Publisher Wants Author’s Illustrator Friend to Give Up ALL Rights???

Publisher Wants Author’s Illustrator Friend to Give Up ALL Rights???

Hi dear Angela,

How are you?

Linda Gigliotti recommended I ask you this. So thank you in advance!

I recently was commissioned by a friend to paint one of my acrylics on canvas for her book, plus two small illustrations for inside the book. She now has all originals, plus all the pictures I took of them. In return, I received a very modest fee but she’s a friend, so it’s okay.

Now, her online publishing company has asked me to sign over copyright for my work to her. Is this usual? What’s your experience? I understand it would simplify things on their end, but not sure that it could potentially not be in my favor? I like win-win situations, and want to get it right, however, that is.

Ideally, I’d like to retain rights as I do with all my original artwork, even if I sold it. But, is a book different?

I really appreciate your taking the time to read this and letting me know at your earliest convenience.

Thanks so much dear heart.

Much Love,
~ U.


I recommend offering NON-EXCLUSIVE print and electronic rights ONLY. That allows your friend to use the images in/on the print and ebook editions, and also allows you to use them in the future in any way you want as well.

The publisher may be planning to do something more with your illustrations than you would want. You are very wise to be wary of that company.

Do NOT give any rights to the publisher. Only give them to the author. Giving non-exclusive rights to the author does NOT permit her to give any rights for your work to anyone else.

Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of, the President and CEO of and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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Angela is not only the publisher of She is President & CEO of,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.


One Response to "Publisher Wants Author’s Illustrator Friend to Give Up ALL Rights???"

  1. Pamela Allegretto  October 30, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Great advice.