Archive for the ‘Images’ Category
In my last post, I shared about the importance of creating and selling physical products. It’s a must-do part of your business for more reasons than just making money (like building credibility, new markets, etc)! In this post, I thought I’d continue the discussion by focusing on one of my favorite types of physical products: Art Prints. I’ve been conducting a lot of research on price and quality and have identified the best options for getting high-quality, low-cost prints made.For definition-sake, an art print can refer to any type of printed image, from maps and photographs to labels and posters.
It used to be that if you wanted to produce art prints, say 18″ X 24″ or 24″ X 36″, you had to go to a printer and have them produced in mass quantities to make them cost effective. When I managed the commercial printing companies in the late ’80s and early ’90s, my pricing model started with a base price whether you were printing one copy or thousands. The cost of creating a negative and plate for a job as well as the press startup were always the same. And if you wanted a 4-color job, it was expensive…especially in low quantities. Of course, with digital printing and large-format inkjet printers, all that has changed…and the pricing, if you know where to look, is pretty amazing.
Previously I mentioned Zazzle and CafePress as important considerations for creating and selling physical products. I still believe that, especially when it comes to testing new markets or product designs. But for long-term product creation…art prints for our example today…they are NOT good solutions. When I compare pricing models in just a moment, you’ll see why.
Two of the most popular art print/poster sizes are 18″ X 24″ or 24″ X 36″ and there are several options for having them produced. Some companies (like Zazzle or CafePress) will allow you to purchase just one copy. Other companies require a minimum quantity purchase (typically 100). Of course, in many cases, buying in quantity means a cheaper cost per unit, as we will see. In some cases, however, you may only want to purchase one print initially to test the market, and then increase printing numbers from there. Let’s take a look at our current pricing options for Art Prints.
(Prices are Cost per Print and do not include S/H fees)
Zazzle.com: 18″ X 24″: $19.95 24″ X 36″: $34.95
CafePress.com: 16″ X 20″: $16.00 23″ X 35″: $19
ShortRunPosters.com: 18″ X 24″: $2.97 24″ X 36″: $9.97
As you can see, the best option by far is ShortRunPosters.com. Their quality is excellent and are, in my opinion, the best solution for short-run art prints/posters. If you find that you need 100 or more art prints of the same image (such as for a promotion or of an image that is selling well), there are better options that will drive your costs down even further. I recently found a company I had not heard of, JiperorPrint.com, who produces all types of printing including posters. While they require minimum runs, their prices are amazing compared to former solutions I’ve used like PrintPelican.com and PSPrint.com. Let me give you an example based on the above sizes.
(Prices are Cost per 100 and do not include S/H fees)
JiperiorPrint.com: 18″ X 24″: $109 ($1.09 per print) 24″ X 36″: $179 ($1.79 per print)
The prices are amazing! And if you bump the quantities to 500, check out the cost per unit:
18″ X 24″: $175 ($.35 per print) 24″ X 36″: $336 ($.67 per print)
Think about this…why purchase 100 18″ X 24″ prints for $109 when you can get 5 times that many for $66 more?! Amazing! Now perhaps you’re thinking, “That’s great, Tony, but what if I want to print smaller sizes? It looks like my options are limited.” Well, I’m glad you asked! The thing is, just because you’re printing an 18″ X 24″ print doesn’t mean the image HAS to be that size! You can fit two 11″ X 17″ prints side-by-side on a sheet or even four 8″ X 10″ prints on a single sheet. So let’s say you want to produce 8″ X 10″ prints of four related images…you could put one of each on a sheet and drop your cost for each of the four down to just $.75 (when printing at ShortRunPosters.com). Below are examples of a recent print order I had produced at ShortRunPosters.com that demonstrates what I mean:
As you can see, there are a LOT of possibilities for ganging your prints!
In closing, I want to mention one quick note about using ShortRunPosters.com…they have a $10 flat shipping fee so ordering just one print is still expensive. What I do (and recommend) is order multiple prints of several layouts. The shipping cost remains the same but is spread out over your order of prints. Also, make sure you use as high a print resolution for your files as possible. I recommend NOT going below 180 DPI with 300DPI being the ideal!
I hope that this article has inspired you to consider getting your own prints made. The art print market is HUGE (especially on eBay), and with the cost of prints I’ve shared above, and the millions of images available to you in the Public Domain, you now have ZERO reason to venture into this profitable market! So go get ’em!
As Information Marketers living in this digital age, we can easily become myopic with our product creation, meaning, we often focus on creating digital products without considering the physical alternative. There are a few, extremely valid reasons for this. For one, digital products provide instant access with zero additional effort once they’re created. Certain types of digital products can also be created very quickly. I’ll be honest, nothing beats finishing a teleseminar or webinar, knowing you just created a quality product in a relatively short period of time. So what about physical products then? Should you consider adding a physical product line to your existing business? It depends…
While we cannot look at all aspects of physical product creation in this post, I would like to explore one option that is dear to my heart…image-based products. Because of our “bent” toward the digital, when we think of artwork or photographs, we often see them as playing a secondary role in our product creation. We use them for our product covers, header graphics, Powerpoint slides and Animoto videos. Seldom do we consider them as products, except as collections on DVDs or as an upload to our favorite microstock photo site.
However, a quick search on eBay will show you that image-based physical products, prints for instance, are very much alive and well. They can also be quite profitable. And that’s where the Public Domain comes in. When it comes to selling physical prints, nostalgia rules the day! I’ve seen it over and over again where individual prints of a certain image ALWAYS outsell collection CDs or DVDs that include the same image. It has been my experience as well.
So, what does it take to make and sell prints online or offline? You need to understand what people want to buy, a source for the content and a delivery mechanism. If this process sounds familiar it’s because it’s the basis of pretty much ALL successful selling. When it comes to prints, the easiest place to research to see what is selling is eBay. With 65 million people visiting per month, you can get a pretty good feel for what’s hot and what’s not. As for the source of your content…you guessed it…the Public Domain! There are many online sources for finding great, high-rez images to use for your prints. I share many of the best sites in my book, Easy Money Picture Project.
When it comes to the creation process of your prints, you have a few options. You can print them yourself using a large-format printer, although I wouldn’t recommend this approach if you’re just starting out. There are also a number of excellent online companies that can create the prints for you. If you want to go high-end with your prints (like canvas gallery wraps or metallic prints), I would recommend using BayPhoto or MPix. On the other hand, poster prints may be a great option for you as well. My two favorite sites for poster prints are Shortrun Posters and Print Pelican. For instance, at Shortrun Posters, you can prints 18″ X 24″ posters on 80lb. cover stock for $2.00 each. That’s a tough price to beat! And if you don’t need a large size like that, consider this…two 11″ X 14″ prints will fit on an 18″ X 24″ sheet. So you could get full-color 11″ X 14″ prints for $1.00 each. Hopefully you can see how HUGE this is for profit margins. Upload your digital file and in a few days, you have your prints!
Hopefully this post sparks some ideas for you. Over the next 90 days, I will be sharing more Physical Product creation strategies. Until then, get started with this one!
For months the curators and technologists at the Library of Congress have been working together on a spectacular (and welcome) revamp of the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. The online collection can now be found at the easy-to-remember address of www.loc.gov/pictures/ — with many images available for downloading.
Some of the new features include creative new ways to browse their 1.25 million online prints and photos, such as grids that give a quick overview of dozens of images at once and even a slideshow format that lets you toggle bibliographic information on and off.
The interface is reminiscent of other existing sites that offer powerful ways to search for and display images, such as the ever-popular Flickr. In celebration of this new milestone, the LOC has posted a new set of highlight images from the Library called “Meet More Treasures.” They consider it a thank you to all of those who have found value and pleasure in the Library’s priceless collections of more than 14 million pictures (both online and in their physical collections). I for one am grateful since I’ve found value (in the form of income) and pleasure from this site. Many of you have as well
I am ALWAYS on the lookout for new product creation ideas, and recently I found a use for Public Domain images that, quite honestly wasn’t even sure was possible for the average person. Boy was I wrong! The site I found is certainly one to check out…and it’s one that I plan to do some serious experimenting with.
The site is called Spoonflower (http://www.spoonflower.com) and it allows you to create your own fabric. Now before you begin thinking that I’m going to tell you all to get into the custom dress-making business (yes, I can actually sew rather well…Mom was a career seamstress), hear me out for a little bit. The idea of using Public Domain images to create your own fabric isn’t cool because of the fancy material you can make to sew your own clothes…oh no… this strategy is cool because of ALL the things you can make with fabric…like furniture and wall coverings, purses and bags, dolls and stuffed animals (using vintage patterns of dolls as the image for your fabric), pillows, camera and cell phone cases…the list goes on and on. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of products you can create from custom fabric apart from clothing! As a matter of fact, I just shared one with my daughter related to her Native American regalia! Below is an example someone created on the site using Public Domain images as a pattern.
So if you find yourself thinking, “Hey…I could do this, and this…,” write those thoughts down and then take action! And if you get any great ideas, share them in the comments below! Let’s see how creative you REALLY are!
This past week, Google announced some exciting news that will definitely impact your ability to find quality Public Domain Images…for the better! They extended the functionality of Google Image Search (http://images.google.com/) to now include the ability of filtering search results based on Usage Rights. To access this new feature, you will want to click on “Advanced Image Search.” The Usage Rights option is located toward the bottom of the page. With this new feature, Google provides us with a few options:
- Not filtered by license (default)
- Labeled for reuse
- Labeled for commercial reuse
- Labeled for reuse with modification
- Labeled for commercial reuse with modification
The choices are based mostly on the Creative Commons licenses associated with the page. The option WE are most interested in is the final choice, “Labeled for commercial reuse with modification.” This choice provides the greatest return of Public Domain images out of all the selections. One caution though…not EVERY image result is going to be in the Public Domain. The majority of results will be, but I strongly encourage you to read the license on each page.
I performed several searches using this filter and was super pleased with the results. I found some amazing Public Domain images from a wide variety of sources…and I quickly realized that the implications of this new tool are vast for product creation. Below is one example of what I found, along with the included license…indicating that the image was indeed in the Public Domain. I feel confident in saying that this new search strategy will definitely become a regular part of my research and product creation efforts for sure!
My great hope is that more people will realize the income-producing potential of image-based products…especially in these times! I remember back in the mid-80’s when times were tough for my family. There was no internet, only the local flea market in Smithville, NJ. Selling Public Domain image-based products (maps, photos and more) paid our bills and provided the extra spending money we never would have had otherwise. Now with the ease of website creation and sites like CafePress, Zazzle and eBay, the opportunities are ONLY limited by your imagination.
I recently braindumped my years of experience working with images for product creation into a 200+ page e-book titled, “Easy Money Picture Project.” It is loaded with tons of methods and strategies for using images from the Public Domain to create successful, profitable products. These aren’t examples based on theory, they’re actual case studies from successful ventures I created, or that others have used to create additional income from image-based products and services. For a limited time, you can claim your own copy of “Easy Money Picture Project” for a full $100 off the regular price by using coupon code EMPP100.
As a former commercial photographer and graphic designer, I was naturally drawn to the images side of the Public Domain first…even before books! It was from selling images that I made my first dollars from the Public Domain…thousands of dollars actually! Of course, images (photographs, illustrations, fine art, ephemera, maps, etc.) are those images whose copyrights have expired or that did not qualify for copyright protection. For this article, I want to focus on the latter option…how to find images that do not qualify for copyright protection.
Many people do not realize it, but most content created by our Federal Government does not qualify for copyright protection because, when created as a part of a Federal employee’s regular duties, the content is paid for by taxpayer’s dollars and is therefore “owned” by the people. Simply stated, that means that you are free to use Federal Government-created content (books, images, videos, audios, etc.) in any way you see fit because YOU paid for it! So let’s take a quick look at what your hard-earned money paid for in the way of image resources.
There are a TON of image resources available online (and offline) related to images…in this article, I’m going to focus on two of the best. One of my personal favorites is the U.S. Government Photos and Graphics site (http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Graphics.shtml) Most of these images and graphics are available for use in the public domain, and they may be used and reproduced without permission or fee. However, some images may be protected by license, so you want to make sure you thoroughly read the disclaimers on each site before use.
When you visit this page, you will discover that it is actually a directory of government website links where you can locate photographs and graphics. Nice of them to make it easy for us…guess they should since we paid for it! As you scan down through the list, you’ll quickly discover that there are LOTS of photos available to you from this portal…literally hundreds of thousands of them!
Some of my personal favorite websites listed on this page include:
America’s Historical Documents (http://www.archives.gov/historical-docs/)
Earth as Art (http://earthasart.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.htm)
Grand Canyon National Park (http://www.nps.gov/archive/grca/photos/index.htm)
National Park Service (http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/imagebase.html)
Portraits and Stock Photos (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/pix/)
There is another Government-image site that I really enjoy digging through called “Government “Resources for Science Images” found at the Sciences Reference Services (http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/selected-internet/imagesources.html). This is another image portal site for Government-produced image content specifically related to the sciences. Yes, I admit it…I am a science geek…always have been! Anyway, there are a few sites that were also included on the previous resource website, but there are many new sites listed here as well. One of my personal favorite sites from this portal HAS to be the USGS Maps and Imagery site (http://www.usgs.gov/pubprod/) the very first Public Domain anything I sold (and made a lot of money from) was a USGS map of Atlantic City that was reproduced by the printing company I managed. Having access to big printing presses has its advantages! I was selling these maps 20 years ago at flea markets…now you can download them digitally and sell them literally anywhere! And again…because you paid for their creation, it’s your legal right to do so!
I always say that you can’t find what you don’t know to look for, and I hope that this brief article has peeled back the curtain just a bit to what is available to you image-wise courtesy our Federal Government (and your tax-payer dollars of course). In a future article, I’ll share some ways you can profit from all the image content found on these sites, but until then, let me leave you with one simple thought: Where do you think ALL the books, posters, t-shirts and all the other Obama-related products available out there got their image content from? You guessed it!!
In my popular e-book, “Easy Money Picture Project,” I go into great detail on how to locate and use Public Domain image content to create successful, money-producing image-based products. In the book I share a long list of websites where you can find Public Domain images of all types, how-to sections for actually creating products from Public Domain images, case studies of those who are using Public Domain images in successful business ventures and SO much more. I normally sell this 200+ page e-book for $97, but for a limited time, you can get it for $30 less HERE.
I’m always on the lookout for new ways to find Public Domain content, so I’m always researching and testing new strategies and tactics. When I find something I like that works well, I tell you about it, and in this post, I want to tell you about one of the new websites I’ve been experimenting with. It’s producing some promising results for locating Public Domain images.
TinEye does for images what Google does for text. Simply put, TinEye helps you find images that are the same or similar to an image you upload or link to on the site by using sophisticated pattern recognition algorithms. TinEye searches for your image on the web by comparing its fingerprint to the fingerprint of every single other image in the TinEye search index, which currently includes around 701 million images.
There are some obvious benefits with this service if you are searching for people who might be infringing on your image copyright, but I’ve been experimenting with ways to use it for parallel searches. What I mean by that is I upload a known Public Domain image at the TinEye website and then see if it shows up on other sites. I figured that it could be a great way to find Public Domain image repositories of which I was previously unaware. Seems to work…grin.
Let me give you an example of the types of results it can produce for you. I recently uploaded a classic Edward Curtis photograph at TinEye. You’ll see it pictured below.
Then, when TinEye finished analyzing the image, it returned results like the ones below.
You can see that it’s obviously the same image but in a variety of forms. Very cool. Anything interesting trait I found with the searches is that by using similar versions of the same image, you will often achieve different search results. I tried color variations, size variations, etc., and I’m still testing possibilities.
In summary, TinEye is still a new service and they have a ways to go in being viable for the average user The site does have a LOT of potential, especially once they increase their image database, which is currently kind of small (even at nearly a billion images). So I plan to continue to experiment with it to see what’s possible to discover with it in the Public Domain.
Spontaneity in business can be a good thing, but the smart information entrepreneur ALSO plans ahead, and that’s what this post is about. It’s August (already) and there are a lot of theme and holiday-related product opportunities coming up that you can take advantage of, but NOW is the time to plan for them. The great news is that there is tons of Public Domain content waiting for you to explode these opportunities into your bank account!
In the United States, the next few months will bring Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, not to mention Fall and Winter themes. If you’ve been thinking about tapping into the power of these times of the year, it’s best to NOT wait until the last minute. Start planning (and executing) your holiday strategies now…and make sure you include the Public Domain!
Here are a few product ideas to consider:
Holiday Recipes: In order for you to really hit a home run with this one, look for the unusual recipes…cultural foods, theme-related treats (101 Christmas Cookie Recipes from Around the World), Etc. There are thousands of recipe books available in the Public Domain.
Ghost Story Collections or Urban Legends: Collect together stories from around the world that relate to this genre. This is a huge market and the Public Domain offers thousands of books and stories.
Victorian Christmas Images: Collect together vintage Christmas postcards or greeting cards and offer them on a CD. You can create beautiful, CD or DVD products using Kunaki.com and there are tens of thousands of these types of images available to use in the Public Domain. You can start your research here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Holidays
Holiday Traditions: Create an audio series of holiday traditions that can be read from Public Domain books and magazines. There is a crazy amount of holiday-related content awaiting you in Public Domain magazines that NO ONE is using. Be the first!
Movie Extravaganza: Produce a collection of theme-related Public Domain movies and offer them as downloads for iPods/iPhones or on DVD. There are lots of classic holiday-related movies in the Public Domain, from “Night of the Living Dead” to “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.” Don’t forget “Ozzie and Harriet’s Christmas.” Spend some time and www.archive.org.
Crafts: Craft ideas will always be popular! Look for unique ones, like Christmas origami or Native American crafts from corn, etc. You’ll find lots of useful Public Domain ideas at http://books.google.com.
Greeting Cards: I’ve made some decent money making my own Christmas Cards from Public Domain images to sell in packs. People love something different from the norm…so give it to them. You can print the cards yourself on an inkjet printer or have them produced through Cafepress or Zazzle. Have fun with them…Unique, inspiration or comedy will always win the day.
I hope you realize that there is SO MUCH holiday-related content in the Public Domain. You could literally just focus on these types of niches and do quite well every month. Use some imagination and creativity rather than copy what others are doing. Spend some time on Google Trends (http://www.google.com/trends) to see what keywords have been popular over the past few years during certain holiday time periods. And MOST important of all…Get Started NOW! Don’t wait until a few weeks before the holiday and then decide to make a product to sell. Do it now! Otherwise, you’ll miss a LOT of sales!
My “Public Domain Code Book” is perfect for finding all types of Public Domain content…from books and movies to sheet music and audios. It contains well over 250 links to Public Domain-related websites and is now selling at a much lower price. Claim your copy here: http://www.publicdomaincodebook.com.
If working with images is your interest, then you have to invest in a copy of “Easy Money Picture Project.” It is the most complete, comprehensive book on working with Public Domain images on the market…period…and includes tons of website links for images, step-by-step how-to’s and much more. Check it out: http://easymoneypictureproject.com.
Here’s a cool opportunity for all you who love Public Domain artwork and photos…now you can use them to create your own SHOES! Zazzle has teamed up with Keds to create an on-demand system for designing your own sneakers. You can check it out here: http://www.zazzle.com/kedsstudio.
My ONLY disappointment with it is that you can only create women’s and children’s shoes…bummer. I can see where this could be addicting. The price point is a bit high (it starts at $60), but then again, you’re designing your own shoes!! If they add men’s sneakers, I’m going to lose a LOT of money and have a LOT of sneakers…lol. Then you’ll have to call me Tony, the Bad-Ass Shoe Pimp. I think I’m going to e-mail them.
BTW…while I was at UnSeminar5 this past weekend, I had the thrill of getting to know Eric Farewell…amazing marketer and equally amazing photographer. Eric offered to shoot new headshots for me so I took him up on it. The result is below. If the boy can make this mug look good, he MUST be freakin’ brilliant!