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Question about Newbie Picture Book Illustrating??

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J.T. Brown
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Hello fellow Authors and Artist,

I am very familiar with creating book covers for novels. I have done many, and enjoy the digital ages of technologies.

My daughter and I created a very special book two years ago called, "Gypsy's Meadow." Why this book is very special is because the funds work towards wonderful equine shelters here in Maine.

Each and every book I have ever written, I draw out the character on paper, with a little charcoal and some imagination. This is a tactic I use to grow my stories. "Gypsy's Meadow," was the first of all my sketches in book form.

I was offered a deal through my editor to illustrate a story book, with my own art work. I love the story and I think it has a great message. I would be honored to help the author with their work.

Here is the Question?

I have no idea of the going rate of artwork through a picture book?

How much do you all charge/ picture?

My heart tells me to charge $30.00/picture page....

Is this too much?

I would love some feedback, I usually don't illustrate for others. So I am stumped on how much to charge????

Thank you all for your feedback. :)

#1 - January 22, 2014, 08:57 PM

Hi j-brown.  If this is a larger publisher you might want to charge more.  I usually ask first what is their budget and go from there.
#2 - January 22, 2014, 09:19 PM
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 12:39 PM by Mallette »

J.T. Brown
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Thank you so much Mallette,

I am fairly sure it is for Self-published work, but loving the budget suggestion. Thank you so much, :) :)
#3 - January 23, 2014, 05:04 AM

I draw stuff for chocolates.
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I usually charge a flat fee for the entire book. Will this be color or black and white work? Is your style spot art or full bleed? Will you be setting up the mechanicals and dealing with the printer? Will you be getting royalties? Will you be placing the type? Choosing the page breaks?

$30 is chump change. If you are a professional, and it sounds like you want to be, you need to decide how much your time is worth. You need to take into consideration your overhead. How much does it cost you in terms of paper, pencils, electricity, internet, rent and office supplies to maintain your business and provide supplies for each individual piece?

How long does it take you to create a piece, not just the final drawing, but how much time spent on research and development, how much time is spent on thumbnails, how much time will you spend with interaction with the author? How many changes to the sketches are included in your price before you charge additional fees?

I have a few posts written for the self-publishing author on what to expect when working with an artist and what a fair payment is on my blog you might want to read.

Good luck!
#4 - January 23, 2014, 05:34 AM
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (PiƱata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

Everyone has given great advice. To add to that, as you negotiate your contract, also consider, being paid as you go. For example, standard practices can be 1/3 paid when signing contract, 1/3 with delivery of sketches, and 1/3 on completion of finals. Another scenario could be half on signing or sketches and the other half upon completion of final art. Good luck!
#5 - January 24, 2014, 11:41 AM


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