Pricing Question: How much to charge for character sketch?



  • Ive been contacted by a self publishing author to do a character sketch (sketch, no color). She wants to know my fee. How much is a going rate for something like this, maybe 2 hrs worth of work? Normally I try to work for $50 an hour, but $100 for a character sketch sounds too much. I've never been asked this before, and am at a loss.



  • @MirkaH said in Pricing Question: How much to charge for character sketch?:

    acter

    Woah is 50$ an hour pretty normal? I charge WAY too little and I"m trying to increase my hourly price but it's really hard to ask for so much money...

    For perspective. I make 50$ a DAY at my day job....
    Gosh making 50$ an hour would be a dream, I just need to DO IT.


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    What rights are being licensed?



  • @davidhohn I had asked her that, as easily understandable as I could for some one with no experience in publishing.
    1- if she was asking for character sketch for another illustrator to work for her based on my idea (fiverr in my thinking)
    2- or if it was to see if we were a fit to work with her.

    She said it was for the latter so at this point I asked her to send me her manuscript to read and am waiting for that.

    Should I have her sign something which states that if she decides to go elsewhere, my sketch is my intellectual property? Honestly, i havent seen any good work from Fivrr illustrators, so even if she did take my character sketch for them, that they would be able to do anything with it.



  • @Frost-Drive thats the minimum I have set for myself. Everyone has their own rate. I've figured out that if its less, I will be better off working on my own dummies. One day I hope to go higher, but for now, I'm ok with $50.


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    @MirkaH said in Pricing Question: How much to charge for character sketch?:

    @davidhohn I had asked her that, as easily understandable as I could for some one with no experience in publishing.

    Get a copy of Graphic Artist Guilds Pricing and Ethical Guidelines 15 edition ASAP.

    1- if she was asking for character sketch for another illustrator to work for her based on my idea (fiverr in my thinking)
    2- or if it was to see if we were a fit to work with her.

    She said it was for the latter so at this point I asked her to send me her manuscript to read and am waiting for that.

    Should I have her sign something which states that if she decides to go elsewhere, my sketch is my intellectual property?

    In the absence of a contract all rights stay with you, so while in this case you technically don't need a contract, a contract's function is to allow everyone to understand the nature of the business deal-- so yes, sign something that specifies what rights you are licensing.
    It sounds like "presentation only". You are not granting any reproduction rights. In that case getting paid specifically for your time makes sense. $100 is more than reasonable. Honestly it feels like a deal to me.

    You can even incentivise continuing to work with you by applying the $100 to the larger licensing fee should you be offered and decide to take on the project.

    That last might sound like I'm encouraging you to work with self-published authors. I'm not. Starting out I tried it and it was a terrible experience. But you've been on here a while now and no doubt have read the threads about this topic, so I understand if you decide to have a go.



  • @davidhohn "You can even incentivise continuing to work with you by applying the $100 to the larger licensing fee should you be offered and decide to take on the project."

    Oh that's interesting and a great way to approach spec work!

    @Frost-Drive @MirkaH $50 an hour is too low for professional work plain and simple. First of all, any studio or firm that these people might approach will charge them easily $100 or more, and they'll then in turn pay their artists $30 an hour and for a 9-5 job that's pretty good. OR they'll negotiate a rate that's $100 or more per hour as a project total and then take a 35% cut for being involved. Either way, when clients are working with professionals in the field, the rates are far, far higher.

    If art and design was your primary job and you were professionally working with clients as a sole proprietor, you would need to charge $75/hour minimum before you actually made a decent living (and that's working all the time). Once you do the math and build in the costs of doing business, that doesn't go as far as you might initially think.



  • @davidhohn Yes, ive talked with a lot of self publishing artist who inquire about illustrating their books. It usually fizzles out, either when I read a manuscript and decline to illustrate it or when I give them a quote. I’ve only ended up working with one self publishing author so far, but do do freelance illustration for odds and ends, and always do contracts for those. Thanks for your insight, if the manuscript is something I’d be interested in doing, I might discuss fees for the full book first, to see if she is serious enough, before even doing character sketches. Might end up saving both of us time in the long run. And if she wants to go ahead, then I’ll draw up a small contact for the character sketches, with the fee going towards the book fee if she wants to continue with it.

    I’ve got an older edition of the handbook that I regularly use, but you’re right I should probably update to the new edition.

    That was super helpful David! Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to me. 😊


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