To some extent, my prices are determined by the complexity of the artwork needed.
But that said, my prices for the exclusive rights to use an illustration for cover
art and advertising the product the artwork appears on will generally will run from
$900 to $2,500 US (the lower price for simple artwork and the higher range if the
illustration is extremely complex).
This is the price for an original illustration in digital format ready to go directly
to your publisher or layout designer.
I can also handle lettering including spine/back cover layout, ISBN bar codes, and
so forth, for which there are addition charges, though generally not that much more
since most of the work is in the illustration for a book, magazine, or CD cover.
And for self-publishers, I can create the PDF you need for a cover with LightningSource,
LuLu.com, Kindle, CreateSpace, and other presses.
For inner illustrations in books or magazines, my prices for one-time use run from
$500-$1,000 US for a full page and around $250 for a small picture – prices again
being determined by the complexity of the task.
I know you’re likely wanting a a firm price rather than a ballpark figure.
And I’d be happy to give that to you if you’ll paint a "word picture" of what you're
wanting in the way of an illustration. I need to know the approximate number of figures,
background, scenery, machinery, or other features that should appear I the picture.
I can then get the price tacked down for you.
Each illustration is different. But there’s a pretty straightforward process I follow
for creating an illustration for a client.
First, I draw up a contract (I have a standard one we can use or you can secure your
own from a lawyer); like all contracts, this one can be modified and hammered out
so it suits you.
As is the norm in the publishing industry, I ask for half payment up front upon signing
the contract with the remainder due upon completion and delivery of the illustration
to you or your publisher.
The next step after the contract is generally the creation of several sketches to
establish the basic design, characters, and so forth.
When I'm on the right track with the sketches, we then move toward a rough illustration
and from there more polished versions (I send periodic pictures of my progress to
be sure we're still "on the same page" with what is needed).
Before too long, the illustration is finished (usually in a little over a week or
I’m hoping I can create an illustration for you. I love challenging projects, and
hope you’ll let me help you get that special illustration you need for your book
cover, magazine, or CD album.
Over the last two decades, Duncan Long has created over a thousand illustrations
for magazines and books including Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, HarperCollins,
PS Publishing, Pocket Books, ILEX, Moonstone Books, Enslow Publishers, Solomon Press,
The Sun, Paladin Press, Ballistic Publications, American Media, Delta Press, Lyons
Press, and many, many small publishers and self-publishing authors.