Should I accept contract asking for 33% COMMISSION?



  • Hi, everybody! It's so good to be back here in SVS. For the past year, I've been sending submissions to publishers and illustration reps/agents. My portfolio is without a doubt still not there but I've been trying my luck nonetheless. I did have one success when a small publisher decided to take a chance on me. Now, we're in the process of producing 2 books.

    Lately, however, an agency from the UK named Allied Artists approached me and offered representation if I added more pieces to my portfolio. Now that I made the additions, they reached out again. However, they were asking for a 33% commission! I'm no expert here, but isn't that a bit too much? Please tell me what you think. Also, please let me know what you think about Allied Artists illustration agency as a whole. Has anyone of you heard about it? Is it a legit company or am I being scammed?

    Thank you so much. I appreciate all your inputs.



  • To my knowledge, 30-50% commission is pretty standard for illustration agencies. 30% is what is typical for illustration, 50% for art licensing agents. Literary agents take much less (15%). I do not know the company, so I cannot comment on that.



  • This post is deleted!


  • @smceccarelli hmm... I see. I guess I was just being too paranoid. Thank you, Simona! You're very helpful. I consider you one of the experts here in SVS.



  • My agent takes 35%. 30-35% seems to be the norm in the UK



  • Should you decide to pursue a relationship with them remember to have the contract looked at by an attorney familiar with contracts like this. It will cost you a couple hundred dollars but is worth every cent.



  • @audrey-dowling Hi, Audrey! Thanks for the input. This only proves what an ignorant and paranoid person I actually am. Thank you so much. Do you know anything about Allied Artists illustration agency? It would be great to hear some first-hand opinions about them. Again, thanks.



  • @jimsz Hi, Jim! I will consider that but I'm afraid I can't do that as of the moment. My funds are very limited. Plus, I live in the Philippines. I don't know any attorney who is experienced in these type of contracts. However, I will try to do this in the future. Thank you so much for your input!



  • @nyrryl-cadiz no sorry, I don't know them but you could contact some of their artists. Ask them if they're happy with their agent, how much work they get, pros and cons... Try artists whose style is similar to yours. That's what I did before I signed. Illustrators are usually happy to help



  • @audrey-dowling Hi, Audrey! I'll try that. Thank you.



  • Does anyone else have some suggestions? I would love to hear them. Thank you. :)



  • Having an agent can be an essential component to breaking into the business. That said, it can be expensive. 33% is definitely on the high side, but it's within the scope of what I'm seeing these days.

    If you don't have much published work, I would say go for it. 33% of something is better than 100% of nothing. Think of it as a limited time thing until you are established enough to let them go. Or, in a best case scenario, you stay because they are getting you lots of work. When you leave them in a few years, consider writing your own content and getting a literary rep at 15%.

    Look closely at the terms for ending the relationship. Make sure you are comfortable with all of it.

    Good luck!
    -Lee



  • @lee-white Thank you so much, Lee. This is very hepful.