Book review: Marketing Cookbook for Translators by Tess Whitty

A new translation business book is about to be has been released, and I had the chance to read a preview copy

TRANSLATION MARKETING is a subject I like to pay close attention to. It is the fascinating, ever-changing experiment that keeps new business coming through the door, offering up exciting and sometimes nervewracking ways to shape our jobs. Even our careers. So it was with eager anticipation that I sat down to read an advance copy of Tess Whitty’s new Marketing Cookbook for Translators.

Having worked with Tess on a number of occasions [1] I was keen to hear her in-depth take on marketing, particularly given her professional experience in the field. Scanning over the contents I noted that the book covers all of the key marketing channels a small business owner needs to be at least aware of, if not actively involved in. This means that the book is well-suited to new and aspiring freelance translators, without excluding the more experienced reader. I’ve spent a lot of time considering new and interesting ways to market a translation business, but it always pays to review the foundations of any marketing strategy.

Any good reading material, to me, is inspirational, acting as springboard for new ideas. With foundations as strong as these, and practical ideas on nearly every page, I defy any reader to not be inspired to go back to the drawing board and review their marketing approach.


The book includes a thorough start-to-finish method for defining your marketing strategy, analysing the areas you would be best suited to focus on, and all in enough detail to get you oriented and headed in the right direction.

Then the marketing strategies are set out, covering online as much as offline opportunities, and continuing with a more in-depth discussion of where to best focus your efforts. Technical discussions on pricing and optimising your revenue in line with your lifestyle are then tackled, followed by some really very sane and relatable advice on how to juggle the business with a normal life.


The book is actually set out in the style of a cookbook. I found this really helped the overall readability of the book, giving a simple mental model on which to easily hang the content and thus understand at a glance where you were in the overal narrative. It was also fun, which always helps!

I appreciated the clarity and succinctness of the book. All too often business books are full of multiple anecdotes around the same point, over-stretched analogies and empty jargon. I’m happy to report that this is far from the case with Tess’ work. The information is structured clearly and in enough depth to cover each aspect in a translator-specific manner. Any areas outside the scope of the book are offered as further reading, with useful suggestions throughout.


So how did I feel after reading the book? Positive, generally. I felt like I’d been on a marketing refresher course. So much so, in fact, that I’d made a list of 20 or more actionable ideas on my phone while reading that I either a) should already have had in place, b) had been meaning to explore or c) had never previously thought of, inspired completely by Tess’ book. That doesn’t happen every day!

Overall I found the Marketing Cookbook for Translators to be a complete and practical guide for new translators and a great source of inspiration for more experienced translators.  I recommend it wholeheartedly as a very worthy addition to any translator’s library.


Available in paperback and Kindle versions from Amazon:


[1] Most recently this podcast with Tess:

Thanks for reading. I do translation from French and Swedish to English, so if that's useful to you, feel free to connect and message me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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