Buy-out fee or rates?

  • SVS OG

    Hi All,

    Can anyone recommend a good reference, (online preferably, e-book is okay), for determining standard buy-out fees or rates for artwork and stories? Or is this just a personal thing?

    Is it the Pricing and Ethical Guidelines book by the Graphic Arts Guild? Here's a link to the book: [](link url)

    Thanks in advance for any info.


  • SVS OG

    Update: I went ahead and purchased a digital version of the book and I think it has the info I need.

  • I haven't read the 'Pricing and Ethical Guidelines' book.

    By 'buy-out fee' do you mean when the client wants to buy all the rights to artwork or story?

  • SVS OG

    @Phil-Cullen Thanks for your question, Phil. Yes, I'm bidding for a project where the client prefers to own the final assets and copyright outright. They're an established well-respected client and I'd love to work with them, but I'm not comfortable with this arrangement, so I've been figuring out a nice and reasonable way to explain my rationale of why I prefer to retain the copyright and simply lease the artwork to them for their specific use. I think I should include a buy-out fee in my response, as well, letting them know how much it would cost for them to own the copyright in full. BUT doing so may mean jeopardizing my chances for getting the job.

  • I can see why you would be uncomfortable with that arrangement.

    I watched the licensing videos on SVS and there is great info there with regard licensing and the potential worth of a piece of art, licensing art for a specific period of time for example.

    The tricky thing with what you're faced with is, how much will your work be worth to the client? How big is the client (they most likely have a specific budget in mind if they're professional) and what will your work be used for etc. You could ask them out right what their budget is.

    I've heard most artists are very reluctant to give all rights away, but everyone has a price they would be happy with. Me if i'm estimating for a job, I do a rough daily rate and add 25% on top of that and estimate days, the 25% on top is because I always underestimate the time. But if I were to do an all out rights buy out that daily rate would be far higher.

    Maybe you could find a similar artist who has done a similar job and sold rights.

    Do you mind me asking what type of Job it is?

  • SVS OG

    @Phil-Cullen Thanks for sharing your thoughts and what you do in your business, which sounds very smart. I think I watched that SVS video a while back, but should probably revisit it. I'd like to share more about the project but it's probably prudent if I wait until the bidding process is done. This is an instance where I wish I had a savvy negotiating agent.

  • @Johanna-Kim Best of luck

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