What do you normally charge for commissions? What do you normally charge for your work (per hour)?
Why not keep it in line with that plus a "friend discount"?
This is an open question to anyone with some advice. I am hoping to hear from some of my more published peers.
I have been asked to draw a cover for a novel. This is from a first time author who will most likely be self published. She is a friend of mine, but this is business. What is a good price to ask? The cover will be mostly black and white with a few splashes of color. I am not sure what the going rate of such a cover is. Do I ask for a larger, flat fee or something a little lower with a royalty option? Being self published, there is no guarantee of sales. I have tried to feel out what she would be willing to pay, but I only get the "I don't know, you tell me." answer.
At the very least, I need some kind of starting point on this.
Any help is appreciated.
Normally I would suggest you negotiate the price so you get the most you can; however, there is a "friend" involved.
So, my suggestion would be to consider whether you actually WANT to draw what your friend requests! Consider that plus the "friend discount" Jiggartha suggested.
Thanks for replying! I appreciate the help.
My experience with self published books says don't ask for royalties just do a flat fee for the cover.
Self published stuff rarely ever goes far enough for royalties to become worth enough to bother with.
Also worth pointing out... if you haven't already set up this deal... giving someone a bro rate rarely works out to be the great thing it sounds at the start. By and large humans are too wired up to associate value/worth of an item (in this case your artwork) with the price they are paying for it (in this case your reduced rate fee for a bro)...
People like the whole concept of paying good money for something deep inside. They often will feel that they are getting a better product the more they pay for it.
So you cut him a bro fee and then all of a sudden you start getting the pressure of 'where's that art?' people go funny once they pay for something... it's a bit of power over someone else... I've seen this go so wrong between friends. And frankly if you're not getting what you think it's really worth (eg. your top rate) then your sowing the seeds of discontent down the road.
On top of which you can end up screwing yourself. One of your friends colleagues see's it and loves it... your friend says 'yah I got it at a killer price' and then you're stuck dealing with a customer who's already going to come at you expecting a lower rate because you cut that for your friend.
This is a slippery slope.
Charge your normal rates... even for friends. Stand your ground and respect your worth. If you don't no on else will. Artists are the worst and understanding this and this is why they constantly get screwed every which way but lose on money for art. Don't be one of them.
And as for royalties on self-published stuff... lol... forget it. 99% of most self published stuff never sees the light of the break even day. So don't think that would ever pan out... on top of which are you really in place to double check those numbers via his printer or distributor (eg. an audit) most people aren't and wouldn't even know where to begin. Get your standard flat rate up front and keep a friendship intact and keep your self respect and bank account intact. Business is business.