McGraw Hill Publisher charging illustrators a fee to get paid

  • @jimsz as an illustrator who works for small independent artists, I don’t know how I feel about the implication that unless you have worked with these large publishers you’re not a “real” pro. I produce professional work, and get paid for my services. In my book that qualifies me, and other illustrators like me, as pros. Do we have as much experience as Jake or Lee or Will? No, but we are still professionals

    It’s an unfair practice regardless. As a community, there really is no downside to banding together on this and demanding fair pay for services offered

  • Poor choice of words by me, I was thinking experienced with large publishers.

    Large companies make their own rules because they can and those rules benefit them.

    There is little difference with this and Adobe going to a rental model for their software (which costs more artists more I would think).

    As I asked, how many would refuse to work for this publisher if they came knocking? it may stink to have to pay the extra fee but many, if not most would swallow it as the cost of doing business.

    It costs nothing to complain and start petitions when you are outside looking in (as I am!) but once you're in it will come at a cost.

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    Thoughts on this issue from an Intellectual Property Attorney:


    "PG [Passive Guy, the attorney who writes this blog] suggests freelancers get together and suggest to one another to increase their fees to McGraw-Hill by 5%, with a little less than half to cover McGraw-Hill’s new fee and a new 2.8% McGraw-Hill invoice preparation and compliance fee."

  • Pro

    @davidhohn I guess the problem is getting together - we don't all know each other haha... Though by passing the word around as much as possible, maybe enough people will hear about it. On that topic, the petition has reached the goal of 1600 signature and is now extended for a stretch goal of 3200!

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    @NessIllustration Each illustrator advocating and sharing among their peer group will have a significant effect. And I've found that the illustration community is smaller than you might think!

    Individual illustrators have gotten together in the past with efforts to combat Orphan Works bills and stock illustration.

    I'm pleased to see the Authors Guild going for more signatures! Keep talking and sharing!

  • Moderator

    @davidhohn ✅ done

  • Pro

    @chinachin Sorry what? :o

  • @chinachin I’m confused, are you saying that because the fee isn’t high it’s something that shouldn’t be considered unfair or exploitative? For me, and this is from someone who is a new professional so my experience at this point is also based on my instincts about doesn’t matter how expensive the fee is. They pay for illustrator services, and yet they take a fee out because their clients are forced to use their payment service? That’s a publishing company on a power trip, that’s what I see. That tells me that they don’t think illustrators should be getting the money they deserve and is in some ways punishing artists for using a service they have to use. It’s more about the thought behind it, perhaps others can weigh in, but the price of the fee is more inconsequential.

  • @davidhohn Is that actually legal? So, you're being penalised for being paid your fee. I can't see how that could stand up in court.

  • SVS Instructor Pro

    @Adam-Thornton-0 If the terms are stated in the contract then I would imagine that it is technically legal.

    I could see an argument made that a change like this is coercive, but I don't have any sense of how effective that argument would be after a contract was signed.

    But I do not think that McGH is surprising freelancers with this new fee after a contract has been agreed to and signed by both parties. More likely MCGH is hoping that the freelancer either doesn't notice the fee when initially signing the contract or agrees to it because the freelancer is too afraid to lose the project.

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