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Hello, this is my first time writing an advice post. I'll get some things out of the way that'll make this, hopefully, a little easier.
I am a US resident, I work full time as an artist for hire, I am currently non-officially employed by the individuals I will be mentioning.

I work each month creating comic pages for a client alongside two other artists. This employment had no official contract other than any ordinary commissioned work under my TOS and I am paid using money they gain from their patreon. This however is not relevant in my question but may be of use?

These individuals contacted me with a new project, a calendar that they'd like to have done for 2016 for the comic. They've stated that they would like four images from me and will pay my own prices for them. They mentioned that they will be selling these calendars in digital and physical form. My dilemma is that I am unsure if I should be asking for royalties, or offering them the option to buy the rights to the images. I know it is well within my right to ask for these but I am unsure which route I should take on this. I don't know the right way to go about asking them about this or the amounts I should or could be asking for. Is this something I should just not bother with and risk the possibility of them making a large profit off of my work or should I play the business route?

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 17th, 2015 01:35 am (UTC)
I would absolutely be wanting royalties from this exchange, considering theyre not the ones DRAWING the images they plan on making money on. Or have them pay a price to have you transfer licensing to them, because if they make a large profit off of this youre effectively losing money.
Sep. 17th, 2015 01:55 am (UTC)
Royalties can be a real pain to keep track of with smaller businesses, especially if they are sort of flying low on the radar by not giving you contracts until now. In this case if you want to work with them you might want to consider selling them the one-time non-exclusive right to publish (images) in a 2016 calendar format, limited to not more than (set a number you are comfortable with, be it 100 or 1,000) physical copies and/or (number) electronic copies. Then if they want to sell more they will have to revisit a new contract with you and pay you whatever you feel is fair for the next batch. This keeps the fee lower for them than if you sold them the rights outright, and gives you a chance to make what your art is worth in case the calendars do sell very well.

From my experience, electronic rights tend to go for a bit less than printed materials, if only because there is generally a lower price on them (see e-books vs a printed version). But price however you are comfortable.

By offering one-time and non-exclusive rights you can still market the images in other ways in the future if you so choose (e.g. prints).

No matter what, start getting contracts!
Sep. 17th, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
At the top of the post you state 'artist for hire' are you doing commissioner work, or 'work for hire' because they are different, and Im like 99% sure with work for hire, the buyer owns the rights.

Someone else probably knows more than I do.
Sep. 17th, 2015 10:04 pm (UTC)
They came to me in this project so it would be artist for hire.
Sep. 17th, 2015 10:10 pm (UTC)
If that's the case I'd do a flat-fee personally. Like Nambroth said keeping up with royalties can be a real pain. I do mine at 300% the commission cost. So if you'd normally charge $200 for an illustration, then id' be $600.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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