Keep it simple. If asked, “Do you illustrate books for other people?” or “How much do you charge?” follow up with this simple elevator spiel.
“Yes, I illustrate professionally. Many clients choose cost effective Royalty Contracts for full use of the illustrations from books to licensed products. Do you have a card Mr. Smith? I can explain more in an email.”
Spiels quickly qualify clients. The mention of pricing, professionalism, and a contract deters non-paying clients and attracts serious clients. A concise spiel is a must at book events, conferences, or on elevators.
Blog Post: Contacting Clients: Illustrator Follow Up
Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, Graphic Artist Guild