Question: Do e-books have some system to prevent this type of theft from happening?
Question: How will freelance artists be compensated for their work on e-books?
Harold: The textbook industry started to outsource much of their illustration work overseas several years ago, long before this development, and is continually looking for ways to cut costs in the face of school budget-cutting. That's a much bigger threat than the impact of e-books--which still need illustrations.
Question: "I am an illustrator and have been offered a contract by an author who is self-publishing. It offers me X, Y, and Z, and I have to do A, B, and C... [and so on] Is this worth it? What terms should I look for in such contracts?"
Harold: The BIG red flag in this contract is the lack of an advance.
My basic recommendation to illustrators working with self-publishing authors is simple, and I'm not the only person saying this: make sure you get fully compensated for your time up front, because there is a low probability that a self-published book will get meaningful sales.
The royalties given in the agreement are almost irrelevant, from that point of view, because it's unlikely that royalties will be paid. Ideally, the illustrator should get additional earnings if the book takes off and sells really well, since the illustrator's work will have contributed to this success, but in 99% of all cases, the only money the illustrator will ever see is the advance.