>How would you protect yourself if the publisher makes representations
>about the quantities of the various simple, moderate, and complex
>figures, and then there turns out to be more complex ones than
>originally intended? If yu have given a flat price per illustration
>based on the assumptions of quantities?
Very good question. I suppose that's a good argument in favor of breaking
the prices down according to simple/moderate/complex. This way they can't
shaft you by making all of the figures complex. I've never run into that
particular problem, but it certainly could happen.
>Do the big publisher need a fixed total cost or can they live with a
>per piece cost based on a complexity rating?
I think most publishers realize that the figure count is only an estimate
and they can't pin you down on a total cost. If the final figure count is
less, they pay you less. If it's more, they have to come up with the money
somehow (see below).
The estimated figure count usually comes from the author and is based on
the chapters that have been written to that point. In most cases, the
author is still working on chapters long after the art program has begun.
This is one reason why the actual figure count can be so far off from the
estimate. They have no way of knowing how many figures they'll really need
until all of the chapters are done.
In most cases, the author has a detailed contract with the publisher that
specifies a certain number of figures. The publisher sets an art budget
based on anticipated sales of the book. If the author requests too many
figures, the overage may be deducted from the his royalties. I've done a
few projects where the author(s) will contact me as we get close to the end
and ask "how many figures have we done so far?" They want to know how much
money they have left in their figure "budget" for the remaining chapters.
James A. Perkins, MS, MFA, CMI
Assistant Professor of Medical Illustration
College of Imaging Arts and Sciences
Rochester Institute of Technology
Bldg. 7A, Room 3415
73 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623
RIT office: 585-475-2443
RIT fax: 585-475-6447
Studio fax: 585-226-6965
[log in to unmask]