If there is one memorable fact or lesson that I come away with after reading a book, then it was well worth reading. In the case of The Prosperous Translator by Chris Durban, that one fact would be the recommendation to read On Writing Well by William Zissner. I immediately started to read it and know that I will be referring to it often for years to come.
Before I say anything more about this book, I would like to congratulate Ms. Durban on her writing style. She explains her ideas succinctly with clear language interspersed with wit and humor. I can bet that her translations read very well.
This book is a compilation of e-mails to Chris Durban and Eugene Seidel a.k.a. Fire and and Worker Bee, two freelance translators with decades of experience. Instead of saying "There is one way and only one way to translate and run a translation business.", they answer advice seekers in an open-ended way that leaves room for interpretation and adaptation. This makes the book more congenial and creditable than some other alienating, totalitarian "advice" I have read elsewhere such as on the Internet.
This is not to say that FA&WB are not firm about certain points. They are sticklers for quality, punctuality, networking and translating into your own language. They advise readers to specialize and actively seek direct clients. They also point out that machine translation is not going to put human translators out of business unless you are considering clients who want Google Translate to do the job for them for free.
Of course The Prosperous Translator has many more nuggets of advice to offer translators, but I would rather leave it up to you to read it yourself. At only $25.00, it is a real bargain considering the countless hours it will save you, not counting the money it will help you earn in better understanding and streamlining your freelance translation outfit. The book is available here.