Friday, March 22, 2013

We Want Your Cartoon -- But Let's Not Talk About Money, Okay?

It's always nice to sell a single panel cartoon -- but --

(Begin rant:)

Beware! A lot of these rights clearance people working for (usually) textbook companies are sending out paragraphs like the one below. 

As you may know, the writer(s) initially compiles the content, including photos, graphs, illustrations -- and the rights clearance person has to go through that draft, ensuring that the publisher has a contract with the all of the rights holders to publish the material. 

Thanks to the Web, and visual recognition software, it's pretty easy to find the person who drew the cartoon and contact them.

But, more and more, the publisher tells you they want your cartoon, in all forms forever and always -- with absolutely zero mention of compensation.

Here's the lovely boilerplate:
"My publisher asks me to request nonexclusive world distribution rights, in all languages. Please extend these rights to future editions of the book, translations, CD-ROM and other electronic media, and other derivative works. These rights will in no way restrict publication of your material in any form by you or by others authorized by you. If you do not control these rights in their entirety, please let me know who else I will need to contact for permission. Acknowledgement of the original source will be included"
You are entitled to get paid for a textbook sale. They are making money off of it and so should you.

You NEVER give them the right to have your work for all editions, etc. Invoice them for ONLY a single print run. Electronic and foreign rights are more $.

So .. my advice is to email them back and say, sure, you can have the cartoon, enclosed is my invoice; upon receipt of funds, I will send you a hi res version of the cartoon.

Ugh.

I shoulda gone into the drywall business.

A sincere non-ranty thanks to a cartoonist colleague who forwarded the above paragraph.

4 comments:

RandyGlasbergen said...

I typically offer one rate for a single edition textbook or a higher rate for permission to use the cartoon in current and future editions. Some choose the lower rate, some prefer the higher rate for extended usage. And I always get paid before I send permission and art. I've never had a reputable textbook publisher request my work for free.

Dan Reynolds said...

I actually recently had someone ask to use my work for a batch of baked cookies.
Hey, I can't make this stuff up.
I think this person must have been eating rum cookies or perhaps it was a Keebler elf, a crazy Keebler Elf.

Dan Reynolds said...

I actually recently had someone ask to use my work for a batch of baked cookies.
Hey, I can't make this stuff up.
I think this person must have been eating rum cookies or perhaps it was a Keebler elf, a crazy Keebler Elf.

mahendra singh said...

Set up the contract as a one-time license. In fact, this is the best way to go on most small jobs. If the pub wants everything later on, they'll have to pay more. And when you write the license, state clearly how much it is really worth. The client's use of this license then indicates their acceptance of this price for later purchase.