Need Help with a price quote for a book deal

  • @smceccarelli Yes, I watched the video you're talking about and you're totally right. I think the lowest I'd be willing to work on this project for would be $4500/$5000, though maybe I'm still underselling myself? I would like to do the job, it's a fun premise and would give me more work to put in my portfolio, but I also don't want to feel like I'm getting intern pay to do professional work that will consume my life until it's done.

    @Christine-Garner Absolutely. I learned the hard way many years ago to never start work on something you haven't been paid for. With this I would ask for payment up front or at the very least half up front and the other half once I have completed a few pieces.

    @NoWayMe Yes, the rights thing bothers me too. How do I ask for some rights insofar as being able to sell prints at a con? I know her concern is that she wants to be able to use all images/character designs for merchandise down the road, but I don't think she understands what is typically done with artists being able to at least sell prints of their work. I was thinking of offering to put her business cards with the prints that sell or something so that people will be redirected to her book site if they buy a print, but I don't know how to work that out. She has a lawyer and I do not, and the lawyer friends that I did ask didn't have any experience with this stuff so didn't see anything unusual about what she was asking.

  • @kasey-snow

    Perhaps you can negotiate to license just the rights the author needs for the publishing of the book and also the specific rights if she wants to sell merchandise without assigning all rights to the artwork (when I used to be a member of the Association of Illustrators they said never assign all rights if at all possible- if the book is a success you will be annoyed, and if it isn't you can't make any money on any of the work you did for yourself in the future).

    Not sure if any of these links will be useful to you but here's some on licensing and related to this:

  • @christine-garner Thanks so much, those links are incredibly helpful! I will have to go through them later today. And yeah, I definitely messed up with the first piece I did for her, I am proud of it but I can't make revenue from it and who knows if she will ever even use it. 😕 But perhaps the contract can still be negotiated.

  • I feel ya! I recently had a past client ask me to do a cover for his second (self-published) novel. My original price for the first novel was ridiculously low (my fault, not his... he even paid me extra when I was done!) I'm trying to decide what to do since my original price was so absurd.

    But in your case, I think you're right to ask for more money, especially if you're essentially forfeiting your rights to the artwork.

  • @missmarck Hindsight is so very sadly 20/20. I knew I didn't want her to have full rights to the work but I didn't know how to ask for anything else. 😕 I am thinking of asking to work under a new contract that allows me to sell prints of the work I do. 30 pieces is a lot of time and effort to never get to use again.

    I wonder if it would be weird to give her two options: 1) Pay me more and keep the rights or 2) I'll work for less if you give me rights to sell prints of what I draw. Is that strange, I wonder?

  • @kasey-snow sorry if this is a stupid question, but have you already agreed to do work for a contract that gives her all the rights or is this still to be negotiated or discussed as a future job?

    The options thing- might be a good idea to see what she wants, but you still have to make sure you don't punish yourself on the price aspect, especially for all that work, only offer something you are comfortable with doing.

  • I worked under a contract with the piece I already showed here--so that one is off the table as far as me being able to do anything with it other than sharing it online as an example of my work. The original contract had an addendum section where we could adjust the stipulations of each batch of work I do for her, so I will see if that can be something we add to the contract moving forward. Not sure about how all of that works though.

    She is asking me for a quote for this batch order of 29 pieces and I am probably going to tell her that if we do it under the same contract it will be more expensive. If we can write up a new contract (essentially the same one as before except a clause stating I can sell prints of the work I make for her book) then I will give her a cheaper (though still fair) quote for the order.

  • I think that sounds fair to her and you 🙂 I hope it goes well for you, all the best.

  • @kasey-snow I think offering the two options is a clear but non-aggressive way to explain how this kind of project really affects an artist: either a decent sum upfront, or guaranteed income over time. Also, if you're still worried about how little you charged originally, what I have told clients (IF they argue or question my increase) is "My freelance time is at a higher premium now, due to shifts in workload and availability." Most people are understanding... if they aren't, it's a red flag that they might be more trouble than they're worth 😉

  • @kasey-snow That is exactly how I would have approached this! Hope it works out 🙂

  • I appreciate the input and confirmation about what I plan to ask. She has not responded yet, but hopefully I'll hear back soon. Thanks everyone!

  • Just wanted to post an update to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who responded and gave input to this thread. Because of your advice I was able to successfully negotiate a new contract in which I have rights to my artwork, and adjust the payment for the project to $6000, double what she originally offered me. I would not have had the direction to achieve that without your help, I am most grateful to you all. ❤

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @kasey-snow That is fantastic news! Congrats!

  • That sounds much better ,I hope it is very successful for you Congrats!

  • Pro SVS OG

    Fantastic, congratulations!!!!!

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