In Portugal, most of the time, you must be a friend of a friend of a friend (or a cousin) to get to translate a book. Even those books that are sold at the supermarket. So I would say one shouldn’t bother sending a cv to a publishing house.
On the other hand, I’ve seen that in the US there are plenty of places that offer internships (not sure if paid or not) and invite applications. Obviously, seeing that immediately made me dream of the Brave New World and believe it would be that simple across the pond. ;-)
Anyway, this week I had an idea for a translation project I would really like to do, and am starting to collect materials to go knock a few doors and convince a publishing house that it would be great to apply for European funding and finance me. I will be proposing something specific that might interest them as well, rather than saying “Hey, I’m a translator! Hire me!”. No idea if that will work (no idea even if I’ll get past the phase “collecting materials”…), but it made me wonder about the difficult relationship between translators and direct clients in the field of literary translation.
All this made me wonder how is it in the rest of the world. Are there programmes in your country for literary translators? Are publishing houses open places that offer training? Or is it based on contacts and a tiny bit of nepotism?