Budget?



  • Hi all,

    I have a publisher asking for "my normal fees for a book project?"

    I told them I would need more information about the project to make that decision.

    Complexity, type of book, full spread vs spot, the number of characters, flat fee vs advance with royalties, deadlines etc. plus their budget since that varies from publisher to publisher.

    I am happy for the interest. My question...do artists actually give out fees without knowing any of this?

    I don't even know how you would decide without lots more information.

    Any thoughts?



  • @charlie-eve-ryan I don't like to give any numbers without knowing the scope of work, usage, timeline, budget, and perhaps other information depending on the type of project, client, etc.

    Sometimes they don't want to give up that information and instead want to just talk with you on the phone or in person, which is—in my opinion—their attempt to appeal to your emotions.

    If I do decide to give some sort of pricing, I will either give a price that is ample enough to cover what I would like the project to be along with scope of work, usage, and timing parameters (not necessarily as thorough as a quote, but making sure it is clear that I won't be working on some financial-blackhole-of-a-project)

    Still, I like to get basic details up front. It makes a huge difference if this book has just a few spot illustrations verses if it has several full page illustrations with each having multiple characters and rich backgrounds. Similarly, it matters if it is a logo for a mom-and-pop or one for a Fortune500 company or if an ad is just for a limited local run or a multi-year international distribution.



  • Thanks, Scott, those are my thoughts too.



  • @charlie-eve-ryan Sure! BTW, if they just don't get it, then perhaps an analogy such as "What are the normal fees for a house?" might apply. As we all know, houses can range from dirt cheap (small, run-down house in a really bad area) to extremely expensive (the kind of house I will never own - haha), and the house fees change depending upon the costs of materials, labor, and all the other economic factors at the time of building the house.

    BTW, this kind of thing happened a lot with web development. I would always get asked "how much do you charge for websites?" I laugh just writing that question, because the response questions are many and the price range is massive depending on if they want a simple brochure website using an off-the-shelf CMS and template that they take responsibility for shared-hosting & such, or if they want a proprietary, enterprise-level web system hosted on their own servers with CDN of heavy media along with user profiles, ecommerce, and all the tons of other things that come with that and more.

    Anyway, glad to share thoughts 🙂