October 25, 2007

Final days.

As we get close to the end of the first run of the 100 Artists Project: Single Mailer, I'd like to textualize some points, maybe get some feedback.

To start, there's a new poll up, please take the time to vote.

The site and the blog get on average less than 100 hits a day. Most of those come from people blogging about it and people clicking on my signatures in message boards. There have been a couple huge bumps when larger sites have written about it, but generally it hovers between the low to pathetically low end of the viewing scale.

What this means is that there is a concern I have for when the first book actually goes to auction and on sale. I want to make sure it gets a lot of views and a lot of support, otherwise it's going to be a lot of work for very little reward. (Reward of course being how much money we can raise.) I've tried submitting stories to Boing Boing and Fark, two of the bigger "blogs" to no avail. I also tried to submit the story to NPR, my local NPR station, several local news stations and papers and so far no one has responded. A contributing artist was kind enough to list us on Linkswarm and Metafilter, that raised awareness. I'm no media darling and I don't have a lot of contacts in the field or anything like that, I don't know if anyone does.

When this thing goes to auction, I'm worried we won't be able to get what it's worth. If you look at straight commission prices, if each artists charged me $100 for their art, that's $10,000, which seems kind of ludicrous. The idea that it's all original, has come in from all over the world and is assembled into a single book should add a few hundred to that price, like any DVD box set or leather bound graphic novel adds to those values. Then add that it's going to charity and surely a philanthropic soul would pay nicely for it...if they knew about it. If I started bidding for this at $1000, do you think anyone would bid on it? I'm torn between starting low to get people interested but would devaluate the art and starting too high which would be a good exchange for the work done but would scare off average bidders. There's no way I could start the auction at $10k, no one would EVER go with that, but that's what the art is worth. Even $5k sounds high, though technically that's only $50 per drawing, which is around 25% of what I know some people would charge for the art they've sent in.

There may be a silver lining in the print-on-demand part of this, where the digitized versions of the art are sold online. I'm hoping at least the artists who participated would get a copy, I know I will be, but I can't count on that. They've already contributed art, why also buy the book later? At what kind of numbers are we talking about; 20, 50 people? What would you pay for something like that, a book of basically 100 prints? $20? $50?

I'm kind of making this up as I go, honestly. I'm terrified of the upcoming binding process because I know the varied sizes of art are going to make the job expensive. I don't have a reliable scanner and I don't know if I'll be able to cover the listing and POD costs either. When all 100 pieces come in, it may actually be another couple months before anything happens, so I don't want folks to be disparaged, it's just a logistics thing. I'm sure even if I had the business acumen to file as a non-profit and receive some kind of funding that would take time to sort out.

And in the mean time, is there enough interest to start future projects? I feel I've bled the artistic world dry with this and doing more books after the first ones may be a decades long endeavor just trying to get participation.

Ok, enough doom and gloom. I'm still excited about it all and we're so very close to being done that it's just wonderful. I'm so glad so many people want to be involved. Thanks to everyone.

Carry on.


nate said...

have you considered hitting up someone over at CBR or newsarama? i know those are primarily comic site, but there's alot of comic artists involved.

Mr. Austin said...

Yeah, I've got a thread at CBR already and the "Comics are Good" article ran us once a long while ago.

I supposed I could post something at the forums at Newsarama, but I don't know that it would be much better than DWP. The Image boards didn't list it at all.

nate said...

try contacting one of the "big" guys there, like matt brady, and see about an interview, or send them a press release about it. that way it might make it to the front page, rather than getting buried in the forums.

Chris Tinkler said...

Have you considered sending a PR over to Scryptic Studios http://www.scrypticstudios.com
It's a site for comicbook writers, who may be interested in seeing what kind of artists are out there... it may raise awareness, as well as assist in networking. I've posted a few scripts over there, so I can try and break the ice if you'd like. Also, if you have any promotional packs, I have several "larger name" comicbook stores in my neck of the woods, (including "Atomic Comics", who advertises is Wizard), and "Samurai Comics" run by, Mike Banks who is often quoted in the comics media. Let me know and I'll do whatever I can... I'll also send this as an email to ya.


Mr. Austin said...

I haven't even heard of those places, so I will definitely stop by and pimp the project, thanks for the tips.

I don't have a promotional pack per se. I suppose I could come up with a printable pdf or something in cases like that.


Chris Tinkler said...

Hi Ben,

If you wanna put together something printable, I can get it out to about 3 stores tomorrow here in Phoenix... I'm sure it'll raise awareness in the project, as well as bring in more artists (there are a lotta comic-creator-hopefuls working in the stores).

Lemme know, and I'll'a go!