How much is my time really worth?
The comic book industry is a different animal from the rest of the world concerning payment. Even at the major level, it sometimes compensates you for the time you spend creating and is still far below real world rates. Once you become a name creator, you can make much more than the rates listed below.
When you do work in the advertising, editorial, film, television or game industry, you will be asked what your rate is to do the work?
Here’s how you figure out what your time is worth.
1. Add up all your monthly bills.
- Food - $200
- Rent (with utilities) - $1000
- Phone - $80
- Internet - $80
- Cable - $80
- Car Insurance - $100
- Gas - $250
- Supplies - $50
- Misc (laundry, haircuts, etc) - $200
Total = $2040
2. 40 hours x 4 = 160 hours per month
3. 2040 divided by 160 = $12.75 per hour is your absolute minimum, Accept nothing below this!
$12.75 per hour is the minimum you can make in order to pay your monthly bills. The client is not just paying for time. If you only wanted got get paid for time, then you could work at a fast food joint.
Now let’s multiply $12.75 by 3. Why 3 do you ask? I’m glad you asked, because they are also paying for your talent, education and experience.
4. $12.75 x 3 = $38.25 per hour is your starting rate.
You may of course charge more ( and most of the time you should), but now you know the absolute minimum you need to make to pay your bills. You should try to avoid jobs that don’t meet your minimum. So if you need to negotiate, start high and work your down to, but not past your starting rate.
*This is only an example. Your monthly bills will be different. Include what you have; health insurance, credit cards, debts, school loans, any quarterly payments (divided by 3), your child's dance lessons, diapers, your always broke relative, etc.