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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.
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.