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Unpublished illustrator/Commission Based Illustration

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Hi from Canada! I’ve been an associate member for awhile, but  this is my first post. I’ve been periodically sending out emails with a link to my portfolio, and just got my first reply this afternoon from a company called ‘Lighthouse Christian Publications’, offering an illustration contract (25% commission of the remit). Has anyone worked with them or heard of this type of contract? My main job at present is to stay at home and care for my special needs son, and although I highly enjoy illustrating as an escape from real life/really want to get published and am not expecting to get rich doing this, I also don’t want to waste my time on fruitless endeavours/work for free when we have a fair amount of expenses. If someone is planning to pay you based on commission, how does one ensure that they are honest in their record keeping of how many copies are selling? Thanks! Amanda.
#1 - April 26, 2018, 10:30 PM

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Hi Amanda and welcome:)
I would avoid any publisher that offers the artist a royalty only contract. Illustrating a book, when done well, takes many months of hard work and to have no advance means you may never see a penny for all your efforts.
To this publisher specifically, I can see by the poorly designed site, the amateur quality of the Illustration in their children's book line, they are more like a Vanity press then a Commercial (Traditional) publisher. In fact, on their submissions page they say this...

"The books that sell well are those that are taken on enthusiastically by the author. Believe it or not, we’ve had authors who haven’t bothered to buy a single copy of their work. If they think so little of their book, then others will probably share their opinion. As well as persuading your family and friends to buy copies"

Never does a publisher expect OR  encourage the writer to purchase the book, nor to bug family and friends to do so. I have NEVER bought a copy of any of my books, the publishers have sent adequate numbers of free Illustrator copies that I can give to family members and keep for myself and book stores order copies in from the publisher for signings. Some Authors purchase copies at discount to sell at school visits where a book store is not involved  but their publishers don't expect this, the Authors just wishes to.

The books by this pub likely never sell other then to the Author and Illustrator and at only 25%, the Artist would be lucky to come away making anything.

I say use that time you would have spend doing this, to do up more and more portfolio pieces of your own and to research and mail out postcard promotions only to the good, advance paying, Publishers. You may not be interested in making this your career but you do deserve something for your time and hard work:)
#2 - April 27, 2018, 01:44 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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Thanks so much for the advice!
#3 - May 01, 2018, 10:04 PM

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