So, as an early Christmas present, the Prints staff has decided to break its vows of secrecy and silence, and reveal to you the mysteries of our department (rumors of which have echoed through the DA HQ halls for a long time now).
Since I took over as the Director of Prints last year, our first task was to evaluate the entire prints program, and identify the areas where we had problems as well as what we needed to do to improve things. Since then, we have undergone quite a few refinements, resolved a number of long term outstanding issues, and generally streamlined the entire operation.
Once that was all done, our next step was to look forward and figure out how to make the best prints program on the planet both for artists that have art and want to sell it, and for buyers that are looking for original and unique art.
Our manifesto can be summed as simply saying We want to bring art to the world. It means so much more than that though we want to build a robust program that features very high quality materials (fujifilm, canvas, etc), powerful submission and print organization tools, the best gallery and shop management features in the market, detailed statistics and tracking, and a host of other things. All designed to make it easy for artists to share their work with the world, gain exposure, and earn a living. On the other hand, we want to maintain a level of simplicity and ease of use for buyers to find unique and original art that they like and get it from the web page to their wall in the most painless way possible.
We have invested a lot of time and research into creating and implementing a comprehensive strategy and growth plan. Things have started slowly, but have been picking up a lot of speed and finally reached critical mass late this summer. We are finally getting to the point where our labor is beginning to bear fruit. We arent going to launch everything at once, but rather we will release things in stages, refining as we go, and making sure things run smoothly. Some things arent going to be released for quite some time, but you can expect it. Please don't ask us for specific release dates as we would like to take our time and make sure it is done right.
Prints II is a complete rewrite of the entire prints program. It will be released in stages. The first stage will be released in the next few weeks.
Standard and Premium
ALL registered accounts on deviantART will become standard print accounts. Everything that current print account holders have, will now be standard for everyone with a registered account on deviantART.
Premium print accounts, which will require an annual subscription fee, will have extended and more advanced features, priority in print approval and customer service queues, more control, more statistics, more features, and more more. NOTE: ALL *current* print account holders that paid for a print account will automatically have lifetime premium print accounts. The annual fee only applies to new subscriptions after the launch.
Standard print accounts will only be paid via deviantdollars or paypal. Payment via check will only be an option for premium accounts, and only those that verify their identity and mailing address ahead of time.
The royalty split for standard accounts will be 20% of the net profit. The royalty split for premium accounts will be 50% of the net profit.
Net profit is defined as the sale price minus the base cost.
New Submission Tool
We are releasing a total revamp of the print submission tool within the next few weeks. This has always been an area of much criticism amongst print account holders, and we have been listening closely. More power, more control, more options, less hassle. We think you will be very pleasantly surprised.
Base Costs Increase
The base prices for all products will be increased substantially with the initial launch of Prints II. However, even with this increase, the base prices are still lower than you will find anywhere else, while the quality of our prints and materials remains high. Dont be fooled by cheap low quality paper prints and posters from other places.
Unfortunately we have to raise these costs to reflect inflation, rising printing and manufacturing costs, additional operations overhead, and so forth. All of these base prices will be subject to change over the next few months as we tweak the new prints program.
Please note that base cost is what the cost is to the artist that is selling prints. We have a default price that is automatically assigned to prints that an artist posts, which is what buyers pay for prints. Premium account holders will still be able to change this default price at will.
For example, if the base price for a print is $10, and the default retail price is $20, there is a profit of $10 that is split between the artist and deviantART. The other $10 is the cost of creating the print, the materials, and labor.
OMG, we have a TON of new stuff coming down the pipeline. Some things will be launched as soon as possible and before Christmas, and others are going to take a bit longer. Black mugs, t-shirts, super large format prints, framed and mounted canvas, photobooks, comic books (yeah, high quality), graphic novels, books (I think the lit community just passed out), skateboards (yes, custom printed skateboards), and a ton of other stuff.
We have a lot of plans for all of the communities here on deviantART, and we are just getting started. Heck, we even have some interesting stuff in the works for the tattoo community.
The prints staff will be expanding slowly over the next year or so to keep up with growth, and maintain a high standard of customer service and support. Please bear with us as we bring new people on board and go through the usual training process.
We are in the process of seeking high quality print facilities worldwide to partner with. The goal here is to get prints to buyers faster and with less shipping costs by printing items and mailing them from the nearest regional print facility. This will take some time to fully implement, but it is on the way.
It would be insane to expect that there wont be any growing pains and minor issues with Prints II, but as they occur we will do our best to address them quickly and resolve them as soon as possible. As before, please bear with us as we go through some growing pains as we attempt to bring you the best products, features, and services on the planet for your art.
There really is a lot more coming soon, so much so, I cant even begin to talk about it here. All I can say is just be patient and keep an eye on us. 2007 is going to be an incredible year, and we need your support to be successful. Help us bring your art to the world.
We want to thank the other departments that have been supporting us through this process, and we have been extremely lucky to have a great IT staff doing some brilliant work for us. Keep an eye on prints, and share your art with the world.
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