Print on Demand?
Does anyone have first-hand experience of selling prints through one of those 'print-on-demand' sites? I'm told it's a good thing to have linked to a portfolio site, but I'm wary of what the pitfalls may be regarding ownership of your work and (presumably) low profit margins.
I know that deviantart offers this sort of service by default, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's a better deal to be had elsewhere.
I don't have personal experience (yet*) using one but there are a lot of print-on-demand services out there other than DA. I suggest you look around before you commit. If you need some info on some POD sites, let me know. There are some specifically for comics, some for books/literature in general, others that deal in art prints, etc.
What's great about POD is that you don't have to worry about paying up front, storing the items, and mailing them out to buyers. The service usually takes care of all of that along with (at times) marketing, billing and collecting appropriate taxes, and sales data. Each POD has their own requirements about what they need in order for you to use their services. Most ask for PDF files. In cases of art, image files. There may be a bit of a difference going from one service to another so heads up. POD services also takes a cut out of your profits which is fair since they handle pretty much everything.
Personally, I think there is a lot more positives than negatives. As far as I see it, POD is great for the little extra cash every now and then but if you work your ass off (marketing and constantly bring out new items), you can probably make decent money out of it. YMMV.
* Considering doing it one day just to know the process. :>
Yeah, I'm not expecting to get rich off the proceeds, but I have been asked if I'm able to offer prints, so it seems like it's worth a shot.
From what I've read since I made the original post, it seems like Zazzle is probably the best option at the moment, so I can post about what it's like after I get it set up, if anyone's interested.
:is interested: :cat_ehheh:
I've now got a Zazzle account up and running here: http://www.zazzle.co.uk/ironicarts*
It's a little awkward trying to set things up for sale at first (there's a vast array of options available), but it seems sound enough. You can set a percentage profit on each item or specify a certain mark-up amount, everything is tagged with keywords, and there are options to customise your storefront as you see fit.
Not actually sold anything yet, but I'll see how it goes.
Update: Interestingly, when I tried to replace my drawing of Rachael from Blade Runner with another version using slightly reworked text, I had the new one knocked back, ostensibly on the grounds of copyright infringement. This seemed very strange as the earlier version had passed zazzle's approval process with no problems. Apparently though, this was a standard notice that they send out to cover a multitude of sins, without telling you exactly where the problem lies.
Only after some consideration did I realise that the image had been rejected because I'd added extra keyword tags to the new version. I can't say for sure, but I think the one that broke it was "Patrick Nagel", which I'd put in as he's the artist who's style the image was in tribute to. I've since reuploaded it without that tag and it's passed with no problems.
Not the biggest issue, but it is rather annoying and it's certainly something to watch out for if you're using the site.