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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm needing advice on a problem that I have with someone that I hired to do the typography on my covers. It's someone that is a bit active on the Writer's Cafe so I didn't want to post there before, because I feared that might make things worse, but I really need help and opinions on how to handle this.

I've hired a graphic artist to do the typography for 21 books of mine, 3 first and then 6 batches of 6.

I paid him on December 12th 2012, up front, because that was part of the deal to have that price. He said I would have the covers the next week.

On January December (sorry) 22nd, I received an e-mail apologizing and saying he was going on holidays, and I told him that was okay, and that I didn't need the covers before January 15th.

On January 10th, I still saw nothing coming and rewrote him. He answered that he was coming back that week, and I would have them in the next couple of days.

On January 14th, there was still nothing, and I wrote again, saying that this wasn't working for me. He wrote back the next day saying that apparently the message had bounced back and went into his spam folder, so I apologized for being too quick to accuse.

On January 15th, I gave feedback on the exemples he sent me, and got second versions, to which I gave the final feedback. In the meantime (january 17th), I also sent another cover that was going to be typographied first.

On January 18th, I got another e-mail saying he would do the changes in the next day or so.

Then nothing.

I wrote again yesterday, maybe a bit abruptly, saying this is not working for me, and please advise how to proceed. I'm not feeling inclined to give the benefit of the doubt of the too big file or of the emails going to the spam folder, I feel that I am being ignored.

This is someone that has been having a lot of praise around the boards, so I'm wondering if I am maybe making too much of this, maybe being unkind or too impatient. But I feel like I've paid and done my part, and I'm afraid I might have lost that money.

What do you think? What would you do, if you were me?
 

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That's rough, but another good example of why you shouldn't pay upfront. I'm really sorry you're going through this. I've seen several threads like this, and it seems the public shaming provides a good amount of motivation. And that way, other people might be more wary of this person, or at least they will know better than to pay him/her upfront.

Maybe this person is having a really hard time, or perhaps there is a good explanation, but obviously I have only hear your side. Public shaming also gives the person an opportunity to defend themselves.

I really hope, for your sake, that this gets worked out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for answering.
I'd rather not shame anyone publicly, though, I'd rather things work out on their own, or at least get my money back.
I can understand having a hard time, needing more time. I do not understand the ignoring and not emailing back part.

The 45 days from payments are coming fast. After that, there's no way to work something out with Paypal.
I feel I've been plenty patient and understanding, I am just wondering how to make things right. Part of the job has been done (the samples part). The rest is not done. I know that person has been active on the boards the past few days too, so there's no thinking that he might be too sick or away from the computer.
 

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I think at this point it's pretty clear that you're done. I'd file with PayPal so that you don't lose the money and then e-mail the cover artist again and let him know that you've done this.
 

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I can understand not wanting to make things worse for yourself or the other person, but putting the person in the spotlight a bit, might require him/her to step up to the plate.

If this person really isn't getting your e-mails, you might try PMing them on WC, since you know they are active. Then, there would be no excuse for not having seen your message.

As crappy as it sounds, I don't think that there is anything you can do to make it right. The ball's in his/her court now. Good luck.
 

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Nathalie Hamidi said:
Thanks for answering.
I'd rather not shame anyone publicly, though, I'd rather things work out on their own, or at least get my money back.
I can understand having a hard time, needing more time. I do not understand the ignoring and not emailing back part.

The 45 days from payments are coming fast. After that, there's no way to work something out with Paypal.
I feel I've been plenty patient and understanding, I am just wondering how to make things right. Part of the job has been done (the samples part). The rest is not done. I know that person has been active on the boards the past few days too, so there's no thinking that he might be too sick or away from the computer.
I would send an email saying, "If I don't have all the work completed to my satisfaction by [date], I'll seek a refund through PayPal," then follow through with that. I'd also share the vendor's name on KB -- share your experience on his promotional thread, if he has one -- so that the rest of us can make a more informed decision about whether we want to work with him. Sounds like others have had good experiences working with this person, so your voice would just be one among many.
 

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genevieveaclark said:
I also kind of want to know who it is so I never use them.
Especially if this person has had a lot of praise on WC. Not to distroy their business, but to at least give an accurate picture of what the person is like professionally.
 
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Put in the Paypal claim. If you placed the order on December 12th with an understanding that the first three overs would be complete in 7 days, the artist failed to honor the contract. Period. End of story. If he knew he was going on holiday, then he should have given a more realistic timeline. Period. End of story.
 

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I don't care if this person farts rainbows and hands out lollipops to poor kids on the street.

You paid for a service. In advance.

They haven't honored their contracts. It's not like they've had a death in the family. Rather, they haven't been professional.

You are a professional; demand professional results.

Get your money back, by any means necessary.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can understand dropping the ball.
I think the cover artists I have worked with in the past can say I'm not too hard to work with, and can be understanding.
I can be flexible with deadlines. But here there hasn't been any communication or effort on his part to make this go smoother.

The right question I should ask is: do I owe him anything for the samples, or do I consider the job was payment when complete, and that I owe him nothing for the work he has put in so far?
I don't want to be subjected to endless "I have sent you the work but that bounced back because the files were too big" or "your e-mail has gone to my spam folder".
 

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Yep - make sure you file a claim with PayPal before it's too late to do so.  Especially since they asked for the money up front and have kept making excuses not to deliver.  I'd also agree with the others that they ought to be named.  They could be doing this to lots of people on the strength of a few positive recommendations - and others could be in the same situation as you.

Sorry to hear that you've had this hassle & I hope that the next person you work with is a bit more professional!  Given that their unprofessional behaviour has cost you time and put you right back at the start again - morally, I don't think you owe them anything for the samples - their behaviour will probably wind up costing you money - so any time and effort they've lost is their own fault.
 
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You owe him nothing. Your agreement was not for half-ass work. It was for complete covers delivered on time. If I order a pizza that is suppose to be delivered in 30 minutes and the guy shows up at my door two days later, he ain't getting paid.
 

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You can't do anything with only samples, right? You can't use them, so then you have paid for something and gotten nothing. In my opinion, I don't think you owe the person anything, regardless of the time they have spent working on it.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
If I order a pizza that is suppose to be delivered in 30 minutes and the guy shows up at my door two days later, he ain't getting paid.
But I'd still take the pizza! Hmm...where's the "Three days of Vomiting" emoticon? ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
genevieveaclark said:
Nathalie, are you afraid of reprisals? I ask because of the title of the thread.
No, not really. I'm mostly afraid not to do the right thing.
I wouldn't want to be unfair or unkind or unprofessional.
I needed validation that I'm not mistaken or too impatient, and I wanted to know if I owed him anything.

It's very easy to manipulate me into thinking I'm the one who is wrong. I've had many people do that kind of things in the past - just like the e-mail bouncing or spam folder excuses, and then tell me I'm being unfair or trying to do people harm, etc. So I wanted to know if I was right in not waiting anymore.

Social behaviours are not my forte - autism is genetic, and I have two autistic children, so I think I might be on the spectrum too, even if I have never been diagnosed and am capable of functioning in society. I sometimes feel like I don't know how to react to things. I don't want to hear I was too quick to withdraw from this if I can help it. It's a bit pathetic, I know. :)
 
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Despite being Sith, I'm not a big fan of public shaming. More often than not, it blows up in your face. Nathalie is right to not name names. These situations rarely end well and just lead to flame wars. I love artists, but darn it all you guys are a flaky bunch sometimes.   ;D :D Some of the most peculiar excuses for not completing work come from artists. I even see this in my day job with the guys who work on our design team. They are all amazingly talented, but I have no idea how some of them manage to function in the real world.  :eek:

I prefer to be proactive and make sure that both my interests and the artist's interest are protected. This is why I have a contract for any major art project. Stuff needs to be in writing. In general, this is what I do:

50% upon delivery of preliminary sketches

50% upon delivery of final work

If art is delivered on time or early, the artist will get a bonus based on a percentage of the total sales for a specified time period (depending on the size of the project). So they have a financial interest in getting the art to me on time because it could mean addition money each month for anywhere for three to six months.
If the art is late, no bonus is paid.

If the art is more than 72 hours late without any communication from the artist, I start subtracting money from the bill. This starts at 10% and in extreme cases could lead to forfeiture of the balance due. This penalty is avoided by offering good communication.

There is both a Good Faith and Acts of God clause in my contracts to protect both parties from situations outside of our control. If there is a fire or a flood, I don't hold the artist responsible for forgetting to call me over late art. My contracts also include a Kill Fee in the event I have to cancel a project while the artist is still working on it, so the artist did not waste his or her time for nothing.

In general, I let the artist set the deadline and then add a few days to it to account for potential complications. So if someone tells me they can have something done by January 1st, I set the due date as January 5th because I know sometimes people don't adequately estimate how long something will take or how much time they have to allot to the task.

I've still been burned by a few artists, but this has allowed me to mitigate my losses and, more importantly, keep issues like this from exploding into flame wars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay, I've screwed myself up anyway, and there is no one to blame but myself.
I sent the payment as a gift and not as a service.
And I did it without being told to do so.
I'm so stupid.

So, there, I can't get a refund.  :(
I guess I need to chalk it up to being too trusting and naive.
 

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Nathalie Hamidi said:
No, not really. I'm mostly afraid not to do the right thing.
I wouldn't want to be unfair or unkind or unprofessional.
I needed validation that I'm not mistaken or too impatient, and I wanted to know if I owed him anything.

It's very easy to manipulate me into thinking I'm the one who is wrong. I've had many people do that kind of things in the past - just like the e-mail bouncing or spam folder excuses, and then tell me I'm being unfair or trying to do people harm, etc. So I wanted to know if I was right in not waiting anymore.

Social behaviours are not my forte - autism is genetic, and I have two autistic children, so I think I might be on the spectrum too, even if I have never been diagnosed and am capable of functioning in society. I sometimes feel like I don't know how to react to things. I don't want to hear I was too quick to withdraw from this if I can help it. It's a bit pathetic, I know. :)
No, it's not pathetic. And you're NOT wrong.

Like you, I'm pretty flexible when it comes to working arrangements and very agreeable when it comes to the terms of those I'm working with and sometimes I have to remind myself that this is a business, not personal. As Julie as said, you entered into a contract with good faith that fees would be paid up front and work would be completed on time. Only one of those two things happened. You've listened to excuses, been more then gracious with extensions ... and still, you're sitting here with useless proofs and nothing else.

Do you think that, had things shaken down differently, the artist would be hemming and hawing over whether or not continue working if you didn't pay them? Same thing, different variable. No work, no pay. Period. End of story.
 

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Nathalie Hamidi said:
Okay, I've screwed myself up anyway, and there is no one to blame but myself.
I sent the payment as a gift and not as a service.
And I did it without being told to do so.
I'm so stupid.

So, there, I can't get a refund. :(
I guess I need to chalk it up to being too trusting and naive.
Ugh!

In that case - it's a good thing you didn't name names. Maybe the threat of public shaming can get them to give you either the work or the refund!
 

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Oh, Nathalie. I'm so sad this happened to you.

:(

This so could've been me. I worked with an artist in Budapest for an entire series of illustrations and a cover, then sent her the entire amount due (a LOT of money) via Western Union. Luckily, she was trustworthy and provided the finished work just as I was about to jump off a cliff with anxiety. I now know never to do that again, but sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes. I really hope this turns out well for you, even though you've probably lost just a bit of trust in humanity because of it.
 
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