Hello, i am an illustrator working in the uk, i have recently been given a brief by a respected publisher for a 23 page full colour A4 children's book to be completed by december as well as the cover. im new to the industry and would really appreciate some guidelines for working out how much im worth. you can see my portfolio here www.jamesives.com . what ihave been asked to illustrate is a retelling of norse mythology. Im in the Uk and am very new to the industry, any advise would be greatly appreciated
When you're new to the industry the very first thing you should do is figure out what your living expenses are.
How much do you need each month to cover: rent, studio rent, food, personal stuff, a gazillion different insurances, car, internet/phone, work tools, promotional materials, and everything else to keep up your living standard?
Also, don't forget to have something left for taxes.
Even if you're still subsidized by your parents (like me) it's something you need to know right from the start. For each month, write down your expenses, both personal and work-related.
Then you can figure out how much work needs to come in and for how much money, to cover those expenses.
In Germany, fulltime freelancers calculate their prices on a 50-100€ per hour basis (I use 60€/hour). I assume the standard is similar in England.
EDIT: great work on your website! don't feel shy to charge with confidence, you're worth it!
EDIT: in Germany usage rights are often charged separately from the work effort. It can depend on many factors: simple one-time rights, or exclusive rights? what for? (advertising, book, editorial?), regional/national/international?, for 1yr/5yrs/in perpetuity?
If you're not familiar with usage rights yet get a book that explains them in detail.
But, do remove the "recently graduated" from your about page. You want to present yourself as a seasoned professional who's never done anything else but fulltime illustrating - not a newbie young grasshopper (your work is too good for that anyway!)
You can save the name of your school for your CV.
Your e-mail address should be on your about page as well. Ideally, it is somewhere on each page. The less clicks one has to do to reach you, the better.
Last edited by Maidith; November 9th, 2012 at 09:55 AM.
Hi Maidith, thanks so much for commenting, ill definitely make the changes to my website you suggested, and thanks for the kind words. i appreciate your tips with money its certainly changed how much i was thinking of charging.
It says you're represented by an agency? Shouldn't they take care of that, and/or at least advise? Really should know these things...even when starting out. I would recommend some research/homework through Society of Illustrators...Illustration Marketplace Books (they have excellent articles in their books as well as just market listings), Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators (which is international)...I imagine there is an illustration society/guild in the UK.
So yeah, my advice is make sure you cover every contingency you can think of in your contract - familiarize yourself with other contracts as a guide, consider revisions in your estimates...estimate how long it will take and your hourly rate...then go 50% higher (if not double).
I was approached directly, and my contract is such that i dont have to envolve my agent if i find the work, however with this project ive decided to hand it over to my agent as theres so much about the logistics of this process im yet to understand .
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