Contacted out of the blue to do a book - is this standard or not worth it?

  • @Braden-Hallett They like Your style but want fully illustrated page for free? No go, if they like Your style, you have enough on Your site that they can know it You fit or no and if they want the example page, than they should pay for it. Here in Germany I would answer, that I would do the example Illustration for this amount and if You get the contract for the full book, the price will be include in the offer. I ususally say about 150€-200€ for the sample illustration.

  • SVS OG

    @Braden-Hallett hi, Braden! I say no. We can understand if they have a small budget for the book. However, it is common practice to pay for the test illustration. If they don’t have much to spare, you can offer making a sketch at a lower price and see if thye’ll take it. If not, you can refer them to your portfolio and let them imagine how their book with look like given your current work. If they do like the work that you do, they’ll hire you with or without a test. I hope this is helpful.

  • I'm just going to leave this here and hope it's helpful to you or someone else. Good luck with your decision.

  • Don't do it. They're counting illustrators wanting 'exposure'. A publisher like that isn't going to get far with that payment model.

  • So many red flags with this one. You only need one to say no in my book. Avoid them like the plague.

  • @Braden-Hallett If they want a sample of your work ,that is why you have a portfolio,which is very nice by the way .Everyone wants something for nothing these days. You would not ask a decorator to paint one room for free to see if you liked it . Good luck!

  • I have faced this situation both in unpaid and paid terms.
    For the unpaid, at that time I accepted because I didn't have work and the style they wanted was quite simple (just flat rendering and they already have the characters). But they ended up accepting me so after all the test illustration is not wasted.
    The paid one, I ended up didn't get chosen.

    For me personally, I will accept it as long as:

    • They have a website and it looks pretty serious
    • I don't have any project and I quite need money
    • The script is not complicated and requires very detail illustration
    • The deadline is reasonable
    • if possible, I will offer only sketch instead of finish illustration
    • Make sure the test illustration will be part of the book and not wasted

    But I think everyone has different concern and requirements. I also agree the real legit publisher should have offered a fee for the test illustration. After all, I wish you luck and I hope it helps a bit! 😀

  • SVS OG

    @lenwen well, said. If I also really need the money, I’d bite the bullet but also only if they agree to my terms like reasonable deadline, etc.

  • Thanks again everyone 😃 What everyone's saying is pretty much backing up what my gut feeling was telling me.

    I'll politely decline and let them know I do not do sample illustrations for free as a matter of course.

  • If your gut is telling you, then it's usually on the right course. We are so untrusting of our intuition at times.

    In any case, other opportunities will arise for you, so when something like this comes up and you say no, it's not the end of the world. Broke or not.

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