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Thank you for taking the time to draft this letter, despite all the negative-nancy comments which is to be expected and ignored (they are mostly exclusive contributors.) I think it is always important for the upper level folks to hear from the lower level folks. There is no harm in doing this.  I have had numerous positions in management and it is true that I never really knew what was going on down at the retail employee level. I always appreciated hearing directly from those employees rather than the overly filtered reports from lower and middle management who only have the interest of covering their asses and recieving their quarterly bonuses in mind.  Thank you for being pro active. Complaints like this never get ignored out of fear of not wanting employees to unionize or bring lawsuits. Send this letter to the Better Business Bureau as well. I have had the best success in getting matters resolved by going through the BBB.  I actually had 2 years of back pay given to employees of a company simply by filing a five minute claim with the BBB. They are really great at resolving issues.

1.87........down from 2.37 last month (my highest rpd yet)

3 / Re: Here we go again
« on: April 12, 2011, 16:46 »
hope somebody managed to get a screen shot....I feel like I never got what I was owed last time but had no proo of the repeated cycle.

I see that there are a number of sites in the poll results that rank above the middle tier (3.5)  Does anyone have any experience with any of these, are they worth the time?  Vivozoom, PhotoSpin, Paxxion, Photocase are all above the middle tier and ranked by a dozen people.

Totally agree about the abusive spouse thing.  I wonder if psychologists will one day coin a term for this type of Stockholm Syndrome thing where the abused party tries to protect their abuser in an effort to help themselves feel more in control of the abusive situation.

Now that's funny!

There's already a name for it - iStockholm syndrome.  ;D

Now that is Hilarious!  Seriously some of these istock exclusives are starting to sound like Patty Hearst....Reality could you possibly support a company that takes 85% of the commission...The lowest commission of any stock site that exists on this planet.  Fine upload to them if you need the money but for God's sake don't be happy about it and lash out at the people who are trying to put pressure on istock to make this whole situation better. jeez it baffles the mind.

And if I want to think you're a jerk for trying to damage my primary source of income, I think I'm allowed to feel that way.

Why do I feel like I'm watching an abused spouse lashing out at those who are trying to stop that long cycle of abuse?  Sean, I can't stop you from feeling the way you feel, and don't know that I'd try even if I thought it would work.  But insulting those who have decided to stand up to their abusers?  That's both counterproductive and wrong.

Granted, my income from iStock was never enough to matter except in a personal satisfaction sense.  And granted, I never would have entered into an exclusivity arrangement with any agency, much less one that made such (in my view) unreasonable demands.  But I can see what you either can't or just won't acknowledge: that the arrangement we have with iStock is unequal and, dare I repeat the word, abusive.  We all have to deal with that reality in our own ways, including having to acknowledge that some people will react to mistreatment more strongly and more angrily than others.  They have cause for that anger, and much as I might wish they might channel it into something more positive, I doubt insulting them will have any desirable effect.  It just makes you look petty and dishonest as you attempt to defend the indefensible.
Totally agree about the abusive spouse thing.  I wonder if psychologists will one day coin a term for this type of Stockholm Syndrome thing where the abused party tries to protect their abuser in an effort to help themselves feel more in control of the abusive situation.  I think professors will be teaching their psych 101 classes all about Classic Istock-exclusive-syndrome, where the abused party continues to protect the abuser as their commissions slowly get lowered over time to 1%. It is one thing to think that being exclusive will make you the most money but it is another thing to actually call people jerks who are looking out for your best interest long term. In the end if those "jerks" get istock to raise commissions back up you will be calling them your heros.

I have been doing my part and referring clients to the sites that pay the larges royalty per download....for me that is Canstock and dreamstime, not counting alamy who I refer my clients to if I think they will actually pay the big bucks. Why would I refer clients to a company where I know I will get paid the lowest average Royalty for a sale of any stock site that exists

Veer / Re: Veer Reseller API
« on: March 31, 2011, 17:34 »
Hello, only 17 of my images have been transferred.  Are only select images being transferred?

There is no watermark on my image....this is absolutely unacceptable please fix this immediately. I am able to steal web sized images simply by right clicking and saving!!! This is alarming.  If the watermark issue can not be fixed can I at least opt out of snapfish?

Also still waiting to be able to edit my snapvillage descriptions and another poster mentioned I sincerely hope the thousands of images that were screwed up are not being transfered to partners before you allow us to edit them (the job of editing should be veers, but at this point I would settle for allowing me to edit my own images before you go selling them off all over the internet without my approval)  This issue has been raised many times. I can not believe that Veer has not made this issue a priority. Are there any plans to allow us to edit our own keywords like every other stock site allows us.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Return Per Download Survey
« on: March 20, 2011, 18:14 »
To those saying RPD is not important and that overall sales are are missing a huge piece of statistics that can help us increase our income, this is extremely important information that can be very useful to the microstock community as a whole in deciding where to direct buyers. Some of us get asked from time to time what is the best site to buy from.  If we all directed those buyers to the highest paying site we would start to see a shift of increased sales at those top paying sites. Just because a site makes the most overall earnings does not mean that is where I want to send my clients. We need to start joining together as a whole community and direct people to the places and sites that have the fairest RPD and then we will see those sites become the the highest earners. It is the ONLY piece of information we have as a community to help us decide where to direct clients. Fairly recently in another thread we sort of concluded (this survey may say something different) that Dreamstime and Canstock averaged the top two for RPD (not counting alamy).  If clients switched from the high earners (Shutterstock and IS) to dreamstime and Canstock we would see almost double earnings.  Obviously not in the best interest of IS exclusives, but seeing as only 14% of people are exclusive, it would be in the best interest of the majority to act together in pushing those few chances of referrals we get to Dreamstime and CS.  If thousands of contributors start doing this it could start to make a little impact that would hopefully snowball as those buyers refer their friends and coworkers.  We really need to stand up and act together on this issue and put our support behind those sites that continue to give the most fair payment for each download of our work.  It seems like a microstock union is just not happening at this time, but that does not mean we can't work together in the only way we have available.

Veer / Re: Credit Pack Price Changes
« on: March 11, 2011, 15:35 »
would've been nice to get an email about this from veer.... would appreciate emails in the future rather than having to find things out a month after the fact hidden on some forum.

10 / Re: Can Stock Blowing Up!
« on: March 10, 2011, 14:07 »
I didn't realize they were EL sales. So that is actually a really low price compared to other sites.

captcha sucks, no stock site has been hacked by bots.  Istocks fraud was an actual human being using a stolen credit card noth something captcha could have stopped.  At least let me stay logged in until I log out. sooooo annoying!!!!

Adobe Stock / Re: Earnings per sale
« on: March 04, 2011, 15:46 »

Oh didn't realize that, thanks. just went to try to change that, can't figure out how to change that for all images? any idea.

One by one -- or contact support and ask them to change all of them to the same level.

just edited my post, looks like 20 credits is the highest

Adobe Stock / Re: Earnings per sale
« on: March 04, 2011, 15:42 »
Wow I just recieved my first 20 credit EL at fotolia....I was shocked to learn that I only receive $4 for an Extended license sale.....that has got to be the lowest in the industry, I don't understand who they are competing with at such a low EL price when no one else is even that close, certainly they could raise it and still be competitive.

You decide the EL price when you upload, if you want it to sell for more than 20 credits raise the amount.

It looks like I can only chose between 10 and 20 credits ($2-$4) for an Extended license sale. That's pretty messed up if that's the case.

14 / Re: Can Stock Blowing Up!
« on: March 04, 2011, 12:46 »
I like the occasional decent sale they get from fotosearch but the sub prices are still one of the lowest at 25 cents....that has really got to go up to a minimum of 33 cents to be more in tune with other sites like shutterstock.  Really an easy site to upload to and fast review times. My only complaint is extremely low sub commissions, I just can't bring myself to be okay with getting 25 cents in return for allowing someone to use my image royalty-free, if that went up I would recommend them as my number one favorite site.

The earnings ratings on the right are 2.1, so that means people are averaging $5 per month....not sure if it's worth the effort yet

Adobe Stock / Re: Earnings per sale
« on: March 04, 2011, 12:10 »
Wow I just recieved my first 20 credit EL at fotolia....I was shocked to learn that I only receive $4 for an Extended license sale.....that has got to be the lowest in the industry, I don't understand who they are competing with at such a low EL price when no one else is even that close, certainly they could raise it and still be competitive.

General Stock Discussion / Re: - new stock site!
« on: March 04, 2011, 12:00 »
Looks like the early stages so I will give them the benefit of the doubt, these things take a year or so to get cleaned up.  I think anyone willing to offer 50-75% should be encouraged to continue to improve on what they are doing. hey any competition that puts pressure on driving up commission rates is fine in my book.  I think a site run by photographers will have a tendency to be more considerate of contibutors concerns.  My biggest concern is that it will get itself in a lawsuit for stealing the branding of shutterstock, the exact same color and the extremely similar logo makes it look a bit sketchy. I am terrible at grammar but there are a number of glaring grammatical errors making it look very unprofessional, I am assuming the owner is not a native English speaker.  He really needs to get someone who speaks English to correct the basic errors such as not using the word "a" before a plural word.

When I try to order them by last DL the dates are all screwed up?!

General Stock Discussion / Re: Feb 2011
« on: March 02, 2011, 12:08 »

So with 2000 images you earned $796 as an Exclusive at istock?  That comes to a $0.40 Return Per Image (RPI).  Is this what other istock exclusives are earning, any exclusives care to share real RPI numbers.  I am earning $0.50 per image/per month at istock as a non-exclusive...I have a much smaller portfolio however, I was thinking of exclusivity just to simplify my life but if these are real numbers from exclusives it doesn't sound so promising.

You can't compare RPI number between portfolios. If I have a portfolio that has a higher number of downloads per image on average than another portfolio, then the RPI will also be higher.

Going exclusive, your total download numbers should stay about the same, but your RPD will increase significantly. Again exactly how much depends on your canister level, how many images you put in Exclusive+ and how many Vetta files you have. You can get a more accurate idea of your own numbers by analyzing your recent downloads and recalculating the income by applying the exclusive pricing structure and royalty percentage. Its tedious, but fairly effective.

Back on topic - this month was my 6th as an exclusive.

Compared to Jan: Income + 15%, DLS + 12%
Compared to Feb 2010 (non exclusive): Income +15%

Images: + ax.200 with 75 still awaiting inspection - however many of these didn't come online until late in the month.

Are you saying that your sales have only increased 15% since you went exclusive? and that 15% increase most likely includes increasing your portfolio size over the past year.   I am just trying to gauge what type of increase to expect if I decide to go exclusive. Some say 200% to 300% increase in earnings if you go exclusive, but you are seeing a 15% increase? Sorry if I am reading these numbers wrong.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Feb 2011
« on: March 01, 2011, 11:37 »

I wish more people would share REAL NUMBERS instead of very pretty charts and tables which don't really say much.

Real numbers say nothing at all unless you have all of them. I don't know how many files you have online, whether your sales are up or down. If you have 50,000 files then your result is pathetic, if you have 50 files then your result is brilliant. I don't know if your sum of money is more or less than last year (or if you have a big increase in files online or not) so I don't know if things are getting better or worse for you.

Well then just ask :)
Feb last year we made 80$
We have ~2,000 images online of which ~1/4 are from 2008 and not worth much.
And things are quite stable for us if mesured by DPI & RPI.
We are going to get a substantial boost in income soon since we are expected to hit the 30% target in the next 2-3 months.

So with 2000 images you earned $796 as an Exclusive at istock?  That comes to a $0.40 Return Per Image (RPI).  Is this what other istock exclusives are earning, any exclusives care to share real RPI numbers.  I am earning $0.50 per image/per month at istock as a non-exclusive...I have a much smaller portfolio however, I was thinking of exclusivity just to simplify my life but if these are real numbers from exclusives it doesn't sound so promising.


Selling Stock Direct / Re: The Indie Alliance
« on: February 28, 2011, 09:28 »
Sorry, that's not sustainable. It won't survive for long!

Says who?
There has to be one important thing to be taken in account. Many Submitter are buyers too, like me. I buy arround 100 images per month as a freelance designer and for web designs. If only the contributors who are buyers too, and tehre should be many, give a preference to an photographer run agency, it should be AT LEAST enough money to keep it going and worthwhile.

You are talking about Coop which may be the ideal plan and not Non-profit. Non profit is usually for educational and/or charitable organization seeking tax exempt deals. Non profit comes across as a negative connotation now in days in the US.

Exactly. I`m not so much into non-profit :-)

Not sure what the problem with a non-profit is....we have a brick and mortar non-profit art gallery near where I live and the model has been working for years. There are photographers and painters and sculptors.  It is not advertised as a non-profit, most people who walk in think they are at a regular gallery.  I think a non-profit stock agency would be a better idea than a coop.  Coops get very complicated when you have hundreds of "owners" and actual business decisions need to be made. It also requires everyone to pay in to become an owner.  The not-for-profit aspect of buying art directly from artists would appeal to the sensibilities of many graphic designers who consider themselves artists as well.  It just would be nice to have a small artist run agency where the bulk of the profits were not going to a million dollar ceo salery, where the focus wasn't on constantly reducing commissions to make profits look better to share holders.  All profits would go back to artists. There are tons of fine examples of non-profit art stores most of which are brick and mortar, would be nice to bring the concept online.  It would look just like and be run just like a small agency... only run by artists with the only difference being more money to artists since there is no pressure to cut commission's to meet ever growing financial pressures from investors. 

Selling Stock Direct / Re: The Indie Alliance
« on: February 25, 2011, 11:01 »
Why not start a non-profit stock agency that pays 100% (after operating costs) to its contributing artists, something around 80% commissions.  Non-profits can still have salaried employees....just reasonably salaried employees.  The goal of such an agency would be similar to an artists guild with a competitive storefront. That would really be an ideal situation.

23 / Re: Istock raises payouts to partner program
« on: February 23, 2011, 23:37 »
hmmm, so withholding images from an agency pp has for the first time been officially confirmed as a legit way to put enough pressure on an agency to get them to raise commissions! So it is also official that the 25cents was not what they could reasonably afford to pay to keep the program sustainable as they always claim with all the rates, but was the lowest price they thought they could get away with paying us.  So we can also be certain that the new price structure was just pulled out of thin air as well. Well I must humbly apologize to those folks who held strong and opted out as I thought it would make no difference so I opted in way back, I wonder if holding out longer will increase it more?

Veer / Re: Veer Reseller API
« on: February 15, 2011, 17:11 »
Is the ability to edit keywords post-publish on the agenda for Veer? 
This is definitely still on our radar. Its something we discuss often, but is a more complicated business decision than is likely apparent from the outside. We do consider cleaning up old SnapVillage keywords a particularly high priority, and are aiming to focus on those specifically in the coming months. We want to make sure your images are searchable, and dont want to place the clean-up burden on you since the errors that were created as a result of the transfer were out of your control.

Thanks for responding, but it appears those making decisions at Veer are a little out of touch with what has now become industry standard for every other microstock site, it is not a "complicated business decision" to allow editing of bad keywords for any other site. Of the 12 stock sites I submit to, veer is the only site that doesn't allow submitters to correct keywords, it is really nice from the sites perspective and the contributors perspective to be able to go back and add or change keywords from the early days.  Many new stock submitters learn how to better keyword over time and often go back to old images and update with more accurate keywords in turn making the searches much more accurate for buyers.  It is also industry standard to be able to opt out of parter sites, it is also industry standard to see your partner sales labeled as such.  While I usually enjoy other opportunities to sell through partners, I hope you can understand some people's skepticism when you are not willing to be transparent about partner sales when other sites do this as normal practice, I hope these items will be taken seriously by veer as they have already been taken seriously by your competition. I do appreciate that veer is actively participating in the forums that means more to me than anything.  That is a point which other sites could learn from.

This really is a major de-railment to this thread. I made my decision to go independent based on the RPIs which have been posted many times in forums by exclusives from istock/fotolia as compared to independents.  Note: I have only been tracking photography numbers, vector artists will have significantly different numbers. What I have determined and the reason why most people who do stock photography are not exclusive (only 14% of istock is exclusive) is that if you submit to the top 9 micro sites (plus alamy) you will earn around twice the RPI (hence twice the overall earnings). for independents with 9 sites plus alamy it seems to be between $1-1.50 RPI (I earn $1.35) if you add up RPIs for all sites. If you are earning in that RPI range as exclusive after recent cuts than there is no reason to go independent, but most aren't. And after the recent cuts I am very happy i did not lock myself into an exclusive contract.  While I feel confident in the numbers I have been working with, as soon as leaf publishes a more complete breakdown of earnings for his 2010 survey we will once and for all have definitive RPI averages....that will be much more scientific than my piecing together of various peoples RPIs posted over the years. I look forward to seeing some real hard data. Perhaps I will just create an RPI poll myself, that might be interesting. I understand there are other reasons than the money to not go independent... some people simply don't want to spend the time to upload to 10 sites which is a totally valid argument.

Out of respect for the original poster I really am not trying to open up pandoras pox here in this thread. We can further this discussion in another thread if needed.

lightscribe you have no idea of what you're talking about, but keep it up it's funny stuff.

Eyedesign,  All I know about other people's numbers is what I've read in forums, I am always happy to take back anything I have said that is wrong, and apologize if my information is wrong, I can see from your beautiful website that you are extremely talented and most likely in the upper realms of the microstock photography talent. From leafs microstock poll it looks like the average contributor has a port around 700. I would expect your RPI to be in a whole other category that is not quite in tune with your average non-pro microstocker. I do not shoot people or business or any other popular category I have a shoot budget of next to zero dollars and simply shoot nature/landscape and manage to earn $1.35 rpi per month per image with a port of around 400 images.  Would love to hear your experience and opinion as I am sure you have something more positive to contribute than pointing out that you find my misinformed rantings "funny".  

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