Apologies if this topic has been done to death. I can't see it immediately while browsing the forums, so I'll give it a go.
But I'm just curious about other creative people's thoughts on working on a project only for the possibility of sharing profits with the client.
I have a new acquaintance who has found out I'm an illustrator. He's a writer, mostly of novellas and active in the Australian literature community. He recently asked if I'm interested in illustrating a children's book he's written.
I asked what his budget was for the illustration component. His response was "oh I figured we would just share the profits once it's published and on shelves". Surprise!
I told him I would think about it. But I already know what I will say and that is "Thank you, but no thank you". I would seriously consider it if he were a successful author or if the story itself was so incredibly unique and something which spoke to my heart. But neither of those elements exist in this situation.
What are your experiences and perspectives on this kind of thing?
I agree with @AdamDesigns. Think of it as a business proposition rather than a job. Every business is a risk. If you do decide it is worth the risk, the next question is how do you split the profits - which is probably a good question for other illustrators here. Or you can use this model: http://slicingpie.com/book/
I've always been open to business opportunities myself, so concur with the first two comments, weigh it up from that aspect. And you should definitely get something in writing that will hold up legally with regards to how profit share is implemented.
Is he going to be making money from the book sales? If so, he needs to pay you up front for all the illustration work you do before it goes to print, plus you can also (should) neogtiate the share in the profits if he wants to do that as an aside.
I sure wouldn't work for free not knowing if the book will make $100 in sales or $10,000! Forget that!
Yeah, I mentioned in my post that if I were inspired by the story a great deal or if it were a very successful author, I would be open to a profit share. But this situation entails neither of those aspects.
But appreciate your comments nonetheless and has helped me think about it a little further.
I think I'm also just feeling a little fed up with having to reinforce my (dollar) value as a creative. Which is my problem entirely!
Pscysm: thanks so much for the link, looks like a great resource.