Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 20, 2018


On the third Tuesday Christina or Christy Ewers Tugeau of the Cat Agency will answer questions and talk about things illustrators need to know to further their career. It could be a question about an illustration you are working on, too. Please email your questions to me and put ASK CAT in the subject box.


Artist Agent – Quick Questions and Quick Answers!

What does an agent expect from an artist? Professional talent, consistency, team player attitude

What can an artist expect from an agency? Professional direction and help, promotion, client care, honesty

How do you promote work?  website, blog, Instagram, on-site pub. visits, mailings, email blasts, cold calls – any and all ways we can!

What is your commission?  25% generally of flat fee, advances and royalty for the life of the book.  15% for author/artist projects

What can we get for you, you can’t? IN!  Our feet are in many doors you can’t get cracked easily.

Is an agency contract a good idea?  YES! for mutual expectations and clear understandings…normally exclusive in the industry

Do we limit the number of Agency artists?  YES… but it’s up to us.  We like a ‘boutique’ group of between 30-35

How hard is it to part from an agency?  (up to agent) generally up to 6 months ‘grace period’ for work done in years before.  (we feel less is more fair, but it totally depends….)

Do we drop any artists?  of course!   WHY? many reasons – not team player;  we not able to get enough work for them; lack of effort on artists’s part; no growth; MISSING DEADLINES!

We do need to add new artists to stir up Publisher’s interest.  But we are VERY loyal !

Most common problems with artists? lack of communication, consistency, making deadline….tho we don’t anticipate ANY of these with our artists

Most common artist dissatisfaction with agents in general? lack of new work! (we can’t’ make work up’ though!)  and lack of easy communications and access.

Should you expect response from agents?  YES! (but you may not get it……  ;( )

How to submit?  varies… don’t do a ‘mass submission!’  We like email with few jogs of work and link to website

Do artists need to do digital work?  Good idea…today most often send electronically.  Not a must for trade but IS for educational.

What is ‘Work for Hire’? Like ‘flat fee’ (no royalty) but ALL rights go to the publisher.

What size editions are printed today? Varies…large pubs count on 10,000+, smaller, 5000 fish

How long do trade books stay in print?  depends on sales success of course, but often only 1 1/2 years! But we have some books still for sale after 20+ years!

What are advances like today?  range: generally $5K- 30K..can be less or more!

How are royalty statements handled?  Agent gets all paperwork and checks…for life of book in print.  Artists $ portion are sent on with copy of statement for your records.

How does Artist Agent differ from Lit. Agent?  line is very muddied today, but we first promote the Art Style of our artists on website, AND we now promote their manuscripts as well!  Lit Agents promote the writing first generally.They also normally have ‘rights agents’ who work worldwide sales rights for manuscripts.

Do we sell artist/authors?  YES!  Take dummies to NYC every visit! many sell!

Is Social Media helpful?  YES! but watch out for ’time-suck’…great for sharing and learning and promoting to buyers (not other artist/writers so much) but your job is to DRAW AND CREATE!

How about school visits?  GREAT to do in order to promote/brand your books and YOU! to reconnect with audience and earn extra $$

Book review help sales?  Yes but not as much as you might think. Good for YOUR promotion though!

Do we like being Agents?  COMPLETELY!  I found my calling 25+ years ago, and I do believe Christy has now found hers!  Two dreams come true!  wonderful talent, wonderful people on all sides, and the result is BOOKS, learning, fun, and beautiful ideas and pictures for our children.  How good is THAT!

REMEMBER:  GOOD DRAWING, GOOD  COMPOSITION, GOOD COLOR!  And it’s ALL about the     STORY !      ENJOY….  Have FUN…. it shows!

Thank you Chris for your efforts to on how navigate these troubled waters and go forward.

Please help keep this column going by sending in your questions.



Hope this illustration by A d e l i n a   L I R I U S will inspire everyone to send in a question to Chris and Christy.

Send them to kathy(dot) and put ASK CAT in the Subject Area.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. So much information here! Thank you for the answers to all of these questions!


  2. Absolutely fanTASTic info here! Thank you, ladies! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: