I need advice about responding to this offer


  • Moderator

    I just received this email. I need advice. I’ve listened to podcasts and read articles for rookie illustrators to not partner up with self publishers. So I am wary. I don’t need you to tell me to do it or not, I just would like some opinions and personal experiences with similar scenarios as this. Thankyou in advance. 🙂

    “Hopefully this doesn't sound strange, but I follow you and several other freelance illustrators on Twitter and I was curious if you were interested in doing some illustration work for my project.
    I've written a short story which was just recorded by a voice actor and I plan on turning it into a video with accompanying still illustrations.
    Anyway, I have pondered over your work and I really like it. I think it would be a good fit for this story. If interested, I would love to discuss it with you further.
    Thanks for your time.”

    Ps I checked and he is not actually one of my Twitter followers. I know because I only have six 😂.



  • First of all, please share your twitter so we can all follow you. 😂

    It’s suspicious that he would say that if he was not following you on Twitter. I recently added a statement to my website that says I don’t work with people who are self publishing or those wanting to collaborate in the hopes of getting published. I get emails from people pretty often who want to hire me to do work outside of traditional publishing and I have probably wasted weeks of my life stressing over emails from people who are not ever going to pay me ANY money to do anything for them that would be remotely worth my time.

    Most recently I had to fire and block a crazy person who would not stop emailing me asking me different questions and trying to get me to agree to illustrate her book project, even after I told her I did not want to do it. She would email me and say, “What about this? What if I only needed you to do this? Would you do this?”

    If it were me I would run away, but that’s just based on my having zero positive experience with these kinds of jobs.


  • Moderator

    @Kristin-Wauson , Yeeeah, my spidey senses were tingling on this one, I just needed a second brain on it. Thank you.
    My Twitter is the same as my forum and instagram, @burvantill. I would love more followers. Lol! I'm going to take a workshop at the SCBWI NorCal convention in May on how to use twitter successfully. I try to get on there every day, but its a freaky madhouse LOL.


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    I like to feel these people out and see if they are for real or not. When I get something like this it usually goes no where as soon as I mention I have a contract and require half payment upfront. Sometimes it goes a little further in the conversation till they say "Oh I can't afford that right now, I will reach out once I have the funds"

    Out of all the crazy people out there, I did nail one that did pay. But, she was crazy during the project LOL



  • Yeah sounds a little fishy to me if he's not following you, but like @Chip-Valecek says, there's no harm in just talking to them to see if they're genuine or not. Probably when you mention payment their attitude will change if they're not genuine!
    I get the typical ones on instagram but when you look at their profile it's obvious they're not for real, what's this persons twitter like? Lots of followers and activity?
    Let us know if they reply to you or you take it further 🙂


  • SVS OG

    I’ve had my fair share of nightmare clients and also a portion of good ones. I agree, there are a lot of bad people out there who are just Looking to exploit you but there are also those who just genuinely want to publish their book and is needing your artistic help. Just recently, I worked with a self-publishing author. The pay is low but she was very understanding and gave me full control and a very loose timeframe. Normally, I won’t encourage anybody to work for less but if the client is willing to negotiate on other forms of compensations, then I guess it’s worth looking into. I also get a lot of messages on my social media from people who want me to do their book. The best way I find to weed out the ones who are just looking to make a quick buck from those who are really in it for the long haul is by giving my rates. If they want me to illustrate their book, I say, “Great! That’ll be x hundred dollars for a double spread.” Normally, they don’t message back. Am I sad that they went AWOL on me? No. I know my worth and if they’re not willing to level with me, that’s fine. They can go look elsewhere.

    I suggest that you give him/her your rates. Give a fairly high number and see if they’ll stick around. If they really want to work with you, they’ll try to break a deal. Weigh their offer to see if it’s worth it. And if you do choose to work with them, always have a detailed contract and always ask for a deposit. I hope this helps.


  • Moderator

    Thank you! This is all very sound advice. I will let you know what happens.
    I checked his Twitter and it’s a foreign language. I think Norwegian but I’m not sure. He doesn’t come across as a creative though. So it could be a random personal project that he is doing. We’ll see.



  • @burvantill said in I need advice about responding to this offer:

    @burvantill

    Apparently I was already one of your 6 followers. 😂


  • Moderator

    @Kristin-Wauson LMAO! Dang! I was hoping for a lucky 7. 😜


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