All book deals should have a written agreement between the publisher and illustrator (or author/illustrator) in place before any work is started on the book content. It should not be a case of agreeing to any contract put before you, but assessing the details of the agreement and discussing them with the publisher – negotiation is completely normal.
You should also be comfortable that you understand the type of book deal that is being proposed. There are a number of different business models in the publishing industry, many of which have evolved in recent years due to ebooks and modern print-on-demand technologies.
This article deals with the traditional publishing model under which an established publishing company pays you an advance and royalties (these terms are discussed below). Other publishing models include self-publishing, minimal investment publishing (where the publisher incurs very expense but yet still gets rights to your work and a share of income), and paid publishing (where the illustrator pays for services such as editing).
AOI can advise members on their contracts. Email us with details of the commission and publisher and any questions over the contract.
The above information is provided for information purposes only. It does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. You must obtain advice from a lawyer on the specific circumstances of your matter rather than rely on the information contained above. Neither The AOI nor Howard Kennedy LLP accepts any responsibility for your reliance or use of the information in this article. Dated: March 2021.