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    • CommentAuthorALE
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2011
    So I've recently been approached to design a cover for a funny book this fellow is writing, and while I'm a bit excited I'm not so excited that I want to blunder on into to disappointment (read: getting ripped off).

    I've already received the script for issue one as well as some of the art, and have personally vetted the artist. It would seem they are waiting on a final cover design before proceeding with their pitch.

    So my question is: how do I proceed? I've already exchanged several lo-res "sketches" and one has been chosen as "The One", so do I now start to talk money and contracts? I'm no spring chicken, nor did I just fall off the turnip truck, but this is an entirely new arena for me. So any advice you awesome people might have is most welcome. Thank You.
  1.  (10280.2)
    Everybody approaches this a bit differently, but for a one-off job, like a book cover, I usually don't use formal contracts but at the stage you're at I do start talking money, and delivery deadlines, preferably via e-mail so there is a written record of what was discussed. (Unless of course this is going to be a periodical comic rather than a GN or something like that, and you'll be doing several covers, in which case I would ask for a contract -- this protects the other party as well as you, especially in a work-for-hire situation, and most especially if they're talking a "back end" deal in which you get some portion of receipts. Although, for cover work on someone else's book I'd likely prefer to do a work-for-hire, cash on delivery agreement.) If you look around on the web you should be able to find some boiler-plate contract language you can lift (there is no copyright on contracts) if you don't already have a framework set up for that.
  2.  (10280.3)
    Oh, and my general advice to newbies in this business is, ALWAYS be prepared to walk away if you smell something bad, or you just don't feel like you're getting a fair shake.
    • CommentAuthorALE
    • CommentTimeOct 13th 2011
    Oh I'm always prepared to walk, but I'm not getting any bad vibes from these guys, but thanks a million for the other advice, voiced a lot of what I was thinking.
  3.  (10280.5)
    I was thinking this was a more Jimi Hendrix "Are you experienced?winkwink" sorta thing and was fully prepared to let fly with some psychedelics advice!

    So while you're putting the cover together,munch a fistful of shrooms.
    • CommentAuthorALE
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011
    Not really my thing, hehe, but thanks. So any advice on rates?
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011
    Depends on how long you'll need to make the cover and if you'll need to buy any materials you don't already have.

    Something I've been told is ask for the payment you would really like to get. Not anything exorbitant, but the highest you feel you could reasonably get for the commission. You never know, the client just might pay it! If not, you can always haggle down, but it's better to start from a position of strength. This isn't so you can screw over your client, just so that you can get the money you feel you deserve for the work.
    • CommentAuthorALE
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011
    So not much different from Graphic Design, thanks Alan.