When asked "What are your terms"?

  • Yeah sorry, two topics in the same day, but I received two emails this morning haha. So forgive me my ignorance, I'm very very new to the business side of illustration. But I just received a possible offer. And the publishing house is asking me what my terms are? Does she mean my rate? Or does she mean the rights of my work? Can anyone give me suggestions for answering that question, I'd really prefer to appear professional. -wipes sweat-

  • Pro SVS OG

    An old video by Will Terry (sorry, can’t search for the link right now) said something along the lines that it’s always better for the client to “come out” first with their budget and term proposal (terms refers to both money, payment schedule, royalties vs no royalties and any other consideration relating to money and time).
    Following that advice, I’ve always answered to requests like these with a non-committal “it depends”, and asking for their preferred way of working and budget.

    I’m sure there are plenty exception, but in my experience it’s always the publisher that advances a proposal anyhow: budget, timelines and manuscript. And then you negotiate on either of the first two (more often on both....).

  • @smceccarelli thank you so much!! I remember that video as well, but hearing that its okay to give an answer like that really helps me. Thank yooou

  • I’d be interested to know the answer to this too. I’m just trying to get my head around terms, rights, licences and contracts.

  • I recommend looking up artist contract templates or samples online

    Depending on how involved a project would be my terms generally have

    -accepted payment types
    -payment deadlines
    -deadlines in general
    -rights to the work
    -communication terms (what's the preferred form of contact. How often will you communicate? I say I respond within 48 hours of receiving message usually by default. This can also be somewhere you put how often you'll give updates in case they message a bit too often)
    -what the payment includes! It can help to say at what point significant changes are no longer permitted without additional charge

    I've had to add a term about me not keeping image files beyond a year and that it's the client's responsibility to download all needed files from Dropbox/drive/etc before then after someone asked me 3 years after the fact if I still had some art files I had created for them

  • can I just have your contract @VivianTong 😂

  • @Perrij oh man I'll have to find it/dig it out and update it 😂

    I haven't taken on new freelance work in over a year because of busy grad school and day job schedules

  • Oh nice @VivianTong I hope your grad school is going well! I know that can be killer

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