If a creator wants to own and control the rights to their book outright, then they will need to have everyone who works on it sign a work-made-for-hire agreement. In these cases, the only compensation being paid is the page rate or page rate equivalent.
For example, if Writer wants to hire Artist to draw their book, then Writer will pay Artist a set fee and have Artist sign a contract giving up all rights to their work.
It’s a straightforward arrangement, but it’s not ideal for everyone. Also, if you want to go this route, be prepared to pay more for it. Most artists have different, higher rates for work-made-for-hire projects. (And if you’re an artist and you don’t, then you should.)
Sometimes, the artist will receive a higher percentage until a certain amount is reached, and then the profits will revert to a 50/50 split again. For example, Artist might receive 80% percent of the profits until Artist has received $3,000. After Artist has received $3,000, then Writer and Artist would each receive 50% of the profits going forward.
There are a lot of different ways to structure this type of deal, but it is still relatively straightforward. For a lot of co-creators, this is the type of deal structure they will consider.
For example, Writer agrees to pay Artist $3,000. All profits from the book will be paid to Writer until they have received $3,000. Once Writer has earned back the money paid to Artist from the profits, then Writer and Artist will split all profits going forward 50/50.
If a writer can afford to do it, this is a nice option that recognizes and respects the effort put into the project by your artist co-creator.
The three payment arrangements discussed above are common, and they can be adjusted and modified to fit your specific needs. Consider them as helpful starting points when choosing a compensation structure for your project.