New possible CB client

  • @Will-Terry I can't wait to watch this!!

  • @Will-Terry That's a really nice and polite response. 🙂
    I found the video very helpful. I wouldn't probably send it to someone, but it was good for me to hear all that stuff.

  • great video will!

  • Very classy and honest, informed response, @Will-Terry! Great job! I don't see how anyone could be offended by it.

  • @Chip-Valecek That sounds awful, and I'd prefer never to get into that situation... sometimes we just don't know. That's why having this forum and these teachers is sooo wonderful! I've watched this so many times! haha!

    @Naroth-Kean I do have one book witha very small publisher (not my own) and she is doing the print on demand and it's much the same. I do plan to still go talk to him, who knows he may be loaded and I'd be happy with a large upfront fee! JK lol.

  • @Lee-White All those sound very right, but I'm still so new in this industry I'm not sure who I'm looking to work with if not locals that contact me. I'm not putting myself out there to the larger market yet feeling unready to. In the mean time I thought it would make sense to take on lower jobs for the sake of having more projects, but there are so many horror stories!

    All published artists are shaking your heads saying "I remember that mistake in my career..." 😃

    I do like the large upfront fee, I wouldn't take a job like this if it's not worth my time so thank you for the range! I'm so looking forward to the business class!

  • @mattramsey This made me laugh! I'm willing to talk to him definitely, but I'm not swinging toward taking the job if there isn't some amazing reason. There are a lot of things (like practice) that would be way more worth my time to me instead of tons of work for little pay.

    @Charlie-Eve-Ryan I'm noticing that! Everyone and their mother has a children's book! lol. I am a member so SCBWI and I find it's resources helpful, though not as helpful as SVS.

    @Sarah-LuAnn I'm in that same position and I like the idea of doing it that way.

    @natiwata I agree, thank you!

    @mag lol! Yes. Thank you!

    @Will-Terry That video was so helpful.I was planning to use it just in case! Wish we could all say the same!

  • Just read the story and talked to the guy more. While it is a good story he seriously needs an editor, also it is a story for his daughter so it seems like more of something to circulate with family and friends. Money wise it'd be around $12,000 and I'd be taking a hit and it would take a few more moths than I'm used to.... Knowing that do I just cancel the meeting or meet for the practice?

  • @bharris Is this your main source of income?

  • @bharris I would meet with him. For experience for you, and following through with your commitment 🙂 You may not work for him, but if he's talking with someone that needs an artist, he may remember the positive meeting. What do you mean by taking a hit? whatever you do, don't cut your prices 🙂

  • I'm picky about clients. I'm not a puppet and they aren't my master. My contract is watertight, I always get upfront payment and I'm completely up-front about my work, what I can do for them and what will incur more charges on their end.

    Personally... I wouldn't take on this client. If I did, I'd quote him double what I would normally because I know I'm going to get extra hassle and don't particularly want the job for a normal fee if it's a pain. If he wants me, he'll pay... if not, I didn't want him either.


  • @Chip-Valecek I actually got a part time job so no it's not my only source.

    @Lynn-Larson Thanks Lynn, I think I will still meet with him. I won't cut my prices, just learning what my prices are actually 🙂

    @Ace-Connell I'm glad to see you don't compromise, gives a good example. Thanks!

  • If it was me and I was able to get $12,000 for it, I would go for it. But thats only because I have a full time job and this would be a side job for me. I would put up with any issues for the money LOL. But if it was my main source of income, its not worth it to me. But thats my opinion. Best of luck on whichever route you take.

  • I've met with a self-publishing author before, it was my first time, and after discussing her needs, I came back with what I though was a reasonable $2500 (which was way too low already) and she said she only had $800 to spend on the project. I didn't work with her. I have a feeling this person doesn't have that type of money, but if so heck yeah! lol. Thanks!

  • @bharris Only 2 weeks ago I had a client I knew was going to be a nightmare client off the mark because of his constant emailing back and forth. I quoted him a high price and told him that if he wants art to my standard then it's going to cost him x and that if x was too high for him, then I can point him to a Facebook group with local art students who'd be able to do it cheap but that it wouldn't be done in my style or to my standard in quality. He thanked me and told me I was too expensive. 3 hours later, he called me and said that he wants me to do the job for the full price.

    You are a business and your talent is worth money. Don't compromise for deadbeat clients who are just going to give you the run around and ask for endless revisions, etc. I place all the things about revisions and costs in my contract. If they don't like it my way, I don't want them as a client, it's as simple as that. It may sound harsh, but we're on the planet for not a lot of time, so I'm not going to spend time doing things I don't want for people who don't respect me.

    Respect yourself and the client will get your best work anyway.


  • @bharris: did you mean $12,000 or $1,200?

    Because I don't understand why you'd say you're taking a hit for $12K. Isn't that more than what you could even get (on average for a newbie illustrator) as an advance from one of the big publishers?

    If it's really $12,000 then I'd say go for it. Again though, making sure you have a contract in place 🙂

  • I'd run the other way! I've had to tell a few people no and I don't really feel I know what I'm doing as far as publishng goes. I did some illustrations for one author that I love working with . I didn't get paid a lot but I enjoyed the work, it was good practice and I didn't feel bad about that decision. She told another self published author about me (and my cheap work-I asked her not to tell people what I was working for after that). I agreed to do one or two illustrations for him for $20 ! He was so nit picky and I redid them so many times. I mean I know I am not prefect but so many redos for so little money. He ended up only taking one of them and I was paid $20. I lost a lot of confidence in my art ability and got paid peanuts for it. I am surely a beginner at illustration and don't expect people to be knocking my door down unless they think they can get a good deal from my hard work-which was much better than what he had even if there were problems. Fortunately I don't need to make a living from my art but I still want to be valued for what I can do. It feels awful to be used and paid almost nothing for it.

  • I don't have any more to add, just to say that I have been in a situation like that too, illustrate a book for someone who knows nothing (no, his name was not Jon ^^ ) but after accepting, I had to pull out. the effort is not worth it, I realized that I'd better spend this time in personal projects that will really benefit my portfolio
    now I just stay away from all these and I answer nicely that I'm too busy working on other things

  • @audrey-dowling I agree that the time would be better spent on personal portfolio pieces than on these low-paid projects. Its easy to think "Well, some money is better than none!" but if you're not excited about the project, it shows, and the money becomes not worth it really quick. Good portfolio pieces that you really love and did because YOU liked the idea will do much more for you in the long run, in my opinion. Of course, I don't exactly speak as a professional illustrator with a great client list or anything--I'm still figuring this all out too. But at the SCBWI conference my portfolio was full of pieces I made because I wanted to and people really seemed to respond to that.

  • 3 things come to mind right away after skimming through most of what everyone has told you.

    1. You're JUST the illustrator. Not the art director, not the publisher, not the graphic designer, not the letterer, not the author.

    What falls under your job description is the ART. That's it. Sure you do art direction, but even books with 20 pages NEED an outside art director that usually comes from either the publisher, in this case the Client doing it themselves. They're not hiring you to art direct. That is a separate job in itself, that isn't required of you as an add on. If you want to make a contract that says you will art direct your own work AFTER the fact... that requires allowing them to change everything you do, as your doing it... which yes, is fine if you're covered financially for changes. And everything will need revision especially with difficult clients, which this person is before you've even met. RED FLAG!

    1. Everything is a learning experience. You can chalk this up to that, if you wanna find out just how hard this is going to be? Maybe you're made of titanium, and you can do anything, and you're attitude is bring it on!!! That's great, keep that, go in like gangbusters wanting to make a great book, and have fun doing it. I don't want to ruin your positive attitude with horror stories. So this is up to you, but go in with eyes wide open, knowing this is gonna be tough, it might even be terrible. But if you think you have what it takes, go for it.

    If you had a nightmare job from Disney, would you turn it down? HELL NO!!! You'd sell your mother's favorite chair and tell her it got lost in the fire. It's Disney, it's a once in a lifetime chance, it's immortality. But this guy is not Disney. You can't go into every job thinking I'm gonna treat this like I'm working for Disney. It's a great thought, but you'd be killing yourself for something that obviously is more about the experience, than it is about the benefits. And that's fine if you wanna do that... I hear people like to backpack alone through Europe. NOT ME. I'm a city boy... I like room service, working toilets and cable TV.

    Some people like to rough it. That's what this is gonna be...

    1. And this is something Will said in one of his videos that has stuck with me. He does maybe 2-4 books a year, and they take a big chunk of his time, his personal family time, and he knows that going in. So he is not gonna go for a life of 10-15 books and kill himself, I mean exhaust himself every night, and ignore his family and what not. His time is important to him.

    As should yours be to you. As should everyone's time be to them. Even this author. If he hasn't found the right artist, ask him why, really ask him what was wrong with all those people? What did he like, what did he out right hate? What didn't work with him personality wise? What didn't work with him as far as their work ethic, their approaches, their answers to disagreements, etc... You're going on a DATE. As far as I'm concerned this is about to be a personal relationship with a finite time period. But it's gonna be personal. You're gonna look back at it someday and say that's how I spent the summer of 2016, working with Joe Killjoy and his book, How to bore me to death volumes 1-12.

    So ask yourself. Is this job, worth my time? Even if you're starting out, what are you gonna learn or take away from this job? Money is not the answer to all things. If you're working for money, you're in the wrong profession. I can name about 8 things that will get you more money in half the time, that are more enjoyable than doing this... but I am not you.

    You're already entertaining the notion, so something inside you is curious. You're willing to give this guy the benefit of the doubt even though you know and see the red flags everywhere. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. Just kidding. But seriously if you think you've got the right stuff to do this, and the money sounds good, and you wanna know the answers to all these questions, go for it. May the wind be at your back...

    In all seriousness, good luck to you, and let us know what happens.

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