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Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:23 pm 
 

I think artists keep the physical art and send in a digital representation and the rights to the company. (This from the couple I know, so may be different in different circles).  The company can use the art how they want, the artist can sell it or reprints personally, but not to another company for use.

As for Blackmoor, seems ZG is now distributed by Code Monkey Publishing: http://www.codemonkeypublishing.com/sto ... hp?cat=421 (and Temple of Frog is not released yet).

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:36 pm 
 

All of those things vary by the job, islestrike, and are covered in the contract if there is one. Each publisher will have different needs.

Generally speaking, art is delivered electronically as a 300 dpi TIFF. Sometimes publishers want the original, but usually they don't. Many times they're only buying "First Rights", which means that they get first crack at publishing the art, after which time the artist can resell it as they like - whether that is relicensing it to other publications, putting it on t-shirts, selling prints, selling the original, etc. It really all depends on the fine print of the contract. Prior to "delivery", the artist and the publisher will have traded a salvo of emails containing low-resolution sketches and comps. This lets the publisher see what progress is being made, and gives him an opportunity to suggest any changes. However, since the art being submitted isn't print-worthy, it keeps an unscrupulous publisher from running off with it and having it printed without paying up.

Once that dance is completed to the satisfaction of the publisher, the art is considered "accepted" and delivery can be made. It's at this point that payment upon acceptance takes place.

Agreements for exclusive rights, and/or situations where the publisher wants to own the physical art itself are not unheard of, but in those instances the freelancer will charge more money. That compensates for the fact that the publisher stands to make make more money off of extended usage of the art, and that the artist isn't legally entitled to make a singe further cent.

For old-school modules, the cover art is 7" x 5". Speaking for myself, the job will be done to whatever size the publisher requires. If it's possible to do so I'll generally do the original larger (but proportionate), and then shrink it down to the desired size when I send it over. It's easier to fit details in a larger piece and as one of my art teachers once told me, "Shrinking the image also shrinks the mistakes". ;) If I get commissions for qtr-page B&W interiors, for example, I'll draw them at 200% actual size and then shrink them down after I scan them.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:41 pm 
 

Plaag wrote:I think artists keep the physical art and send in a digital representation and the rights to the company. (This from the couple I know, so may be different in different circles).  The company can use the art how they want, the artist can sell it or reprints personally, but not to another company for use.

As for Blackmoor, seems ZG is now distributed by Code Monkey Publishing: http://www.codemonkeypublishing.com/sto ... hp?cat=421 (and Temple of Frog is not released yet).

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:10 pm 
 

goatboy wrote:
Kevin,

Didn't you do the cover to Temple of the Frog?


Yes and no.
I was hired to do the cover. I made many drafts that went back and forth, continually tweaking it to meet the idea of what they were going for, and finally completed one that they agreed to use. A contract was then mailed to me that stated I would sell them 1st time publishing rights to the image and would be paid after publication. This was the cover I made:
Image
Two months went by in which the book was supposed to be printed and published. Unfortunately it just sat there. Then they changed Art Directors. I contacted the new AD to introduce myself and my work, and ask to work on the next books that were supposed to be in the pipeline. He responded to me that he brought along someone else who would be redoing the cover, and that they would not be using mine or paying for it or the several weeks I spent working on it. Months later they eventually printed a few copies with the new cover and sold them at GenCon. They never sent out Comp copies to the contributors (including me, because I still had 4 paintings inside the book that they used) or to anyone that bought one from their online store (this includes me too, because I got tired of getting the run around on why I hadn't gotten my Comp copy). When the overpriced PDF version came out last month I bought it (now paying twice to get an electronic copy of a book I was supposed to get for free) and saw that not only did the PDF not have a cover at all, but they ussed a cropped version of my cover art (unpaid for) inside the book.
This is the cover that replaced mine:
Image
That's the biggest image of it I've been able to find.

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:26 pm 
 

Kevin;

First off, your cover is markedly better.  Second, you were treated absolutely ridiculously.   I won't be patronizing that company with any money of mine anyway.

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:00 pm 
 

Nice cover!!! Thanks for posting. Hope to hear what projects you work on, especially the ones you get paid for!

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:29 pm 
 

Prufrock wrote:Aneoth, I happen to agree with most of your sentiments.  However, I wish you could make your points without calling up the divisive labels such as "liberal".  It leads to exactly what sauromatian responded with.  So the good points you made are lost.  And he responded with exactly what you really wanted, which is a flame war.


To Prufrock: Flamewar? Oh heavens no, this is simply the manner in which Texans converse with one another.

To Aneoth: Consarnit, you blue-bellied jackelope, you wouldn't know good business practice if it bit you on the ass! Why I oughta slap you clean from here to El Paso, think you can come around here with your fancy slicker ways like some kinda ring tail polecat.. WHO'S THE LIBERAL NOW, MARICON? BETTER ANSWER QUICK FORE YOU GET A MOUTHFUL 'A BROKEN TEETH!!!

P.S. to Prufrock: See- all in good fun. For further reference, please consult the Senate records of Dick Cheney [or LBJ].

  


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:31 pm 
 

Oops. Double post.


Last edited by kevin mayle on Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:35 pm 
 

Thanks guys.
I have not even applied to any other companies in the past two years because of how this all went down. I've been working on other things instead and until now hadn't realized that two years had passed already. There are a couple of books I'm working on for self-publication though.
Since you guys like my Frog cover, here's a picture showing a bit of what went in to the creation of it.
Image

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:37 am 
 

Yep, as Jason said, I pay on acceptance. I always do contracts, and I plan to do this even after I have relationships that have developed over time with artists.

Having a contract isn't just about trust. For instance, I've already worked with Jason enough to see that he is a trustworthy guy. But a contract also defines what rights are being handed over, so it protects the artist and the publisher both. If in a few years the artist has an opportunity to reuse (sell again) art, and that art was "sold" in a hand shake deal, does anyone remember later what rights were given? What if the two parties no longer agree on what rights were passed on? It is very clear when there is a contract, and it can protect against hard feelings as well.

This is why I use contracts even for volunteer work or work for comp copies. This way the artist/editor/writer knows exactly what the terms are. There is no room for misunderstanding. If an artist turns in a few pieces of art for a comp copy of a book, and the contract defines the rights handed over as non-exclusive, then there is no ambiguity at all and the artist can go on and resell the work or do whatever else he/she want to with it.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:13 am 
 

Dan Proctor wrote:Yep, as Jason said, I pay on acceptance. I always do contracts, and I plan to do this even after I have relationships that have developed over time with artists.

Having a contract isn't just about trust. For instance, I've already worked with Jason enough to see that he is a trustworthy guy. But a contract also defines what rights are being handed over, so it protects the artist and the publisher both. If in a few years the artist has an opportunity to reuse (sell again) art, and that art was "sold" in a hand shake deal, does anyone remember later what rights were given? What if the two parties no longer agree on what rights were passed on? It is very clear when there is a contract, and it can protect against hard feelings as well.

This is why I use contracts even for volunteer work or work for comp copies. This way the artist/editor/writer knows exactly what the terms are. There is no room for misunderstanding. If an artist turns in a few pieces of art for a comp copy of a book, and the contract defines the rights handed over as non-exclusive, then there is no ambiguity at all and the artist can go on and resell the work or do whatever else he/she want to with it.



Umn. thats what I said...........

Always use signed agreements/Contracts and get your payment on delivery.

No payment = no product
No product = no payment

Works for either side.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:20 am 
 

That of course would be the ideal way to conduct business, but unfortunately when you try to break in, the competition is so fierce that if you can find anyone that will give you a chance to get your foot in the door, you will often times jump at whatever offer you're given and just hope they don't screw you over. As you get more established, not only can you make more demands up front, but you can get to a point to where you don't even have to apply anymore, because the companies will be calling YOU up. Until then, it is too easy for unscrupulous business owners to pass on a veritable "nobody" who is making demands (as fair and reasonable as they are), and just go for any of the 100 or so other artists that applied that day, who can also do work just as good and will hand it over for free, just to get the exposure and an addition to their resume.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:36 am 
 

kevin mayle wrote:That of course would be the ideal way to conduct business, but unfortunately when you try to break in, the competition is so fierce that if you can find anyone that will give you a chance to get your foot in the door, you will often times jump at whatever offer you're given and just hope they don't screw you over. As you get more established, not only can you make more demands up front, but you can get to a point to where you don't even have to apply anymore, because the companies will be calling YOU up. Until then, it is too easy for unscrupulous business owners to pass on a veritable "nobody" who is making demands (as fair and reasonable as they are), and just go for any of the 100 or so other artists that applied that day, who can also do work just as good and will hand it over for free, just to get the exposure and an addition to their resume.


IMHO a reputable publisher who operates in a professional manner shouldn't turn you down if you ask for a contract. IMHO you shouldn't even have to ask for a contract, it should be a given. Even if you do free work, ask for a contract. After all, you are doing them a favor. Heck, you could even have a contract already just in case you're working with a new publisher who doesn't have a good one. that way you can send it on and say, "Here are my terms." No one should even be insulted by this. It's just the name of the game. Document all agreements.

EDIT: My point being, if a publisher doesn't want to go to the trouble to keep agreements documented, think carefully about whether this is someone you really want to work with.

Also, just a note, none of these comments are directed at PPP. I'm just throwing my 2 cents into where the discussion has gone.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:43 am 
 

Dan Proctor wrote:This is why I use contracts.. the artist/editor/writer knows exactly what the terms are.


Without a contract, it's legally considered a work-for-hire if any payment is made. In other words, you sell an artwork for $10, & the buyer gets back the cancelled check as proof of the transaction.

You no longer have any rights to it at all. None whatsoever. A non-professional might not even realize the laws exist.

It's counter-intuitive, because the definition of a creative work melts into everyday life. You pay a day-laborer to dig a hole in your yard. Should the laborer now be forbidden to dig a similar-looking hole for another homeowner without your permission?

Probably neither party will choose to bother with such concepts in that case, but say you hire a remodeling company to install a deck & pool. There will probably be fine print in the contract specifying rights to the design, or maybe the remodelers have their own arrangement with whomever they get their plans from.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:05 am 
 

Dan Proctor wrote:
IMHO a reputable publisher who operates in a professional manner shouldn't turn you down if you ask for a contract. IMHO you shouldn't even have to ask for a contract, it should be a given. Even if you do free work, ask for a contract.


I always got a contract. Didn't have to ask for them either. The contracts state "Payment after publication." The problem isn't getting a contract. The problem is doing the work and the books not being published. Or when they are published, much, much later, you can't get ahold of anyone anymore, or start getting the run around, month after month, when trying to get a comp copy, a paid for copy like a regular customer, or payment for your work. I was talking about how it would be ideal for those contracts to state "Payment upon receiving work."

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:17 am 
 

kevin mayle wrote:
I always got a contract. Didn't have to ask for them either. The contracts state "Payment after publication." The problem isn't getting a contract. The problem is doing the work and the books not being published. Or when they are published, much, much later, you can't get ahold of anyone anymore, or start getting the run around, month after month, when trying to get a comp copy, a paid for copy like a regular customer, or payment for your work. I was talking about how it would be ideal for those contracts to state "Payment upon receiving work."


Sorry to hear you got burned, but there are plenty of publishers out there who truly appreciate a talented and trustworthy artist. You should have no problem finding a good publisher in the future if you choose to pursue selling your art.

Something I was thinking about is how it would be useful for freelancers to have a website where they can openly post their experiences with publishers. Just a short, facts only comment line for a publisher, sort of like ebay feedback. The site could be a hub for publishers and freelancers, so that feedback can only be left by people with an account and who took a job ad.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:23 am 
 

Kevin, my contract for Temple of the Frog said "Payment upon publication or 9 months after acceptance". Yours doesn't have that clause? Not that it helps much if they're still not paying (it's been about 18 months, hasn't it?).


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Last edited by Jaybird216 on Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:31 am 
 

Dan Proctor wrote:Something I was thinking about is how it would be useful for freelancers to have a website where they can openly post their experiences with publishers. Just a short, facts only comment line for a publisher, sort of like ebay feedback. The site could be a hub for publishers and freelancers, so that feedback can only be left by people with an account and who took a job ad.


Thanks for popping in here, Dan :)

This topic comes up a lot on the Freelancers' forum over at RPG.net, but the notion usually ends in stalemate after a few pages of discussion on it. As it is over there, an occassional thread will pop up praising an artist or publisher, but it's generally considered poor form to bad-mouth anybody. Though there was a recent thread which was very thinly-guised bashing of one publisher's legendary screwing-over of freelancers (I never worked with them, and the horror stories make me thankful for that).

(Edited to ad a link to the thread at RPG.net. Then edited again to add the "edited" message.)


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:40 am 
 

Jaybird216 wrote:Kevin, my contract for Temple of the Frog said "Payment upon completion or 9 months after acceptance". Yours doesn't have that clause? Not that it helps much if they're still not paying (it's been about 18 months, hasn't it?).

I'd have to re-check, but I think you're right. I think mine say the same thing. Unfortunatlely I just can't get ahold of anyone to hold them to the contract. But really, the payment wasn't all that much, and I would have gladly done it for free, if the stuff actually got out into customer's hands. Temple or the Frog was the very first RPG adventure scenario ever published, and to have my art used for the cover of the 30th anniversary update to that adventure, published by the original writer and co-founder of the entire industry, gave me the idea of mass exposure and recognition. I would have paid THEM for that opportunity. It never really was about money or comp copies. It's about getting the books into the hands of the people that are paying for them, and being part of the creative process behind it. But with ZG and PPP having horrible business practices, that isn't happening, and it's going to create more damage to an already desparately failing industry.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:02 am 
 

Does your contract exclude you from selling Temple of the Frog covers to those people who bought the pdf?

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