How much an illustrator is paid for a children’s book varies from one project to another, and sometimes within the same project.
For example, payment for freelance work on a self-published picture book ranges greatly from $500 – 3,000+ depending upon various factors like length of text (i.e., 32 pages vs 64 pages), size of text (i.e., 6 font vs 10 font), complexity in illustrating concepts/characters that are difficult to draw, availability of sources for research material such as photos/videos and so forth. In short there are many variables which affect how much an illustrator is paid for a children’s book; however we generally pay the most if we like your portfolio best or have been referred by someone who has worked with you in the past – i.e., If you know it’s going to be pricey then we’ll find out during the initial interview process but if not then I don’t ask until about three months later when I’m writing my check…so yes some authors want me to know now even though they might change their mind later!
Also remember that every illustrator is different and may charge more or less than what other people charge based on their reputation and experience level etcetera…but again this can vary wildly depending upon circumstances surrounding each individual job assignment. It seems that often folks outside of publishing do not understand these complexities embedded within the business model nor how they differ from person to person because everyone knows roughly how much actors get paid per episode or whatever so why shouldn’t artists make at least as much?
Well actually let me tell ya….my brother is also an artist but he makes sculptures using welded steel pieces ~ his take home after expenses will be around $300 today whereas mine will probably be closer to $2K since royalties come into play when selling books through publishers – i’ve already earned back my advance plus some extra money too; all before any royalty checks start coming in!
Now obviously this varies widely among fields but just wanted you guys’ opinion on what others think about these differences between illustration jobs versus actor jobs as well as how freelancers should approach negotiating rates with potential clients…thanks!