Episode 246 – New Markets for Artists / Instagram

Print-on-Demand  World

Now that people are able to self-publish their own books, and often make more money than they would with traditional publishers because they are doing all the marketing and promotion themselves, the print-on-demand method is changing the publishing world as well.

The up and downside of the print-on-demand process is that you alone must direct customers to your product. In the case of the video that I made, I sent the Amazon link to libraries and schools that might want to buy it, and those became the majority of my DVD sales. In the case of the yoga video my son is making, he has a YouTube channel and a Facebook page with many followers, and he can advertise to this audience for free. The new social media tools are a big help when driving traffic to your on-demand products. An executive once told me that marketing anything is simply telling people over and over what it is that you do, so that one day, when they decide to buy a good that you produce, or a service, your name will be one of the first they think of.


In this chapter I have talked about how artists can use Internet resources such as eBay and blogs and on-demand services, but other markets for selling your work are still being created. It seems that every day there is a new social networking site—some are just for artists— that combines many of these services, though it is important to compare prices and read the fine print before signing up so you know how much you will actually get paid for each item sold.


New social platforms are not better just because they are new, but because they are effective in a new and clear way. A recent example that is valuable is Instagram, a service much like Twitter, but it is only images that you upload, very simply. The beauty of Instagram is that your news feed of people you are following is all images. So you respond only to images by liking them. For artists and anyone interested in art, it is a place where striking images can be found. Even NPR radio has an Instagram account that they communicate to listeners with; find it, and look at their pictures. Like other platforms, this is one more way to create an awareness of you and your work so that you can sell it. Personally I like Instagram; I use it on my phone, an Android smart phone, and I love looking at the images. It is a resource full of rich inspiration, like a giant picture file from all over the world, as well as a community that can comment or like each others images. It is entirely aesthetic, it is about looking.

Hotel-Motel-Hospital   Collections

The market for selling prints to consultants, who, in turn, sell prints to interior designers or hospitals and hotels directly,  is growing all the time. Some hotels and other facilities now have digital galleries where customers watch a screen that plays a slide show of paintings and art for sale. The dealer can stop the slide show and talk about the work. Once custom- ers decide what they want, and in what size, the dealer sells the print and has a printer make and ship it to the customer’s home. We will talk more about this powerful new form of selling art in chapter 8.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.


Episode 245 – New Markets for Artists / Printing On Demand

Printing On Demand

The next step is to find a printer who can print the image on demand and even ship it for you. There are many places doing this online, but I think it is best to use a printer near you, so that you can talk to them in case there are any problems. You should ask your local printer if they can print on demand, meaning that as soon as someone orders a print, you tell the printer, and they print it and ship it from a digital file they have of yours. This is a very economical way of working because you don’t have to pay for the printing until the print is sold. Abbey Ryan and TMNK both sell prints, and they are probably using a similar service. There are new printers springing up all the time; it’s an industry that’s growing very fast, so take some time and search locally as well as regionally to find a printer, then call them and ask all the questions you want about getting started.

Video On Demand

There are also great on-demand services for those working with videos. One is called Create Space, and they sell books, CDs, and DVDs through Amazon. This is standard practice for selling independent videos. If you contact their website, there are instructions that will walk you through publishing your video for sale, but this is how it works: First, you make your DVD and burn it onto a blank DVD-R, using your computer. Then they will ask you to upload a design for the cover. They give you a template so it’s not too difficult, though it does help to know a bit about how to use Photoshop. After you upload your video cover, you will need to mail them the physical DVD that you burned on your computer. They will make a copy of your DVD and mail you back a finished sample (at no cost to you as of this writing) so you can see what it looks like. After that, they list your DVD on Amazon so that people can search for and buy it, and Create Space makes and mails the videos when the orders come in. If you are charging $25 for a DVD, you will get a total of about $9 dollars, and if you give Create Space your bank information, that money will be directly transferred into your account.The reason I put a DVD on Amazon is because after I gave a lecture on professional development for artists at a library, the librarian asked if I had my lectures on DVD. I said I could make one from a previous lecture that had been recorded and bring it to her, but she told me the library was more comfortable buying from a third party like Amazon. I went home, figured out how to use Create Space, and I sent her an email with the link to order my DVD. Not only did that library buy it, they also mentioned it in their newsletter, and other libraries began buying it and requesting that  I lecture at their locations! If you want to see the DVD I made just search Amazon or the web for  “Income Strategies For Artists.” My son is now making a yoga video with this method. Online services like Create Space are a very easy way to make your commercial videos available to everyone.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.