Royalities


Hi, I got some great advice on here last time so thought I would try again. I have been asked for quotes on illustrating a book and I know pricing should depend on hours spent etc but where does royalties come in to it? Should I be asking for them or just charge a fee for the illustrations, keeping the copywriters? It's normal self publishers and i don't have an agent. Any advice welcome thanks.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
I know pricing should depend on hours spent etc but where does royalties come in to it? Should I be asking for them or just charge a fee for the illustrations, keeping the copywriters? It's normal self publishers and i don't have an agent.
Generally speaking you'd just charge a fee for the work. Royalties are mainly used for things like merchandise or other works based on your original creations, i.e. anything that is basically a re-selling of your work in a new format (mugs, t-shirts, pin badges, etc).

In this instance (and in most others) I'd just insist on an upfront fee for the work and retention of copyrights, with an agreement in place that your work is not to be sold without a new agreement covering royalties. If the author wants to sell additional merchandise using your work, then I'd charge royaties.

Most self-published books won't sell anywhere near enough for a royalties option to ever be viable, and many people will try and get a smaller fee for work by promising future royalties, say 10% of each sale. A good equation to remember is 10% of nothing is nothing, so make sure you get paid in full for all the work you do and don't gamble on getting paid properly further down the line. I can almost guarantee you won't be.
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Like Paul says, if they're self-publishing, they're not likely to sell many copies, so don't get involved in royalties. Just concentrate on getting a good
price for your illustrations. Also, if you're dealing with a private customer and not a business, make sure you get some money up front and don't hand over the final
illustrations until they've paid in full.
 
T
Generally speaking you'd just charge a fee for the work. Royalties are mainly used for things like merchandise or other works based on your original creations, i.e. anything that is basically a re-selling of your work in a new format (mugs, t-shirts, pin badges, etc).

In this instance (and in most others) I'd just insist on an upfront fee for the work and retention of copyrights, with an agreement in place that your work is not to be sold without a new agreement covering royalties. If the author wants to sell additional merchandise using your work, then I'd charge royaties.

Most self-published books won't sell anywhere near enough for a royalties option to ever be viable, and many people will try and get a smaller fee for work by promising future royalties, say 10% of each sale. A good equation to remember is 10% of nothing is nothing, so make sure you get paid in full for all the work you do and don't gamble on getting paid properly further down the line. I can almost guarantee you won't be.
Thank you, this is much clearer to me now, I just worry about getting it right from start!
 
Than
Like Paul says, if they're self-publishing, they're not likely to sell many copies, so don't get involved in royalties. Just concentrate on getting a good
price for your illustrations. Also, if you're dealing with a private customer and not a business, make sure you get some money up front and don't hand over the final
illustrations until they've paid in full.
 
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