SCIART-L Archives

SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-


Options: Use Classic View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Britt Griswold <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 20 Feb 2009 13:23:25 -0500
text/plain (49 lines)
I think that is what I was saying.  

As a freelancer you have overhead, just like an employer, so if you were making CODB as an employee, it seems likely that is about the Max. , not the Min. you are likely to get for the art on a small project like this. However your point is taken that someone needing only a few illustrations per year is possibly willing to spend a bit more per illustration than someone who wants all your work output in exchange for full-time employment.  The question here is how much if any more are they willing to pay?  As an employee you might bring home $900-$1000/week. I am suggesting below, as a freelancer, you are interested in bringing in $1600-$2000/week. But will this project support it?

And each job is different for sure. But this is a 10K  run on a hardcover trade book with a species as the subject to be illustrated.  That in general puts some constraints on the likely budget.  So I am quoting prices I see out there for that use.  And if the quote is over budget, the fall back is to go cheap and use graphics to cover the quality hole.  A Field and Stream quote might be different.

As you have suggested before Joan, sometimes It is good to just flat out ask what their budget is.  The answer may shock, but at least you can start a conversation.  But it is good to know what the costs and  alternatives are to the artist's services are before hand, so you have a rock from which to negotiate from.


Joan Lee wrote:
...because your employer pays a lot in taxes, insurance, overhead, and productive as well as non productive time for your full time service.

Since a freelancer works on specific jobs, each job is unique and it is not very useful to compare an esoteric short run text job with the very same illustration (theoretically) appearing on the cover of Field and Stream or other mass market pub.

On Feb 20, 2009, at 11:25 AM, Britt Griswold wrote:

> While I agree with jim in principle that the cost of doing business (CODB) is your floor for pricing, in some markets it is also your ceiling.  If you were willing to be employed by a company to do this job on a full-time basis for CODB amount of money (giving all rights and copyright to your employer) then why would someone be willing to pay more than that amount to own less than the whole ball of wax? And in general the likelihood is indeed low for reuse, unless you have a popular style or can turn to product marketing of the image.
> It is very well to quote a price of say $3000 for a book's cover art, but if you are angling for a book cover on a 10K book run on a halfway obscure subject,  I suspect you have blown past the book's budget. Unless there is no way on Earth they can do the book without a custom piece of art that few people can generate.
> Now if you are able to produce an accurate/dynamic color illustration of the Salmon in 3 days, and your COBD is $75/hour = $1800.
> But if you COBD is $100/hr, and it will take you a 40hr week to do it = $4000, I suspect you are not going to get that job.  If you have lots of other opportunities to work at this rate, then you are fine.
> If Nick is a fish geek and has the research in hand, and mad speed on his painting technique, he can do well with a $75/hr x 24hr schedule.  If like me, he is less than superman,  a $60/hr x 36hr schedule might be more realistic.
> Then the question is, if the publisher is only willing to spend $1000, do you have a $75/hr job to spend your time on rather than the $30/hr job in front of you?
> But at least having done the math, you are aware that you are not meeting your target for independence if you take it, and are blocking out other opportunities that might come a long for the time you are doing the $30/hr job.
> Here are some other data points:
> FotoQuote offers a stock price range of $630 -$1260 for a stock photo cover on a 10K Hardcover retail book.  I think by default it plugs in 150% of this for assignment work.
> GAG book 11th ed.:
> Consumer Book Cover Assignment- $1,800 -$5000
> Instructional Text Cover Assignment - $700- $1,500
> Recent conversation - popular group of colorful birds, all species, illustrated book, inside page (I assume male and female in like like poses) -. $1,400 per species. That is $700/bird.
> So what is the price that a piece of Custom Art can rise too before the publisher says "we will settle for less than the ideal art on our cover"?  I submit is is well south of 30ยข per book copy, and seems to hover around $1800 from the various sources I explored here.
> If the price goes too high, the true floor is the licensing of the Archive Library print of Salmon laying eggs from Getty at $1050. Less than ideal, but on subject - bring in the graphic designer to make up the difference!
> Britt