Ready for another tip?
Always take the money.
It’s simple to say, but harder to do in practice. This is because someone is going to come up to you with what sounds like a grand plan, and they’re going to ask you to do work now in order to get paid on the back end, and they’re going to put it in some sort of contract that they’re going to offer you.
Don’t do it. Take the money now (as soon as possible). Don’t do it for future profits, don’t do it for anything except after the work is complete. Don’t do it. Or just walk away.
Here’s the reason: if the person asking you to do the free work actually had money to create, then they wouldn’t be asking you to do work for payment on the back end. It doesn’t matter who they are: creators with “contacts” in Hollywood, creators who are “talking to investors”, and the worst (to me): creators who are looking to create their first comic, and are going to do it through a Kickstarter campaign (and they’ve never done either).
You can always listen. It doesn’t hurt to listen. But you will then always have a choice: to do the work or not. And only you can tell if the proposed project is worth your time. However, just because it may be worth your time doesn’t mean that it’s worth doing for free.
It’s been said over an over (and over) again: there is no money at the back end. Discounting the actual production costs of creating the pages, the book has to be printed and then distributed. This costs money. ComiXology Submit will let you sell your book at whatever price you want, but you also have to remember that they get a slice, too. (50% of every sale.) You’re going to have to sell thousands of books in order to make enough money in order to pay someone decently for back-end, and most books on Submit don’t sell well enough for that.
If you take the money as early as possible, eschewing whatever lure the creator has dangled in front of you for cold cash, then you’ve gotten paid for a project you’ve worked on. This is much preferable to waiting forever to get paid for a project you’ve worked on, and then seeing the creator move on to other things.
Take the money. Always. You’ll be much better off in the long run.