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Author Topic: Contributor's Collective  (Read 22579 times)

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« on: March 14, 2011, 12:33 »
I have converted my KTools personal stock agency into a Contributor's Collective.  For the past few years there has been much talk about forming a contributor run agency, but no one has stepped forward to make it happen.  I believe with our commissions are being slashed, and the other problems pervading some of the major micros, it is time to take matters into our own hands and look for something better.

My immediate goal is not to be an agency large enough to be ranked as a "Middle Tier" or "Low Earner."  Rather my goal is to produce more RPI/month for a small number of contributors than a Low Earner would.  Until we are generating sufficient traffic to make it worthwhile to open up the contributor's collective to everyone, it makes more sense to keep the list of contributors fairly small at first.

I am inviting any photographer with a track record of success in microstock to join the collective and upload immediately.  No firm numbers necessary.  As soon as we get a requisite amount of images, we will temporarily close the door to new contributors until our traffic catches up, and demand is meeting supply.

Costs - None.  I am paying out of pocket for all the software, hosting, and eventually advertising.

Commissions - 80% to start.  We will eventually decide as a group how to balance advertising and commissions.

Vectors? - Not yet.  Just photos or raster art for now.  I need to change some settings to eventually allow vectors.

Reviews? - Never.  Your track record of success already tells us that you know what you are doing.  Eventually we will let the buyers decide by culling the database of images which never sell.  But this is a long way down the road, and we will decide as a group how this should be handled. 

If you are interested in contributing, or helping in any way (ideas, advice, blogging, etc), please post or PM me.

« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 13:22 »
Congrats! I applaud the effort and I'd love to see more little agencies with fair prices and payment pop up.

« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 13:29 »
Nice!  You have good initiative!

« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 16:24 »
Thank you. 

Cory, I should have the site set up for vectors soon.  If you are interested, the door will be wide open for you.

« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2011, 16:39 »
congrats on taking the initiative and good luck! I wish this thing takes off even tho im exclusive to istock now and mainly vectors. Im all in favor of the suppliers getting the majority of the money for their hard work and one day in the future when i have a huge successful port, i plan to open my own shop too.

« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 16:55 »
Hi Dan,

Just an idea that we should observe in the uploads, a kind of self-regulation, is trying to upload images that have been approved in 3 big agencies at least. In my case, I will consider IS, DT and FT, except for the illustrations, which I will consider DT and FT only, as I don't have them at IS (I do rasters).

Thanks for the initiative! 

« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 17:37 »
Thanks VB!  Would love to have you with us if that crown ever breaks.   :D

@Madelaide -  I've been thinking about that issue too.  In general I agree we should stick to uploading images which have a track record of success, or have at least gotten multiple approvals.  However I think we may have an opportunity to offer some image types which generally don't get a lot of interest with the micros.  So if you have a really good image that didn't fit in with IS, FT, etc., then it is probably worth giving it a chance with a different audience.

« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 17:45 »
what "defines your track record of success"?
btw. you will get a tsunami of mailwork, but i enjoy your commitment.

« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2011, 18:26 »
Not sure if I qualify but if I do count me in. If in you opinion I don't, I will not take offence and really hope it takes off. We need to do something.

« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2011, 18:33 »
Thank you. 

Cory, I should have the site set up for vectors soon.  If you are interested, the door will be wide open for you.

Thanks. I'll definitely have to check it out.

« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2011, 03:52 »
The sites looking good.  I will start uploading some soon.  I did notice there isn't a favicon.  It's only a small thing but I think it makes the site look more professional.  I haven't made one for a while but found this site that might make it easier

« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2011, 03:52 »
Great idea, all the best of luck.

« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2011, 04:14 »
I think it's a great idea!
Here is another one:
If possible, how about creating a similar site or integrating into the existing one an RM section so us
who have crowns can also join ?

« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2011, 11:33 »
Thank you everyone for responding here, and by PM. 

The quality of portfolios which responded is staggering.  I am really proud to partner with the image makers who decided to be part of this collective.  I want to give the current contributors time to upload, and at the same time begin to build our traffic.

So in the meantime we are going to close the doors for a short while.  Hopefully within 3 to 5 months we will have some sales growth numbers to report, and will be able to give potential contributors some real world RPI figures so they can make a decision on whether our collective is right for them or not.

Thank you again everyone!

« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2011, 11:39 »
The sites looking good.  I will start uploading some soon.  I did notice there isn't a favicon.  It's only a small thing but I think it makes the site look more professional.  I haven't made one for a while but found this site that might make it easier

Thanks for the favicon link, sharpshot. I was just asking lisafx about this a couple of days ago...want to put one on my own site and didn't know where to begin.

« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2011, 12:38 »
Yes, thanks Sharp.  I'll definitely integrate it.  KTools allows us to add a RSS feed too, which I think is a no-brainer.

« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2011, 13:32 »
In order to help contributors to drive sales, you might want to consider creating a WordPress plugin which integrates a contributors portfolio with their own blog.

I heavily promote my work on my own web site and I do my own mailings (both physical and email) to buyers to promote my portfolio through my own web site.  What makes that work for me is that Pond5 released code which allowed me to integrate my portfolio directly into my web site.  From that I have seen an increase in traceable sales (through Google web analytics and referral income).

« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2011, 13:44 »
Good advice.  I have a blogspot blog tied in to my domain name and I am building a resource list for prospective buyers. 

« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2011, 08:41 »

Don't know if I would make the grade, but I read this post and am really interested in the idea. I have only a small portfolio on the usual-suspect sites, but I have some images which sell regularly for me and keep me in gadgets !
I would be very interested in joining this effort. So please tell me where or how to sign up!

-Ken Griffith

« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2011, 15:24 »
We're ready to accept a few more high end contributors. 

Things are coming along nicely.  We have not begun advertising yet, but our blog and website is seeing more organic traffic as we continue to add content.  My hope is very high for this project, and our small portfolio is strong.  Lots of 1st page search images from IS, SS and DT.

If you are interested please post or PM me.   8)

« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2011, 23:04 »
We're approaching 4000 images.  There is still room for a few more high level contributors to join.  We will begin advertising once we get close to 20000 images.  Thanks to everyone who has helped make this a reality!

« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2011, 23:46 »
Nice clean site and easy to get around! Love the concept!

« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2011, 12:11 »
How hard is it to submit and get rolling? I'd play. I don't know if I'm a high level contributor but I have 4k images I could add.

« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2011, 14:19 »
1600 images i can add. interesting to know if it's hard to submit photos.

« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2011, 15:48 »
4000-1000 = 3000

I had just my folio deleted by Dan without warning for the reason of problem on few pictures.

For info my answer to him so you have an idea what you enter

"  If I can understand some of the reasons you not being happy with some of my pictures but I can also tell that the method you have used to fire me, is rather brutal and I havent seen anything like that even in the worse ms agencies that all of us know.
Only few days ago you were asking me to contribute I quote you "You definitely have excellent images, and I want to build the agency around excellent contributors who think outside the box". After having thought about your proposal I accepted.
Now you fire me without warning.
Yes there were few of my pictures that were given issues, but I have make bulk uploads (1000 pictures or so in 2 days) so to help the library to increase in volume in short time and there were few glitches easy to fix without making such a drastically decision that sounds far away from your nice ideas such as (I quote you again) "I want to make mutual decisions with the people who initially join".
 I'm upset you have let me work for the sake of the project and decided courageously on request of "another member" (anonymous) to delete my folio and fire me as contributor, without having even tried to discuss with me. This is disrespectful and thats not my philosophy to treat other people and other people work.



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