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Thread: Crowdfunding Translations

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    I wish it could be otherwise, but as you can see, only the four of us, out of what, hundreds of members?, have even bothered to share our thoughts.

    Let's hope that others will join in with their thoughts.
    There are others interested in this discussion...but not all of us have something constructive/productive to add to the thread. So I'm eagerly lurking.

  2. #12
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    I have carefully read everyone's input so far, and of course there are lots of valid points on all sides.

    I am well aware of the ethical angle (of scanning/uploading after someone else has done all the work), but what I am much more concerned with, is to have a 'system' in place that achieves these two main goals:

    1. Obtain high quality translations of well-chosen and sought-after texts.

    2. Make sure that the ones actually doing the work are duly compensated, within an adequate framework of 'checks and balances'.

    Everything else is (IMO) up for discussion and rectification - ethically, professionally, logistically and inter-personally.

    So why don't we bury old hatches, admit we're not 'perfect' and that there is no 'one single/best way' to accomplish this, start a new page and actually attempt to COOPERATE and get good results.

    I'm eagerly looking forward to more input/ideas on how to actually implement this, iron out the differences of opinion/perspective and make this suggested project a 'reality'.

    And I mean it in the most 'practical' way. As in 'result-oriented'

    I'm grateful to everyone who has responded so far, and I hope more will join in with ideas and suggestions that we can actually discuss and implement.

    Thank you!

  3. #13
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    I think this is a very nice idea.

    It's not an easy project, but it worth the pain.

    RAMS is already doing this, but the translators work for free. Here it complicates the things because it is not the case.

    So, we need a special team, a dedicated page, and a system to sell, afterward, the translation to all person who want a copy.

    My preference for such thing is paperback LULU printing. On demand only. Or, a house made print and binding, sent by mail. I know it is not cheap, but the fact is that a translation is not cheap.

    Not pdfs. A password can be given with the pdf and the result is that we gather no funds for the future translations.

    One person should be in europe for the printing, and another one or two, for US.
    They will, of course, have the expenses, mailing, and work covered.

    I suggest that everything must be under only one flag, like "AlchemyForums Translations" (AFT) or something alike. My opinion is that the community and the forum should be linked to such thing.

    -------------
    I have, on my side, a french translator able to translate german and old german into french. But I guess it is not relevant here since you want english versions.
    This person works for publishing house (Sesheta Editions) and works very well.

    So this person could probably help for some technical terms.
    --------------

    Another option would be this :

    Only the persons interested on the books/paper to translate will give money for the translator. The more we are, the less the price by person will be high. They get their copy/pdf, whatever.

    If people are interested afterward by such a books, they'll pay for a paper version/printed (less susceptibe to be pirated/copied and share freely). The money will be splited unto the first "sponsors" up to the point they are refunded.

    When refunded, the money of such sales are given for future translations or for the forum expenses.

    ------------
    I was also thinking about such a "purse" for the AlchemyForums Congresses, because some of us are very far and spend a lot of money in the travelling.
    Salazius

    http://dartigne.blogspot.com/

    My Works

    "I want to transmute everywhere" ~ The Spirit of Alchemy.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiorionis View Post
    Have you ever heard of Kickstarter?

    It is similar to the idea presented in you OP Andro.
    From my own experience I have to agree with the "base human nature" argument.

    The "crowdfunding" model however would defy such behavior by design. The translator would ONLY work if the TOTAL amount is already in the pot so to speak.
    It would be a nice extra to then also publish it as a printed work and sell it, but even if that eventually got scanned and uploaded for "free" nobody would be unduly hurt (like I was in the Naturweg case).

    I would also suggest to make the printed version EXPENSIVE rather than cheap. I have observed that people who know the value of this work are willing to shell out 50 or even 100 bucks for a book whichs translation, if done solely for them, would cost 20 times that money. The cheap characters will never pay that kind of money (unless they create a mafia style cooperation - but thats far fetched). Thats saves us from "uploads" indefinitely.

    However, I would also consider that after a grace period, may that be 5 or even 10 years, the document should be made available for free thru RAMS or a similar function.

    As much as I disagree with JDP on other issues, here we will likely have common ground, as he has paid heftily for his translations AFAIK. And on another issue: There should be a coordinator - if not this will likely not really take off as in my own experience over 6 decades functional services work thru responsible people and "socialism" usually doesnt work very well.

    Because I am one of the 2 translators Andro pointed at and because I am a "computer guy" with my own server and some 20 years experience in server management I could easily install crowdfunding software exclusively for alchemical purposes. There are various versions, some are even free (but I had a look and the paid versions do offer many advantages so I would go for that because it saves a lot of time in the long run).

    If someone else out there wants to do it - no problem. I am interested to get the dice rolling, even if another person owns the dice :-)

    -sam

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salazius View Post
    ........
    When refunded, the money of such sales are given for future translations or for the forum expenses.

    ------------
    I was also thinking about such a "purse" for the AlchemyForums Congresses, because some of us are very far and spend a lot of money in the travelling.
    I would disagree. The function should be free of any mandatory association with this or any other forum. There are quite a few forums out there and a translation will need all the support it can get. Undue loyalties to one platform can only hinder here. also forums do die. Translators also die but usually at a later date. The copyright remains with the translator unless its a paid contract work (which is wont be if done thru crowdfunding). Unless its not crowd but forum-members-funding which I would not support for reasons mentioned above.

    This is how crowd funding works: you basically DONATE funds, which are only paid back in case the work is NEVER done. If, however it IS done you receive your PERK, which in this case obviously would be the printed book.
    For that reason there must also be a minimum amount for any entry into the funding system, which should reflect the later market price of the book, which, for reasons mentioned above, should be relatively high.

    So we basically set up a system where people WHO KNOW THE VALUE OF THE WORK come together to make it happen for their immediate own gain, and at a much later point in time, to the gain OF THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY (after said 5 or 10 years).

    I think that would be very workable as approach - say my "fee" for the Naturweg would be $ 2000,-, which is relatively low considering the work, only 20 people would have to pay $ 100,-. If we can not come up with 20 people the work is likely not worth the effort.

    Of course if there is one rich patron who wants the book, no matter what, he can just chip in the total or missing amount and be done with it.

    -sam

  6. #16
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    To Salazius: Too complicated IMO.

    Lulu, printing costs, etc... all this can be bypassed, and this has been already tried before, with the translators loosing money.

    So I still say:

    FIRST raise the funds for currently pending projects.

    IF the funds are raised by the Patrons, then the work begins, not otherwise.

    Once the work is finished and checked, the funds are transferred to the translator/s.

    The work is uploaded in PDF form. Whoever wants a hard copy, can go to LULU/elsewhere and have one made (I think).

    Eventually, someone will either scan or upload 'for free', so the point I'm making is to raise the funds BEFORE the work begins.

    Future projects can be treated the same way. Funds raised first, then work. No need to 'set aside' for future projects, as this is a per-project concept.
    Of course, anything raised above the asked amount can be either kept for future projects, or given as a bonus to the translators, etc...

    But I still suggest to upload 'for free' after the work is done, with a donation option which would of course go into the reserve fund.

    The nice 'trick' here is that, no matter how much people want to have everything for free, IF the amount is not reached, nobody will have anything!

    So, hopefully, genuinely interested people will realize that it's better to donate smaller amounts in larger numbers than to have nothing at all.

    Am I giving humanity too much credit?

    And for those who prefer to have it ALL 'for free', I say let them have it and see what good it does them

    Again, my main concerns are that we have good translations and that the translators receive proper compensation.

    The rest seems less important to me (pdf or hard copy, charge later for downloads or not, etc...)

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post
    Once the work is finished and checked, the funds are transferred to the translator/s.
    Problem: I would not work under such conditions - if other people were to have a say in the "quality" of the work, it would likely be three times as time consuming. And not necessarily any better.
    Also: No translator will work without advance. No translator will submit his work BEFORE receiving payment - unless it is a long and proven relationship with the patron.
    You may be able to retain, say 20% - much like its done in house construction. But paying in FULL only after you agree to the quality of the work - that will likely never happen.

    The work is uploaded in PDF form. Whoever wants a hard copy, can go to LULU/elsewhere and have one made (I think).
    the delivery to the patron can be in any format. whoever has the original word or whatever file can deliver any format easily, including single prints via LULU. It costs near to nothing compared to the input of the patron.


    Eventually, someone will either scan or upload 'for free', so the point I'm making is to raise the funds BEFORE the work begins.
    that is the definition of crowdfunding

    Of course, anything raised above the asked amount can be either kept for future projects, or given as a bonus to the translators, etc...
    that will not happen, the software will close the case and inform the associated parties to start the work. However, at a later date the translator CAN have further income thru additional book sales.

    and that IS a VERY GOOD thing because I at least would be willing to start working at much lower entry point than if that option would not exist.
    Example Naturweg: at least $ 4000,- with no further option - $ 2000,- with that option. Of course other translators may calculate differently and maybe you get a cheap chinese to do it for pennies

    So, hopefully, genuinely interested people will realize that it's better to donate smaller amounts in larger numbers than to have nothing at all.
    based on my experience that will not work. There are a number of intelligent people who know the value of the work - and a TON of idiots who want it for free. There is very little middle ground.

    Am I giving humanity too much credit?
    as it stands: Yes!


    also, look here for add. options:

    http://ouroboros-press.bookarts.org/...ntus-circaeus/


    -sam
    Last edited by Andro; 02-02-2015 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Personal section generalized (in red).

  8. #18
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    Sam - good points. I haven't thought of these angles, as I obviously lack any sort of experience in this field.

    But I still think this is a good discussion, and hopefully a 'system' will/could evolve from it, with which all/most parties can agree...

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salazius View Post
    RAMS is already doing this, but the translators work for free. Here it complicates the things because it is not the case.
    .
    That's not quite correct. The people doing translations/transcriptions here are working for much less than free. The point was to try to primarily recover the out of pocket expenses, such as the costs for acquiring the treatise in the first place, costs for having someone design covers for the book, and publishing costs. Any extra amount would go towards the incredible amount of time it takes to do the work.

    For example, I once worked on transcribing a long treatise, which had very difficult old handwriting. It took over 300 hours of my time. At say $15 per hour, that means $4,500 of time. Even if one were to make $5 per book, it would take 900 books to cover the time alone. Thus, because of the limited number of people in the alchemical community who are willing to sponsor such work and purchase a book, the translator/transcriber would likely never recover his time, unless he happens to produce a blockbuster.

    Therefore, the main concern is the recovery of just the costs associated with publishing the material. Any additional amount recovered would only go towards a very small portion of the time. So it's obvious that the translator/transcriber works for much less than free. In just about all cases it even costs the translator/transcriber money/time out of his/her own pocket to make the material available. So if not enough people contribute, become more ethical in how they obtain this work, or even show appreciation, it greatly discourages a translator/transcriber from doing any further work.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Androgynus View Post

    Am I giving humanity too much credit?
    You haven't been around as long as I have :-) I too, used to be optimistic.

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