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Author Topic: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?  (Read 325 times)

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Offline Zeldro

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What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« on: July 21, 2017, 10:33:52 PM »
Talking about on this board mainly, but also in general.

How much would a writer pay an artist to draw a manga for them? Is it usually by the chapter, by the page, or, if the manga brings in a profit, do they receive a percent of the revenue?

I read somewhere on this board about one artist who'd want $30/page. An average manga chapter is 20 pages, so that'd be $600 a chapter right there. For a student barely getting by with what I have, that's a hell of a lot of money  to pay for a chapter. I'd be willing to save up, but it'd take some time.

So, is that how the writers on this forum pay the artists? Mainly by the page? Are there any other ways to get paid? Maybe a mixture of by the page/chapter and revenue brought in by the site that's hosting the manga?

I'm pretty much clueless, so if someone could fill me in, that'd be great.
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Offline BobbyJoeXForgotenSB

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 10:47:00 PM »
pretty much the price varies depending on the artist, some will take sales rev, some will charge $30 a page (me being one), some charge $100+ for a page, and some will go for the ride and do it for free but you really need to really capture the artist's attention, they wont do something for free if it doesnt interest them, plus some artists wont work with people who seem like they dont know what they are doing, so this is a thing to watch out for

Offline Forlorn Serpent

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2017, 10:52:36 PM »
You finally beat me to it BobbyJoeXForgotenSB  :tongue:

my opinion here.

$30 a page is low end minimum. I would think that pay per page would be the most preferable method since you can easily blow your cash all at once and not get everything you want or worse case scenario, you get nothing and the money is gone. Remember though, it can take a whole day for an illustrator to work on your page and $30 a day might not cut it. Most artists won't care for revenue share since i suspect they see the job as only a job. That's why i think if you do pay $600+ for your investment, you should receive 100% profits yourself. 

What you really should be careful with is the small matter of who owns the illustrations. I come from the belief that who ever pays for the art, owns it in every legal way possible. That includes copyrights, character design, distribution rights, marketing rights, etc. Make sure you get some agreement in writing.

I was on some youtube channels, this one was photography. The photographer said they own the rights to the pictures even though they were paid to take them. These were wedding photos by the way. I felt uncomfortable with that since, this way of thinking is also seen in various fields.

Since you are still in school, just learn to storyboard your manga chapters yourself. The artists here will tell you to do that anyway since they will only illustrate from a storyboard.

I find it hard to believe a site will give enough profits to the manga owner to satisfy both the writer and artist. Don't count on hosting site ad revenue share.

Offline BobbyJoeXForgotenSB

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2017, 10:58:49 PM »
well artists are allowed to have some right to the commission, pretty much is do whatever you want, just dont (for example) take their signature off the piece, if its a book, have it listed as "Story by you, illustrated by (...)" when it comes to the book, artists HAVE sued over stuff like this and has won

Online MahluaandMilk

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2017, 11:10:36 PM »
Yup. These two pretty much summed up the major themes for this discussion. I'd just like to add though that, although I am not open for commissions at this point, I would not necessarily require storyboards to sketch a page, although it might make the process of making pages much longer and more difficult. I have drawn from paragraph prose, although  I grant that I wrote the prose myself and then translated it into a comic (see my sketched pages of HTR and GB).

It's different for different artists, and each individual has their own method of determining pay. But, when you think about it on an hourly scale, and forgive me if I use the USD and United States minimum wage of my state as the example here:
Minimum wage here is $7.25 if you don't make tips. For me, sketching out a comic page on an 3x5 index card and maybe inking it would take anywhere from half an hour to an hour, so that'd make it worth about $7.25. I did not time myself when I drew my two-page X-Men fanfic-y short AU whatever bluh thing, but I figure each pencil page took me about an hour and a half, so inking those two pages might add another half hour, and then adding color at least another hour, which is four and a half hours on two full pages, and that would be $32.625 (or $32.63) as a minimum. Now, where I live, minimum wage has been proven to put you on the poverty line. Say I decide to instead charge ten dollars an hour, and that'd put you at $45.00 minimum for how long it took me to draw two pages, not factoring in other things like tax, scanning the pages for an image file, digital clean-up (I do mostly traditional), printing, and all that fun stuff.

I'm only adding this to start to show you how and why art is so expensive. Sometimes the process of making a page is glossed over, so I figured it was the only addition I could make.
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Offline Zeldro

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2017, 11:13:36 PM »
This sounds stupid, but what I want to be drawn is a fanfiction I've been writing. Since I don't own the characters (or at least most, there are OCs), I can't physically sell copies, as that's probably illegal.

There are sites like Kissmanga that host manga, and have ads. None of the content there is original in the slightest. Despite that, it's not been taken down (at least I think). So, in theory, a site with a manga based on two other existing stories (it's a crossover) should be able to legally host ads.

So that's what I'm banking on. Ads. It's unlikely, but I'm hoping a decent amount of people take interest in the manga, as it'd literally be an adaptation of a crossover fanfiction, and then maybe I'd get some revenue from ads. If I can save up for one whole chapter to be drawn, maybe it'll pique people's interest and they'll want a second chapter. Maybe I could set up a nonprofit Patreon that's donations only go to maintaining the site + having more chapters drawn?

It's a far fetched plan, and I'm here to see just how unlikely it is to succeed.

Any suggestions? I'm not an artist by any means, but should I look into learning how to draw manga-style so I can storyboard?
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Offline Zeldro

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2017, 11:15:45 PM »
Yup. These two pretty much summed up the major themes for this discussion. I'd just like to add though that, although I am not open for commissions at this point, I would not necessarily require storyboards to sketch a page, although it might make the process of making pages much longer and more difficult. I have drawn from paragraph prose, although  I grant that I wrote the prose myself and then translated it into a comic (see my sketched pages of HTR and GB).

It's different for different artists, and each individual has their own method of determining pay. But, when you think about it on an hourly scale, and forgive me if I use the USD and United States minimum wage of my state as the example here:
Minimum wage here is $7.25 if you don't make tips. For me, sketching out a comic page on an 3x5 index card and maybe inking it would take anywhere from half an hour to an hour, so that'd make it worth about $7.25. I did not time myself when I drew my two-page X-Men fanfic-y short AU whatever bluh thing, but I figure each pencil page took me about an hour and a half, so inking those two pages might add another half hour, and then adding color at least another hour, which is four and a half hours on two full pages, and that would be $32.625 (or $32.63) as a minimum. Now, where I live, minimum wage has been proven to put you on the poverty line. Say I decide to instead charge ten dollars an hour, and that'd put you at $45.00 minimum for how long it took me to draw two pages, not factoring in other things like tax, scanning the pages for an image file, digital clean-up (I do mostly traditional), printing, and all that fun stuff.

I'm only adding this to start to show you how and why art is so expensive. Sometimes the process of making a page is glossed over, so I figured it was the only addition I could make.


Thanks for the insight.
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Online MahluaandMilk

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2017, 11:17:48 PM »
Now, I'm not an expert in any form or fashion on this subject, but I highly recommend you look into the logistics of the Japanese doujin market. Some doujin artists literally just make fancomic pr0n of popular anime and make huge sales. I've never personally looked into the legalities, but it's a thing that exists. They can even sell copies at conventions, and in fact one of the biggest conventions in Japan (Comiket) is known for having huge dealer rooms for doujin artists. When I went to Animazement this year (in the US), I passed at least a couple of doujin booths. I figure see how they do it, and then do it yourself.
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Offline Forlorn Serpent

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2017, 11:26:54 PM »
People only give people money for two reasons.
1) a lot of people already gave money before hand.
2) you captured their attention with something beside your work. like political talk, ideological talk, sap story talk.

My method for publicity is start a youtube channel that reviews similar works of your content. Once you get subscribers, mention you also have your own manga. Then present dual content. Review content and present your own content. Then, you can open up a patreon account.

Fanworks are illegal. no matter how you slice it, it is illegal. can you make money off of it? yes. Like the scanlation sites i visit, they are all illegal and will eventually be taken down. just some food for thought, if you put up a manga on the web, a third party site will probably take it and they will make money off of it. I always heard japanese properties are easier to fan make because they are not hardcore about it like western copyright works like Disney is with their content.

Try making an iron man comic and sell it online. See how fast it will take until you get a take down letter from a lawyer.

Offline shishi02

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2017, 11:31:06 PM »
Hi there,
You can try self learn how to draw arts, it doesn't have to be Japanese style. If it doesn't help, you can try invest a video tutorial on how to make character designs. I have one in udemy website but I suggest wait for it to go sale again. YouTube also have free advise on how to make characters too but you need to be picky on whom you watch.

What I can say to make good drawings is to follow art fundamentals. It's the slowest yet best way to get to know yourself and your art. Yeah there are books explaining about it but that's another investment.

I can try help you explain it with my best ability if you are interested.

Offline Zeldro

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2017, 11:32:10 PM »
People only give people money for two reasons.
1) a lot of people already gave money before hand.
2) you captured their attention with something beside your work. like political talk, ideological talk, sap story talk.

My method for publicity is start a youtube channel that reviews similar works of your content. Once you get subscribers, mention you also have your own manga. Then present dual content. Review content and present your own content. Then, you can open up a patreon account.

Fanworks are illegal. no matter how you slice it, it is illegal. can you make money off of it? yes. Like the scanlation sites i visit, they are all illegal and will eventually be taken down. just some food for thought, if you put up a manga on the web, a third party site will probably take it and they will make money off of it. I always heard japanese properties are easier to fan make because they are not hardcore about it like western copyright works like Disney is with their content.

Try making an iron man comic and sell it online. See how fast it will take until you get a take down letter from a lawyer.

I actually considered a YouTube channel at one point. I never went through with it, though, but now that you mention it, I'm starting to consider it again. Your idea is solid.

I'm not worried about other sites hosting my manga that much, because my main goal would be to get my manga known. Out there. Technically, that'd actually help. In each chapter, I'd have links to my site, and my YouTube channel if I have one, as well as credit to the artist.

Thanks for the advice everyone, I'll take it all into account and come up with a plan as to how all of this can work.
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Offline S8N

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2017, 12:05:38 AM »
If I can throw my two cents:

Artists accept two forms of payments. Up-front, and rates.

You can think of rates like an investment for both the writer and the artists. The artist needs to put in effort in order to receive payment, and the results only come after something satisfactory is produced. Rates can be rewarding if said piece is successful, and depending on the revenue, the artist can earn much more than 30-100 dollars per page. However, we are talking about hitting a gold mine. Without a sizable audience and revenue, this will definitely hurt specifically the artist, who already invested the time and expected good results. In addition, the artists can quit any time they feel necessary (in the instance that he/she doesn't make enough), which can lead to the collapse of the story altogether

Up-front is the safest method for the artist, but definitely not for a writer. If your story is not successful, only one party walks out making money for their efforts--the artists. That being said, if you get a large fanbase and support, your story could generate a lot of money. We're talking about tens of thousands of viewers and more. The artists, if reasonable, will never expect more than they originally proposed, but it's a kind gesture to raise the pay due to their efforts.

In the past, I've seen pieces with more than one author, but it is certainly rare. Ideally, someone would want to learn both skills before pursuing the making of a manga. Either that, or they have somebody close or trustworthy working alongside them. It's quite rare for two strangers to meet up online and produce a result, not saying it never happens.

Also, a personal opinion: I noticed you are attempting to make a fanfiction. Legal issues aside, your viewer population will likely be much smaller than normal. Many people, including me, prefer original works over fanfictions, and will opt to search for them instead. As far as I can tell, I never heard of a successful fanfiction as of yet. Maybe you'll be the first, but statistically the odds are against you. I'm sorry if I sound condescending here but this is how other people might interpret your work as well. Even though an author might enjoy reading his/her own work, he needs to understand his potential audience as well.

On that note, it's also not incredibly hard to build a world inspired by another. Lord of the Rings, for example, was a motivation for many authors to come, and stories with very similar worlds developed because of this. The key is to establish notable differences while retaining the traits that really stood out to you from the original work. Authors always draw inspiration from somewhere, whether it be other authors or the real world.

Hope this helps.
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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2017, 12:18:37 AM »
As far as I can tell, I never heard of a successful fanfiction as of yet.

Fifty Shades was literally a Twilight fanfic to begin with, if some sources are to be believed.
"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"--Marquis de Sade
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Offline Zeldro

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2017, 12:32:37 AM »
If I can throw my two cents:

Artists accept two forms of payments. Up-front, and rates.

You can think of rates like an investment for both the writer and the artists. The artist needs to put in effort in order to receive payment, and the results only come after something satisfactory is produced. Rates can be rewarding if said piece is successful, and depending on the revenue, the artist can earn much more than 30-100 dollars per page. However, we are talking about hitting a gold mine. Without a sizable audience and revenue, this will definitely hurt specifically the artist, who already invested the time and expected good results. In addition, the artists can quit any time they feel necessary (in the instance that he/she doesn't make enough), which can lead to the collapse of the story altogether

Up-front is the safest method for the artist, but definitely not for a writer. If your story is not successful, only one party walks out making money for their efforts--the artists. That being said, if you get a large fanbase and support, your story could generate a lot of money. We're talking about tens of thousands of viewers and more. The artists, if reasonable, will never expect more than they originally proposed, but it's a kind gesture to raise the pay due to their efforts.

In the past, I've seen pieces with more than one author, but it is certainly rare. Ideally, someone would want to learn both skills before pursuing the making of a manga. Either that, or they have somebody close or trustworthy working alongside them. It's quite rare for two strangers to meet up online and produce a result, not saying it never happens.

Also, a personal opinion: I noticed you are attempting to make a fanfiction. Legal issues aside, your viewer population will likely be much smaller than normal. Many people, including me, prefer original works over fanfictions, and will opt to search for them instead. As far as I can tell, I never heard of a successful fanfiction as of yet. Maybe you'll be the first, but statistically the odds are against you. I'm sorry if I sound condescending here but this is how other people might interpret your work as well. Even though an author might enjoy reading his/her own work, he needs to understand his potential audience as well.

On that note, it's also not incredibly hard to build a world inspired by another. Lord of the Rings, for example, was a motivation for many authors to come, and stories with very similar worlds developed because of this. The key is to establish notable differences while retaining the traits that really stood out to you from the original work. Authors always draw inspiration from somewhere, whether it be other authors or the real world.

Hope this helps.

Understood, thanks for your input.

I am aware of the barriers and problems I'll probably encounter, too. It's gonna be hard convincing people to read a fanfic manga (and take it seriously), especially considering it's a crossover, and that's only if I can find a suitable artist I can afford to have work with me. And THAT'S assuming I can save up enough money over time to hire an artist in the first place - I'm relying on a part-time job alongside school and odd jobs for money. If not enough people get interested if I manage to get the first chapter created, then I'm screwed, because no interest = no site traffic/patreon donations which = no extra money which means it's gonna be a WHILE before another chapter comes out, if at all, which means the little interest I get from the first chapter will probably be diminished by the time the second chapter comes out.

But I'm gonna do it anyway. It's my dream, ever since I started this certain fanfic I've imagined it in manga and anime form, and fantasized about that a lot. No one's ever created a successful fanfiction manga, you say? Guess I'll be the first.
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Offline Shane

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Re: What should manga artists be paid by their writers?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2017, 12:34:56 AM »
I did this kind of work before but as a assistance not main artist.

my friend took a job from writer then call the team (im in the team)

my job is fill black ink and toning. any line work is main artist doing (the other guy on the team do background etc)i help out with photoshop or fill conversation and bubble in if i have spare time

one shot 55 page 8700 dollar he got, but 4 people work in project so it get share with 4 ppl

:S have to say, money is not issue but i have fun doing it.

if anyone artist think that he can do job like this alone then so be it.....they probably took the money alone IMAO