Publishing and marketing photo note cards
I'm in the beginning stages of researching the publishing and marketing of black & white photo note cards -- blank -- of my work.
Does anyone here have experiences and resources to share? Do you self-publish, or do you submit images to a publisher/marketer? Which are the higher-quality publishers to contact?
I would try a web site (find a free template) and see how it does for you. You could also market to businesses in your area, churches, funeral homes, flower shops, bridal shops and see how it goes. I'm a real cheapie on spending money for advertising as, at least with me, I could spend everything I make on advertising. Check out PayPal.
As far as printing the lab I use offers various note cards but they are higher end and not inexpensive. You can check them out here:
Here is info on greeting cards:
Hope this helps you!
This is something I have seen a lot of photographers do, and none has ever made back the cost of printing the cards. I do graphic design and have had photographers hire me to design the cards and I even tell these paying clients that they don't want to do this because the market for them is so nonexistant. Many of them have done it anyway, thinking "I'm a good photographer, those other peple just sucked, mine will sell". They don't!
Here's the deal: The cost of printing is VERY high. Very. Unless you buy a lot of them (thousands of each card), and then the total cost is still a lot of money. People will not buy them if they have to pay more than $1 or $2 and even then sales will be small in quantity.
I agree with Chris.
It's very competitive, even if you had a recognizable name by your potential customers.
I mainly sell these when I'm hired to do a gig like a wedding.
But, if you have the time, a little footwork to the businesses I suggest you can test the waters. Nothing works better than a paid order though!
i have been down that street before !
if you have things in a retail-space they
will expect a 50% commission, so keep that in mind ...
i still have boxes and boxes of envelopes that came with the
cards after i mailed all the cards out ( self promo mailer type thing ) ...
whitehouse does very good work ...
good luck !
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I've found that some clients think that because they have a computer with Works on it and a color printer I'm all set to make my own cards! What they forget about is that by the time they add up all the costs including ink for the printer, card stock & envelopes, time to lay out the cards or having someone like Chris do this but they won't because they know they can do it themselves, hiccups getting the color correct (most people don't have monitors that have been color balanced. I do mine every 30 days at least!) and they can't figure out why what I see on the screen isn't what's printed. Then the time they put into a project like this.
Some get frustrated and come back to me.
I educate my clients on this.
Sometimes you get what you pay for.
Thanks, everyone, for your helpful suggestions. I'm working out some resources in New York, and will keep the forum updated as to what I find.
For a small series to see how it goes you could perhaps just print on Ilford Portfolio weight paper ? You can add your name or logo using lith film to make a second exposure, if you're careful with alignment etc. or set up your artwork at a large size, re-photograph it and print from that. There is even back-printed postcard paper available. Lots of options without needing a print-works. The question remains over financial viability though....
EDIT: I should just say I'm talking about normal wet-darkroom printing here of course.