Book deal with no royalties is a decent idea?
Hi! I've been looking for some info on this topic but found nothing that really brings light to my question at the moment...
I've received an e-mail from an editorial telling me they are interested in my work for a book, but that they can't really pay author's rights because it's hard for them to amortize the investment with their sales. So I'm understanding that mainly means: no royalties.
This is the first time I've gotten an offer from an editorial so I don't have experience in this field... do you think this would be a good deal for the experience and in case they make a "good payment" of the book upfront?
Thanks for the time and I'd really appreciate if you can give me a bit of advice on this question...
@pam If they are not paying royalties, what incentives are they offering to the illustrator in compensation for that?
Lots to unpack here...
I've received an e-mail from an editorial [...] This is the first time I've gotten an offer from an editorial so I don't have experience in this field...
I don't understand what "editorial" means in this context. Typically an "editorial" client or "editorial" illustration means an image that will appear in a newspaper, magazine, or website or blog that is regularly updated, and the content is put up and taken down with some regularity (for example daily, weekly or monthly). This is as compared to "book" illustration in which the images are intended to be seen and regularly reproduced for an extended period of time (books have shelf lives of years or even decades)
telling me they are interested in my work for a book,
Yay! Who doesn't like it when someone expresses interest in your work‽
but that they can't really pay author's rights
What are "authors rights"? It might mean royalties, but who knows? I would ask for clarification
because it's hard for them to amortize the investment with their sales.
Again, what‽ I understand the concept of "amortization" but don't see how that applies to you or potential royalties. Every business is amortizing their investments all the time.
So I'm understanding that mainly means: no royalties.
It might mean that, but again I'd ask for clarification. Be as clear as possible about the specifications of the project and then negotiate from a position of clarity and knowledge.
do you think this would be a good deal for the experience
That differs for everyone. Having done projects for "experience", I'd say: No, it is not a good deal just to get experience. You are better off creating your own personal project.
But (as I've written before in response the posts like this) I don't know that the young me would take the older me's advice. I was just really hungry to work, and maybe prove to myself I could do it.
and in case they make a "good payment" of the book upfront?
If this project is a flat fee, then a larger payment upfront would certainly go some way toward making it "worth it". Again, that will differ for everyone.
@lpetiti Thanks for taking the time to answer me, I do see they are willing to pay a flat fee for the illustrations, probably as davidhohn comments I should look for more clarity on what exactly does it mean for them not paying author's rights.
Thank you @davidhohn for being so detailed in your answer! I didn't detail much on the project they offered so I understand that my question ended up being a bit vague. They are looking for me to illustrate a children's book, so it does look like the illustrations will be used for an extended period of time.
I think looking for clarification with them would be a good idea, author's right is kind of a broad concept.
Again, thank you!
Hi @lpetiti , yes I have researched them and they seem like a legit company. The use of the word "editorial" being wrong might be my mistake, since my original language is spanish we really don't have much distinction between a company that publishes magazines or books in general, being novels or children's books, they are both called "Editorial" for what I know (in my language), so in english children's books might be done by publishing houses?
Sorry for the confusion this might have caused....
@pam ah ok that makes sense!