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Newbie contract dilemma

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I'm new to Illustrating, I've always made art but my sister linked me up with a friend who is self publishing a three book children's picture book series. A whole world has opened up that I'm enjoying exploring. I'm also really grateful to find this forum and am hoping for insight regarding contracts and sales tax.

Being new to the business I agreed on $100 per illustration + royalties and it was insinuated that she would keep the illustrations at the end. I got started on the drafts and then learned I keep copyrights unless I sign them over. Which I hadn't, so I went to the publisher/author and proposed a licensing of rights and a licensing of electronic rights contract. We're negotiating the details of those but I'm confused about how to go about the gifting of the final images. She is new to the business as well. I've already said she could keep the final illustrations, and based on the contract we're negotiating right now the $100/illustration is what she is paying as an advance for the rights.

I based my contracts off of the ones in Business and Legal Forms for Illustrators by Tad Crawford. I'm stuck at the Loss, Theft, or Damage section. This section would normally say when and how the artwork will get back to the illustrator, or how much the client is buying them for. Does anyone have any suggestions for what to write if the client is not buying them, nor returning them?

I've also drafted up a deed of gift and agreement to show I'm gifting the artwork with a clause about how I get to be involved if she decides to sell them, that she is aware she doesn't get the copyrights and she will offer the artwork back to me before purposefully destroying it.

I'm confused regarding sales tax here in Texas, I imagine it to be different everywhere, but I'm curious at what point do illustrators typically apply for sales tax permits?

I'm hoping to hear back from TALA (Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts) but being paired with a lawyer depends on availability and Accountants are much too busy until after April.

Am I going about it in a roundabout way when a much clearer path is available? Or any words of wisdom or insight for a newbie?

#1 - February 17, 2018, 04:59 PM

Rock of The Westies
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I'm not as savvy about contracts as others, but for my traditionally published works, the publisher is only purchasing the print and electronic rights. I keep my originals, and because I work traditionally, the extra income for the originals, or leaving them to family is up to me. Many illustrators now are working digitally, so there are no originals to sell.  As for delivery, I put the works into a dropbox account, which works well for insuring nothing gets lost as I've heard a story of work going to the incorrect recipient in another state.

If you don't mind the author retaining your originals, adding some verbiage that you are not responsible for theft or damage in transit would be a good measure.  However, it might be worth considering negotiating print and electronic publishing only rights for the author, unless you feel the compensation you are receiving for your work includes what the author may be able to make off of your originals.
#2 - March 09, 2018, 04:47 PM
Fur Balls & Feathers & Fins, Oh My! Animals Are My Kind of People

Thank you Cynthia
#3 - March 19, 2018, 07:21 PM


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