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Book design rates / fee for amends

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum' started by lulu, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. lulu

    lulu New Member

    Hello, wonder if anyone can help ?

    I work as a Graphic designer with 12 years editorial experience.
    I was recently commissioned to work at home on a book cover and two spreads. It was requested that I submit two book cover options.

    I was offered £450 for the initial designs and a further £250 for stylesheets for the books internals (the £250 would only be paid for approved artwork and print ready files at final stage).

    The work was submitted and both cover options were chosen. Both covers have different job numbers but when I questioned that this was now two books, I was told one was a supplement to sit within the main book. Should I be charging for a second book?

    Since submitting the initial designs, there have been several design amends and extra photoshop work. I was paid the initial £450
    but since then there are further design amends. The remaining £250 doesn't seem enough for all the corrections and style sheets that have to be set up. Added to that I have now been asked to re-design the covers again (no fee mentioned).

    Does anyone know how I should charge for this kind of work?
    I am fairly new to book design and wondered if corrections should be charged separately and by the hour ? Should I also be charging for the added supplement ?

  2. lulu

    lulu New Member

    Freelance Book design rates


    As I haven't received any replies for this problem with design amend charges, I'm guessing this site might not cover problems such as this one. Does anyone know any other chat rooms that might have advice?

    many thanks
  3. FreelanceUK

    FreelanceUK Administrator

    Hi Lulu

    I have to be honest and say this is not an area I've worked in, but just going on the grounds of any design work, or any freelance work really..it comes down to the scope of the work agreed (preferably on an agreed and signed off basis) before you start the work.

    What was in writing at the start of the job? It sounds like you were asked to produce 2 concepts for one bookcover? Do you have any written evidence of the fact that they only commissioned you to design one cover? A purchase order, email ?

    This will back up your case, but obviously tread carefully to ensure your prospect of future business doesn't suffer.

    Yes you should be charging for use of the second option as this wasn't within the agreed initial scope of the work. They may say that you've already done the work but ultimately they stand to gain commercial advantage of a second book published without design & artwork costs, whether it's an insert or not, whether it's sold separately or not, your work is allowing this second book to have a professionally designed cover.

    So once a project goes off the agreed track, that is the time to hold your hand up and say 'this isn't what we agreed but I'm happy to come to some mutually beneficial agreement so we both gain'.. the terms are of course down to you, as you have already done the work you might only agree to bill for a % of the first cover - but personally I'd say don't be too keen to devalue your work too readily - make sure it's a sensible percentage that tells them you know the commercial value of your work.

    With the stylesheets - again how much scope is there agreed for these? There should be a limit to the amount of work or hours per £250 agreed by both parties, with an added agreement that if client amends go over this extra work is done by the hour at £XX.

    If nothing is set up for this job you could try talking to the client and saying I've spent xx hours so far for only £250, can we come to some agreement for additional costs for any remaining work at £xx hour - i.e. appealing to their better nature, but making a firm note to self not to allow this to happen next time!

    With cover redesign - new job - new scope of work and new costs to be agreed. Grill the client over what they want and get the agreement down in writing - and agreed by them in writing by return - before you start. You now have the added benefit of knowing what they might suddenly want at a later date, so clearly state what's involved in the cost you quote and what will cost more and how much more.

    Every time they go over what's been agreed, drop them a line and say 'we're about to go over the quote, I'm happy to do this extra work but as agreed it'll be at rate of £xx per hour, I'll keep you up to date what extras I'm doing on a regular basis for your sign off'

    This isn't legal guidance, it's just based on my own personal experience so I hope it helps somewhat?

    let us know how you get on.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  4. lulu

    lulu New Member

    Thanks so much for the advice, I will try this and let you know how I get on.
    Out of interest, do you know the average amount of amends/corrections that a designer should include in the price before charging extra?
    so far I've had four different emails with several sets of amends...

    Many Thanks
  5. Edmac41

    Edmac41 New Member

    When to charge for amends

    Briefly, my practice – spelled out in initial contract emails – is to include typo corrections in the basic charge. This should also include reasonable amendments, and this might be helpful: I did a book design recently where the client saw the proof copy and decided the bottom margin was a bit too narrow; I agreed, and considered it my problem, not the client's. Then he decided he'd prefer less leading and a different font: that meant going through the whole book checking for new widows and orphans, re-ordering chapter headings where they'd moved from left to right page or vice versa, and re-doing a 6-page detailed index! I agreed with the client that this work would be extra and I would charge an hourly rate.
    It boils down to: include in your initial price a reasonable level of corrections, and beyond that don't charge where you feel responsible, but do charge for client amends which should have been sorted out before the job came to you.

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