Friday, July 20, 2007

Lulu offers image marketing tools without Corbis hassles

I was excited to discover this week that Lulu.com now offers user storefronts for selling images - both for download and art prints (with Lulu providing the matting, framing, and shipping). Their interface is pretty intuitive and offers the ability to set individualized copyright selection (Since I offer noncommercial use for free up on Flickr, I select Creative Commons Attribution rights on Lulu to provide commercial use for a fee). It also lets me specify the attribution text, automatically informs me what print size the resolution I have uploaded will support, lets me enter a detailed description, and provides extra art print options for purchasers if I have selected that distribution option.

They also have calendar templates available and I have several ideas for calendar themes I want to design. I also took advantage of their Live Help Chat interface to help me with my first product offering. The only thing that confused me a little is that when I clicked on the Set License button on the Licensing screen after I had already input my desired price, the interface took me to another layout for me to choose from additional rights options and deleted my pricing. I have now learned to click on the Set License button first, then select my license (in my case I must go to still another screen to choose Creative Commons Attribution), then enter my pricing information and click Save and Publish.

One other thing to be sure to do is to set your remission options in your account settings. If you don't set any remission options, Lulu will donate your revenue to a charity. I think they should automatically take you to the remission set up screen the first time you publish a product but they do not. It's up to you to remember to do it. However, it's still a great service and I won't even bother with SnapVillage anymore.

Today, I noticed that Lulu has signed an agreement with Getty Images to allow LuLu creators to use licensed images from the Getty Stockbyte, Digital Vision and Photodisc collections and Lulu will automatically add the license fee to the cost of the project much like they do with the matting and framing costs.

It's a way of integrating original content with licensed content that's long been needed:

"Creators of all sorts, from companies to authors, to hobbyists, to non-profits have been looking for higher quality images to incorporate into their creations whether these are technical manuals, novels, photo books or calendars. Our partnership with Getty Images will empower creators to not only have access to this content, but to use it to make their creations more marketable." - Bob Young, Lulu.com CEO

I also noticed that you can get product specific "Buy Now from Lulu.com" buttons similar to the Amazon associate product-linked icons like this:


Support independent publishing: buy this artwork on Lulu.

Terrific job, Lulu.com!!!!
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