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  • Sarah Moss posted an update 1 month ago

    Small vent session ahead:

    I designed a logo for my personal trainer and had gotten it nearly finalized, only to find out that his wife had asked her friend (who is also a graphic designer) for a logo design and they were going to compare our designs and see which they liked more, or if they wanted to mix elements of each one together. I was not…[Read more]

    • Very frustrating. Probably best to know who the decision makers are ahead of time. You probably didn’t know his wife would have a say and maybe he didn’t either. Still, not real professional on their part – I hope you get paid the full amount – or something very close to that. I think you deserve it.

    • I have not experienced that before. Sorry to hear that you did. Did you have a contract with them? If not, I’d advise you to ALWAYS do that. And you might add that a scenario like that still requires full payment. After hearing that, I’ll be changing the wording in my commission contract. I hope they do the right thing and pay you. Good luck!

    • Terrible business practice on his part not to be up front from the get-go that this was a contest and not a designated design job. I hope you are paid in full as you did the work they hired you to do. Don’t blame you for feeling demoralized.

    • Yeah, that’s really sh*tty and you should be cheesed off with being kept in the dark on the client’s plans. I’d be ticked too. A similar thing happened to me once. It’s a really long story that I won’t bore you with. Suffice to say, I had to eat the time I put in to it.

      Simply, you can’t compete with nepotism. You had 2 strikes against you the…[Read more]

  • Sarah Moss posted an update 4 months, 1 week ago

    Does anyone know of any lawyers in Michigan that specialize in reviewing personal creative contracts? Is there a particular type of lawyer you go see? Google is giving me either really vague results or non-Michigan locations.

  • Trying to come up with a price quote for a potential freelance job. The job would be illustrating a children’s book, about 23 pages, plus a front cover (not sure about a back cover at this moment). I’m stuck because I don’t want to grossly undercharge, but the potential client is my personal trainer, who willingly gives me an extra session each…[Read more]

    • Try something that allows you to to get a basic amount for the work, then share in his success if the book becomes very popular. I’m not sure how complex and time consuming the illustrations will be, but if it’s pretty basic let’s say you charge $30 per illustration (so, that would be about $700), then a percentage of revenue from book sales. In…[Read more]

      • Thank you David! I am not entirely sure how complex the illustrations need to be at this moment – I believe they can be pretty simple, but it will still be time consuming none the less. I was thinking of charging $20 a page, but I am trying to get a hard number from him first as far as what his budget is before I tell him that.

    • I do like the idea of a lower, set price up front with “royalties” if the book sells. I suggest sitting down with him and being transparent, sharing your reservations for charging him your full price. If you respect the fact that he’s giving you pro bono sessions each week, then give him back a similar value. Speaking to him will allow a…[Read more]

      • I’m somewhat familiar with how children’s book publishing works as my ex is a children’s book illustrator (90+ books). To preserve your existing relationship I would strongly suggest drawing up some sort of formal agreement beforehand. What will the agreement be if it’s a bestseller -or a non-seller? That way you both know what to expect from…[Read more]

      • You guys have been super helpful. Thank you!! I also like the idea of a lower price up-front with royalties. I will definitely draw up an agreement to go over with him, as that is a great idea. I am not 100% sure if he is planning on going through a commercial or an independent publisher. I know his choice is someone who published the book of…[Read more]

        • Sarah, I want to clarify that the initial 1/2 up-front and 1/2 completion payments are regarded as “advances against royalties”. That way, if the book doesn’t sell enough to cover those payments, the publisher absorbs the loss and not author/illustrator(s). I can tell you that depending on the book, royalties ranged from as little as 13 cents to…[Read more]

          • Thank you for clarifying. This is all extremely important to know, and I appreciate your knowledge very much! I told him I need a hard number for a budget, but I haven’t gotten a response yet.

          • @sueschneider, are you familiar with how contracts usually are between an illustrator and the author? I was thinking of using this as a template (, but am not sure if there needs to be a separate contract for the publisher, or have it all…[Read more]

            • Sarah, the only contracts I’ve read are between illustrator and publisher. Customarily, the publisher negotiates directly with the author and/or illustrator or their agents and then sends the contracts to all parties. This looks like a good template to start with. The terms are very similar to the ones I remember reading. (It’s been awhile.)…[Read more]

            • Hi Sarah – The contract you found looks sufficient for a lump sum payment agreement. You can add more details directly inside the contract as long as it’s written clearly. I suggest investing in a lawyer to review it especially if this is going to be a strong revenue stream for you – you can use the contract over and over again with different authors.

            • @sueschneider and @andrearosenfeld, you two have been so incredibly helpful so far – thank you!! I will look into having a lawyer review it. As long as I can afford it, I definitely will go for it. I am not sure if illustrating books will become a regular thing for me, but I’m definitely not opposed to the idea. I also asked my client for the name…[Read more]

    • Hey ECr’s!

      I wanted to give an update on the potential children’s book situation , as well as ask again for some possible insight into an option I’m considering.

      I did look into having a lawyer involved with the contract. The cost would be around $1,000. This may be standard (or even reasonable priced for all I know) as far as legal fees go -…[Read more]

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Sarah Moss

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active 1 month ago