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Monday, June 29, 2020

Artists Need Proper Pay

Author/Illustrator Sally Rippin, below, acts on behalf of picturebook creators' rights for proper payment. Kind Sally advocates/promotes emerging creators, too. More than 570 positive feedback has come back to Sally. Please read this post.   

"Dear Teachers, please do not ask authors and illustrators to give talks to your students for free. Yes, a Zoom talk may not feel like a big deal, but many creators put as much time into the preparation of a Zoom talk as they would do a school visit, even if they are still wearing their pyjama pants!

It’s true to make a choice to be an artist often means accepting that your income will be unstable, but this year has hit artists hard: musicians with nowhere to play, visual artists with nowhere to exhibit, actors and playwrights with nowhere to perform. So many authors I know have books coming out they can’t promote, festival appearances have all been cancelled and regular school talks have dried up, which is often the main income stream for many kids’ book creators, especially when they are first starting out.

Artists do what they do because they are passionate about it, but no one can create anything on an empty stomach - or even just the anxiety of how they are going to be able to pay their next bill. Artists are always the first to donate their time, experience or wares, and while children were stuck at home, so many kids’ book creators shared book readings online, activities and writing workshops, because they genuinely care. But if you are now back at school, and can afford it, please consider booking them through their regular booking agencies so that all these beautiful people can earn an income and continue to create the books your children love.

Lastly, perhaps you might also consider not asking for an established author, like me. I’ve been publishing books and giving school talks for twenty-five years. Your kids probably already know my work and I’m in the fortunate position to be able to earn an income from my royalties, which isn’t the case for a lot of book creators.

Consider asking the booking agency to recommend an emerging author or illustrator. Many of them could probably really do with a break right now, especially if their first book has come out this year and they won’t have any other opportunity to promote it. I guarantee someone who has published one book will have as much to share with your students as someone who has published one hundred, and your students will have the added bonus of discovering a new favourite author or illustrator. And we need to introduce our children to as many diverse stories and voices as we can, now more than ever.

These are hard times for so many and we are so lucky to have stories to connect us, build empathy and help us feel less alone. Let’s make sure we look after the people who create these stories so they can continue to share them with us for years to come." 

Thank you, Sally!! You're a legend!! 


  1. Yes, all artists are suffering from less work and less exposure during these COVID-19 days (which, here in the US, is just a sad little joke due to our non-leadership and disbelief in science). And artists of all kinds need help and probably don't get anything based on unemployment or assistance during this time. Love your work and hope you can continue to produce and share and sell!!

    1. Oh, so sweet Rhonda and a strong support with a deep understanding and a genuine empathy!! Thank u very much. Yes, I'm concerned about the situation of USA, too. Fortunately, my projects are ongoing. Rhonda, please take care and stay safe. I always think of you. ((Hugs)) Sadami

  2. What a lovely, giving, caring person Sally sounds - glad to hear you have ongoing work Sadami, stay well and busy!

    1. Thank u, Cathy! Sally is lovely. You, too, stay safe and enjoy life fully!! Best wishes, Sadami