visitors that visit your site/sees your add, and its usually around a dollar or two (depending on how much visitors visit you site as the higher it is, the better your rates) per thousand visitors. I do know that google ads also pays you by clicks though, and that clicks pay a lot more!

    Computer science oh mannn. I'm thinking about double majoring in comsci and life sciences (or triple majoring if I get into two of the life science programs I'm considering) third year ahaha. Does senpai have any words of wisdom for me? xD

    Yeah I've talked to the owner of MoonBunnyCafe's site before a few times and they've been trying to fix it (the site crashes on me too haha). Apparently there's something wrong with the website script, though if it does keep crashing tell them and they'll look into it more lolol.

    And yeah I totally agree! If I was to go at it solo, even if the translating part decreases, typesetting and cleaning and redrawing would take a while too. I had actually been considering taking up a solo manhua project and posting it on my site (trying to branch out haha~) but the thought of the aggregators ended that thought. Unless I find a way to change the website theme css so that there could be a section like a manga site with easy reading, I don't think it would be worth doing all that work only to have readers end up on aggregator sites LOL. But its still something I'll consider in the future.

    The lovely isecai already answered your question on ko-fi (thanks isecai!!), and yeah, it's great! Getting coffees because your reader purely wants to support you makes my day, and I find having a set amount (like ko-fi going up in $3 instead of a regular paypal donation button) makes it easier for readers to donate as sometimes they don't know how much they want to donate, if that makes sense haha. Then can also buy you x5 coffees for $3 each in a single go and you'll receive a lump sum of $15 (with some of the money eaten by the processing fee), so its not a hassle for them to have to buy you coffees over and over again. You can also set goals on ko-fi like paetron, which is how a lot of translators do those sponsored chapters!
     
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  10. isecai

    isecai Well-Known Member

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    Yup, that automatically counting bar and the tiny bits like coffee pouring animation whenever someone has just bought you a coffee is what makes ko-fi so much more fun than paypal. I mean, you can make a paypal progress bar/plugin and put it in your widget, but you have to change the number manually everytime, and there's no instant gratification for the donating process like ko-fi's animation, I guess.

    Interesting how packaging changes the way you interact with an app, a method, but it works.
     
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  11. Danthefanokaku

    Danthefanokaku Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it is a really cool service! Although personally I’d prefer a “bit me a drink” option but that just splitting hairs between coffee and a good friday night hahaha but anyway, ko-fi is a wonderful donation option that removes the majority of the “donation” feel. Instead of saying “hand over your money” it’s more like “hand over your coffee” which I find to be just freaking great!! Thank you for the explanation by the way Isecai!
    But yeah, ko-fi really is interesting, especially since people are still just donating, but in a fancier method.

    Well I mean it’s my responsibility as someone who was seeking knowledge to read through what everyone posts, so it’s only natural.
    Huh, that’s really interesting about ads. I was always under the impression that they would only pay if they received any clicks, like how a YouTube video is payed by views instead of it just existing. That’s actully a fair bit of money that you’re able to make just by using ads so that’s pretty cool! Although I don’t know how the google ones (where you do actually need to click on them) work so well as who just randomly clicks on ads? Which again, made me thinks ads didn’t make nearly as much money as they do since I was under the impression that others also avoided clicking on ads.
    Words of wisdom eh? Keep the tide pods close, and the alcohol closer. In all seriousness the best advice I can give is to make as many friends as you possibly can within any of your major prep courses, as you’re likely to be around them for a good portion of your major prep classes. And if you’re friends with them, then you can ask them for help on the hw and other things concerning the class. I know one class I took (a materials engineering course since I was interested in engineering at the time, but I was at the wrong college for it) was so hard, everyone in class made a shared google drive folder so that we could all work on the hw and lab work together. In the end though, the highest score in the class was a B.
    Oh cool then! I’ll defintely talk to them as one series had an excellent translation job done by them, but I couldn’t get past the first paragraph due to the frequent crashes
    It’s totally something to consider, and if you need a proofreader or something I might be able to help out in my spare time (since my next semester is relatively easy since I’m only taking a Java programming class(and I’ve already master C++ so it’ll be a piece of cake), a communications class, and Discrete Mathematics) so I should be in for a light load (knocks on wood). But anyway, I completely agree with you! Aggregate sites are just awful, I wish sites like the new bato or mangadex were able to block robots, but at that point it’d become like kissanime’s captcha system that they have surrounding every episode on their servers.
    That’s awesome!! As I made a joke earlier, maybe a drinks only platform would be nice as well. ANWAY, ko-fi sounds like an amazing donation system! I totally understand what you mean when you say that it’s hard to choose an amount that you want to donate, as it really is! If you have money to spare then donating $1 is the same as $10, but if you don’t then trying to figure out what you want to donate is hard, and ko-fi makes everything easier!