Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Shop open on Zazzle

I opened a shop relating to my work on an online comic that I have going on So  The Comic is pretty much going to move to Web comics nation as well as being printed on so it can reach a wider audience.

The comic, called the "Natural Life" is based on the premise of the "Bare Pit" following the same themes (Nudists or Naturists have adventures) but handles other themes that couldn't be handled in the Bare Pit such as gender confusion.

Yes, this means that products will appear here on my blog relating to that comic.  As my Fantasy stuff grows, I'll be able to put up a store based on that too (Zazzle seems to have better promotion tools than Cafe Press).

Look for a personalized gift at Zazzle.

My Fantasy Store will sell official containers for the Fantasy content I've been producing.  Such as shirts, pins, stickers, and other merchandise.  A store that will support content containers based off of my D&D World can be very successful for it's fans.

The reason why I'm doing this is to support a Free Market for content. To copy Nina Paley from Question

  • Make it very easy for people to donate to you. Remember, if your work is good, some percentage of your audience will want to support you.

  • Sell containers, not content (see Understanding Free Content for more).
    For example, the Sita Sings the Blues Merchandise Empire sells DVDs, t-shirts, pins, stickers, and other merchandise. It also makes clear exactly what percentage of the money is going to the artist — people want to know this! While some of the items sold are utilitarian (a DVD is a more convenient way to have the movie), many of them occupy the grey area between utility and "karma value": people purchase them because they want to show their appreciation of the work to others, and they know that their purchase benefits the artist. (Think of why people who go to a concert will buy the band's CD there, even when they know they can download all the songs online for free. It's the same thing.) Don't worry about someone else setting up a store; you're the artist, people want the stuff to come straight from the source, and in any case you have first-mover advantage.

  •  Encourage commercial activity around the work, and give people a clear route to include the artist on the proceeds.
    For example, people hold screenings of Sita Sings the Blues and charge admission. Often, they'll send Nina Paley a percentage of the proceeds — even though they don't have to do it, they do. Again, people want to support artists. All artists have to do is make it clear that they're on the audience's side, and audiences will reward them for it.

  • License your endorsement.
    If you are an artist, your reputation travels with your work, and grows with your work's. That reputation cannot be replicated and cannot be diluted — it's a natural monopoly, so use it!
    Tell distributors they can claim to be endorsed by you, the artist, as long as they share a certain percentage of revenue with you. Given a choice between two distributors, one that is clearly sharing profits with the artist and one that is not, people will choose the former. Distributors know that, and in any case they want artists to succeed too. (Another way to say it is: middlemen perform a valuable service, but they perform it better without a monopoly.)

  • Encourage the audience to get involved: the people who do get involved will really appreciate it, and even those who don't will sense that there's something interesting going on.
    For example, the subtitles on the commercial DVDs of Sita Sings the Blues were done by volunteers who coordinated on a wiki.

  • Encourage remixture and re-use — it will only help spread the word about your work.
    Some of our favorite examples: a fashion line and this truly stunning film-as-print re-use from Bill Cheswick.

Imagine if D&D worked off this model entirely (the OGL and GSL already do this on some level)!  Wizards of the Coast would be a container provider for the game, but other artists can produce their own containers for D&D content and derived content.  People could sell their own D&D derived shirts, pins, stickers, and so on.

That would be an awesome world. And remember, there is nothing wrong with Merchandising!

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