Working with Self-Publishing/Indie Authors



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  • @Natalie-Lundeen Sounds like you are doing great! I'd be curious how you decide which author will be good to work with and hold up their end of the deal, and which ones to pass on. Everyone is writing a children's book, but most haven't really thought the process through!

    Best of luck working with the publishers in the future!



  • @verysamish Thank you! It has been pretty easy to weed out the people who aren't serious. In my first message I give them a ballpark of my price range, which is in the thousands. Most drop off there so I'd rather not waste a lot of time on someone who wants to pay $300 for a book. With the few who are still interested I've set up a phone call or zoom call to discuss it with them, so I can get a good idea of who this person is, and also ask for the manuscript before we talk so I can decide if it's even something I want to illustrate. I have a good sense of people and only work with people who aren't showing any warning signs of being sketchy or flaky.

    I get the first third of the money before I start anything at all, the second payment before starting the final art (after sketches), and the final payment after I send them low-res images of the final art. They don't get any of the high res files until after I'm paid in full.

    One more thing that has been important to me is to only work with people who love MY work and want to give me creative control to do what I do, and aren't just looking for any illustrator. This has been key to a happy experience, I think! And I charge separately for revisions and have it in the contract that I have ultimate creative control, so it's avoided the endless revision trap.



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  • Love it! That sounds like a good setup. I've fallen into the trap of getting excited about a project before talking about money, and then not only is it harder to walk away, but I've wasted time on a project that was never going to happen in the first place.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!



  • Congratulations @Natalie-Lundeen! I bet it’s a rush to see your book on the shelves of Barnes & Nobles! That’s especially impressive for self-published children’s book, unless they are a celebrity.



  • @verysamish Exactly, I've had that experience too! You're welcome. 🙂



  • @Jeremy-Ross Thanks Jeremy, it has definitely been exciting! The author of that book has been a real go-getter with her marketing. 🙂


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