Thursday, 12 March 2015

First impressions on selling art on Society6

Update (September 22, 2017): Society6 has grown quite a bit since I opened my shop there. I am no longer an active user on this platform, however I will soon be going back to it to update this blog post with more recent info. Prices and royalty rates mentioned in this post might have changed and they have also added amazing new products to their lineup since I first shared this post.

Hello everyone! It is nearly halfway through the month, and since I will be busy this weekend, I have decided to share my artist's review of Society6 today. The first month of my print on demand journey I joined Zazzle, the 2nd month I joined redbubble, the 3rd month I joined Nuvango, and now with all these POD websites to compare to, I joined Society6 earlier this month as my 4th print on demand website. Now, Society6 was actually the first print on demand website I was introduced to. I kept seeing it being shared by fellow illustrators on my Facebook newsfeed, and when I looked into what it was I decided to look into print on demand websites all together. It only made sense that since it was the one that got me interested in print on demand in the first place, that I eventually go back and try it out. Here are some of the key things I have found out this month.

1. Ownership and Royalty Rates

Do you retain the rights to your artwork when you list on Society6?

First and foremost, I read the Terms of Service before using Society6. The quick and simple part of it, is that you retain all rights to your own artwork. They do not claim to own it in any way, but they reserve the right to print and sell the artwork you upload on behalf of you. They also have a strict copyright policy, forbidding you from using any intellectual property that is owned by anyone else. Anyone found infringing on these copyright laws & stealing others artwork for their monetary gain will have their accounts suspended or cancelled. I'm not sure how strict they are about this rule though, because upon a quick search of the marketplace I can find over 10 pages of pikachu art. xD

Can you set your own royalty rates?

You can set your own art print rates, which is what drives artists to this website. If you would like to put your designs on other items, the royalty rate is fixed and rather low (for example, 3.50 - 3.80 for a mobile phone case, which for the same design I get $7.00+ from nuvango, redbubble and zazzle). If you are looking to make money through art prints though, this is a good place to start.

2. The Marketplace & Community

The marketplace in Society6 is simple, clean and easy to use. What is shown in the Society6 marketplace is determined by how many "promotions" your products get! So the key thing to making your art actually show up in the marketplace is by getting a lot of promotions. Your art will show up briefly in a "recently added" section, and people MIGHT find you from there, but you cannot rely on that. You can have the most beautiful artwork in the world, and nobody will ever know it exists on Society6 if you do not share your stuff first. If you have an existing art community or social media streams outside of society6, reach out to them and share your stuff, promote their work and follow them back. If you don't reach out to anyone outside of society6, it will be tricky to actually get into the marketplace, as other society6 users can't find your work.

From what I have heard, you will get an email once your work has been selected to be featured in the marketplace. Work will be selected generally within a range of 10-20 promotions (I've seen people report different numbers, if anyone knows for sure please let me know!).

That being said, shameless promotion time! If you have a society6 page, post it below! :) Here is my page: TanyaDraws

3. Adding products 

Unlike Zazzle, redbubble and nuvango, you have to resize your image yourself before submitting it for different products on Society6. The product sizes are as follows (width by height):

Laptop & iPad skins: 4600 px by 3000 px
iPhone & iPod, skins and cases + Stationery cards: 1300 px by 2000 px
tshirts/ hoodies/tanks: 3300 px by 5100 px
Mugs: 4600px by 2000px
Throw pillows, tote bags, shower curtains & Duvet Covers: 6000px by 6000px to place one file on all of these, or 3500px by 3500px to place the file on just throw pillows  & totes

The only file type that is accepted is JPEG, in RGB format. However annoying re-saving the same picture 5 times is, it allows you to set how your image will look like on the item exactly, which is nice.
An art print I made available on society6. You can select different sizes and even frame it.

Final First Impression

I like how easy it is to browse the marketplace, and I like that you can sort artwork by colour. I thought that setting your own royalty rates on prints is a nice feature, but I don't like the low royalty rates on products. Selling on Society6 requires a lot more promotion skills than any of the other three websites that I use, so if you already have a large following and a tight knit artists community, this is a great website for you. I was unable to find a forum on Society6, so I don't think there is actually a way to chat with other artists and promote each other on site, which is a shame. I can't see myself heavily using this website like I do Zazzle and Nuvango, because the patterns I make are best as products, not prints. I also really don't have that much time to be constantly promoting my Society6 shop. However, I will definitely be uploading artwork that looks great as a print to this page, and continue to explore and learn how Society6 works throughout this month!

Do you use society6? Share your page and your thoughts on it below!