# of rounds of changes in a publishing contract



  • Hi all,

    This question is for those of you who've already negotiated/signed a contract with a traditional publisher.

    I know that, without a doubt, if you're signing a contract with an individual who's self-publishing you'll want it to state a cap on how many rounds of changes they can request (1 or 2 probably)... because if you don't state that then things can really get out of hand with their requests for changes. But does this apply to contracts with traditional publishers (large and small)? Theoretically, an art director at a publishing house won't go to extremes with round after round of changes, or will they? What is the norm?

    My apologies if it was said in the 3rd Thursday when they spoke about contracts - if it was I obviously missed it!

    Thanks so much :)



  • Hi Danette!
    I have only "negotiated" two contracts with educational publishers. Both times, the contract specified one round of changes on the sketches and one round of changes on the final art. In both cases, also the time-frame of the changes was specified (within one week from submission in each case). This turns out to be the most important point in my eyes, because you have a final deadline to keep, and if they would keep making changes on the sketches or failed to give you feedback in time, you would not be able to keep the deadline (which in educational is very tight).

    On the other side of the fence (as art director in advertisement), I have negotiated with animators and designers contracts with two round of changes "before additional fees apply" and contracts with "unlimited changes as long as it does not change the brief" and contracts with unlimited changes (in which case, the deadline is the master - you have what you have when the deadline strucks). I have had to pay extra fees due to "workload beyond what foreseen in the offer" a few times, so that does happen quite normally (to be fair, I have also had to refuse payment due to sloppy or incomplete work a couple of times ...)



  • @smceccarelli

    Thanks Simona! That's good to know. And knowledge from both sides of the table! That does make a lot of sense about making sure to include the deadline for when they have to give you feedback on changes. With a solid deadline, a lot could fall on the artist's shoulders quite quickly.

    I'm negotiating a contract with a small publisher now, and there's nothing in there about # of changes, or deadlines for feedback of said changes so I'll definitely be going back to them to request both be added!


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