Not being paid from Publisher

  • This is not new, and I wish it hadn’t happened to me. I know Lee and Will have talked about what they did when not paid for the work you have done. I have finished final illustrations for a picture book, waiting to be submitted to a small publisher that I’m holding onto because I haven’t been paid yet. The contract had dates etc, but doesnt seem like the publisher really cares for any of those, we are way past deadlines. Is it still acceptable to just start invoicing them on a weekly basis? @Lee-White
    I was with an agent until recently, and both of us have tried to contact the publisher with little response. I just want to be paid, and get this project over with.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @MirkaH yes, you can and should send invoices. I don't think I'd do it on a weekly basis. Maybe every other week. Hold on to the art until they pay. This sounds like one that might not end well. In which case you can take them to small claims court if you like. That route is a little easier than a copyright infringement case in which things get very murky. With something like this, a contract is in place and you should be paid if you have finished final art. So they are in breach of that contract at this point.

  • Thanks @Lee-White. I got a response and they said their accountant is working on it. Fingers crossed in the next few weeks a check will arrive...

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @MirkaH don't give up that final art until it arrives!

  • I won't, thanks Lee! ❤

  • @Lee-White is this related to picture books only, or do you always hold on to final artwork until after payment? I have always passed over final artwork on commissions and sent an invoice at the same time.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @carrieannebrown typically you send the artwork and final invoice, but if it's a self published author or an over seas client I recommend payment before final delivery.

  • @MirkaH Hope you get payment very soon! I wonder how complicated is the paying process and why some publishers need weeks to work on it? From my experience with publishers -- they sent checks to me -- it doesn't really look like something very difficult/time-consuming to process.

  • @idid That's what you would think... I dont know if this one cuts checks at the end of the month or something, but as of now I'm still waiting, and she said they were working on it about a week and a half ago... 🙄

  • I really hope you get your money. The same thing happened to me years ago and I’m afraid to say it put me off being an illustrator for a long time.
    I managed to speak to agent who gave me free legal advice. I sent an email twenty years after the event and his response was clearly a panic and full of excuses.
    I doubt I’ll ever see any money as it would cost more at the moment to take him to court. However I learnt that staying polite and professional can still be in your favour.
    If it ever goes to court, they take into account the behaviour of both parties.

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