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Do I nudge or just send my own contract?

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I've negotiated a price for illustrations with a small publisher but they haven't sent a contract yet. I did nudge once but with no reply. Should I ask again for a written contract or just go ahead and send my own contract?
#1 - January 24, 2018, 04:46 AM
https://marlalesage.com/
PIRATE YEAR ROUND (Acorn Press, 2019)

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How long has it been since you completed the negotiations, and does that affect the deadline for the project? Is there a retainer involved?
#2 - January 24, 2018, 11:14 AM

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It's been two weeks - I guess that's not that long but it feels like it is! So far it's not affecting my ability to finish by the deadline but I don't like to leave it leave it too long just in case.
#3 - January 24, 2018, 11:42 AM
https://marlalesage.com/
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I'm not an illustrator, but from the author side it's not unusual to hear stories about the contract not arriving until the revisions are almost finished. However, that's from Great Big Publishers with an agent to protect you.  With a small publisher, I'd give it a month before I nudged, and in the meantime check with other illustrators who've worked with this publisher about their experience.

Unless the other illustrators rave about how responsible the publisher is and how quickly they pay, I'd be reluctant to do a lick of work until I had it something in writing  that states the money involved, terms, timelines for submitting work and processing payment, and other responsibilities for both parties,  signed by someone with the authority to make those decisions.

But again, I'm not an illustrator. There might be specifics in your field that are different from the freelancing I do.
#4 - January 24, 2018, 01:32 PM
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 01:34 PM by AnneB »

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Marla, I'm not an illustrator either but sometimes the contracts have come after I've finished the work. Work-for-hire is usually on a tight deadline so it can be weird but no one has ever renegaded on a contract--I get paid. It's not unusual for a couple of months to pass. I like Anne's idea of nudging after a month.
#5 - January 24, 2018, 02:19 PM
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Marla,

I'm a writer only also, but two weeks is nothing in this business. They are likely revising the words with the author. You can't do any illustrations until that happens and is completed anyway, and that may be the hold up.

I would not send your own contract, as they likely have one already in place but just have not gotten to it yet. Yes, nudge again after a while, but again, two weeks is not very long.   ;)
#6 - January 24, 2018, 04:34 PM
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Your negotiations were on contract terms in a contract they gave you. Sending your own version might reopen negotiations, especially if you don't have a good attorney to look it over.
#7 - January 24, 2018, 07:00 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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Agreeing with Anne and the others, that it's common the contract take a long time coming. If the Publisher (even if small) has a solid name in the business  you can pretty much trust it will come and just start your roughs now while you wait for it. IF though it is a publisher who's name isn't well known and you don't know of anyone else's experiences working with them, I would nudge them. Let them know in your email you are anxious to start the sketches but are just waiting for the contract. Hopefully that spurs them on to email it to you double quick:)

I've never used my own contract with  a publisher, just individuals.
#8 - January 25, 2018, 03:09 AM
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Thanks for the advice! I will try my best to be patient. I've heard they are great to work with.
#9 - January 25, 2018, 04:51 AM
https://marlalesage.com/
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Hi Marla, Do you have lots of time to complete the work -- in other words, is the delay in receiving the contract going to get in the way of you completing your assigned illustrations? I'd definitely wait to receive the contract before you submit roughs. A week or so before they're expecting you to supply with a portion of the assignment is usually a strategic time to nudge for that contract! Good luck!  :)
#10 - January 25, 2018, 03:30 PM
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Just want to note that ChrisTripp is an illustrator and knows these things.
#11 - January 25, 2018, 08:51 PM
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I hope you've heard or will hear soon. The art director who contacted me to do work for a publisher (mid-size) has instructed me not to get to work on the illustrations until I've received the contract. I did inquire if delays were extended if there could be a consideration to adjust the deadline, and the answer was yes. However, I was able to get the work in by deadline without problems.
#12 - January 31, 2018, 08:39 PM
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Yep, you've got to be patient. It's hard, I know. The publishing business works slowly. I know the pain and impatience of waiting for a contract. I've waiting for a loooooong time (well over a month) for contracts with the mid-sized company I've illustrated books for.  This is also why I've added to my contracts that the deadline for sketches and finals is dependent on the dates I get the signed contract / advance checks. I add that it will be a certain number of months from the time I get (contract / check) for sketches and the same for finals. This has helped keep me from going crazy about looming deadlines and delays in getting stuff.

Congrats on the book deal, good luck in being patient, and have fun!
#13 - February 05, 2018, 09:12 AM
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Just thought I'd update - I nudged & the project ended up falling through. (The editor was unable to locate/contact the author so was unable to firm up on that side). On the bright side she still wants to work on something with me. So now back to waiting!
#14 - March 11, 2018, 07:54 AM
https://marlalesage.com/
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I'm sorry that happened, Marla, but glad for your bright side!!

 :paint

#15 - March 11, 2018, 08:14 AM

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