Saturday, 16 April 2016

How should you monetise your book blog? Redbubble vs Society6 + 6 case studies + Infographic (CIVIL WAR!)

More and more book bloggers are monetising their book blog, which is THE COOLEST. One of the more popular options are print-on-demand design shops like Redbubble and Society6. Today, we have 6 fantastic designers here for the CIVIL WAR between the two!
So why are design shops so popular? First off, print-on-demand design shops like Redbubble and Society6 are super easy. In my opinion, they also align better with blog readers, aka other book lovers, more than most ads.

And last of all ... many bloggers have picked up design to make a pretty blog! So it only makes sense to transfer the skills. I think it's super important for book bloggers to be invested in art OTHER than books. It's productive procrastination and helps us keep blogs running!

Oh, and in case you were wondering: no, I have no plans to get a design store. However, if you are looking for my designs, I've designed a set of wallpapers for my revenge and witchy WIPs for my takeout army:

Yes, send me the Tumblr wallpapers!

Team Divergent:


Shannelle @ Art of Escapism


1. Thoughts on Society6? 

I think that Society6 is awesome because it runs promotions with free worldwide shipping. As a customer, it's really hard to beat that. But I really, really hate how I have to size a different file for each item. I can't just crop a file like I do in Redbubble.

2. Thoughts on Redbubble? 

I love how much more user-friendly Redbubble is when it comes to uploading, they have a cool range of products, and their support is really quick too. I love how you can set whatever price you want, for every single product, and their option to download an image that you uploaded yourself is awesome too!

Redbubble only offers discounts, though, but no free shipping. And while sometimes that's manageable, like a journal to China with a shipping fee of $5, which I can actually live with (and no, I have not been staring at my cart with my All the Mysteries of the Universe journal and crying inside a lot). But the fact remains that it's still expensive.

3. Biggest difference between the two?

I see Redbubble more of as truly for the artist. As a whole, it provides proper protection of art, it's easier to upload things on it, and they have a really cool range of products (if you see someone using a Fire-Breathing Bitch-Queen journal in the wild, tell me so I can smother the person with my love), not to mention their very flexible pricing.

Society6's biggest selling point to me, as someone not in the US, is their free shipping for other international buyers. But I personally think that their system is not nice to artists. Unlike Redbubble, I can't put an artist's note, and as someone who puts a lot of thought into each design, I would like to put something and hope people appreciate that. Links to the artist's website are also hidden, so while it does put a spotlight on the art, the artist deserves appreciation too.

ALYSSA RECOMMENDS: Shannelle's VICIOUS throw pillow as pictured to the right! I mean, did you expect anything else from the diehard Schwab fan? And don't forget to visit Shannelle's Redbubble and Society6 stores!

Cait @ Paper Fury


As our glorious queen, Cait is of course different from the other lovely divergent contributors to this post. Instead of being on Redbubble and Society6, she's on Etsy and Society6.

1. Why did you choose to sell on Etsy? And after that, why did you also join Society6?

I basically picked Etsy because before that I'd been selling via facebook and it is abominable for trying to promote products and not pay for ads. Etsy was the only other internet creature I knew of to trot my origami over to so -- voila! I did!

I've been on Etsy for nearly 2 years now, but I only just signed up for Society6. Firstly, because I've wanted to for a while. So why not try it?! And secondly (most important) I honestly don't think there's ever enough merchandise out there to proclaim the gloriousness of dragons. I am here to fill the need.

2. What are the best features of Etsy and Society6 respectively?

Etsy: You only pay about 3% of your profits to Etsy, so that's marvellous. You basically have a lot of control over your store and if you're a mild control-buzzard like me, then that's glorious.

Society6: Your job is so easy. After you upload the design: BOOM, you are done. You could sell 1 thing or 100 things and you don't have to do a thing. Also no risk of mixing up orders, running out of something, or accidentally crying over your products in rush-season.

3. What are the limitations of these two platforms?

Etsy: People who buy handmade tend to be very picky. And if a customer has a problem, they can leave a nasty review before you even have a chance to fix the problem.

Society6: It definitely boils down to: you don't make very much profit. You definitely have to sell a lot, which can be daunting. Also purchasing the correct licenses for graphics and fonts can be mildly overwhelming.

ALYSSA RECOMMENDS: On Cait's Etsy, definitely her new bookhook bookmarks! And from her Society6, it shall be her "drinking the tears of my readers" travel mug. I think I'd kill for one of those.

So far an infographic to sum up Society6 vs Redbubble, but keep reading the case studies for details!

Society6 vs Redbubble: read this post on what platform to use to monetise your book blog!
Oh yes, blookunity, you should pin that for reference. Just roll your cursor over the infographic!

Team Redbubble:


Eve @ Twist in the Taile


1. Why did you choose Redbubble?

I chose Redbubble because I preferred it as a customer. I’d previously had good experiences buying from it. The pricing and shipping of Society6 seemed quite geared towards the US, and I feel as though it sells more art and illustration. I wanted to sell designs on actual items rather than just art prints!

2. What is the best feature of Redbubble?

It’s extremely easy to set up. You only have to upload designs and set prices! And it’s easy to find your stats too. For someone like me who has very small knowledge of businesses, it’s excellent.

3. What limits you most on Redbubble?

I haven’t yet encountered any major limits (although I haven’t been selling on it all that long). But I think the search system doesn’t work particularly well, and often seems quite random. It can miss out items for a specific combination of search terms even if the keywords are in there.

ALYSSA RECOMMENDS: Eve's Les Mis vive la revolution notebook and her writing warrior stickers are so cool! Check out her store!

Meleika @ Endless Pages


1. Why did you choose Redbubble?

Redbubble is super easy to use and uploading pictures is super easy. I also chose to open a small shop there because it had no verification fee.

2. What is the best feature of Redbubble?

The best features on Redbubble is the layout of the website. I prefer it way more than Society6. It's also easier to upload your work as you can resize it (zoom in and out and also multiply it) on the website. I can also bulk upload my designs and fanarts!

3. What limits you most on Redbubble?

Redbubble hardly ever has 'free shipping' or specials. This is why I also ended up opening a Society6 store but most of my customers are on Redbubble. They go crazy for the shadow hunter stuff and my tumblr chats.

ALYSSA RECOMMENDS: Her 'the pen is mightier than the sword' and 'I wish I was reading' notebooks are super snazzy! Check out her store!

Team Society6:


Yani


1. Why did you choose Society6?

There are countless reasons I can think of right now so let's just break them down:

I am in an overwhelming feeling of admiration whenever I visit stores of some great artists in Society6 which resulted to daydreaming of my store & that someday, I would be one of these artists, that people would look up to my works (THAT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE RIGHT NOW BC I'M LAZY AS THAT CAT BESIDE YOU).

Society6 serves their artists in a satisfactory manner. Take this: You are a long boarder and went to a skate park with lots of skate boarders but these skate boarders invited you to join them because you are a boarder. Long and skate boards just differ in sizes but when you use it, it's still skating. No difference, eh? The artists in Society6 have different kinds of works but they are still the same.

Society6 is like the legit site I know for now. There are lots that are booming but I don't know them, yet. And I even don't know how to manage my time with blogging, school and my store, how much more if I open another store? I would go demented!

2. What is the best feature of Society6?

Their profit on art prints! You can name your price. ($$$HINING IN MY EYES). I'm genuinely thankful to Society6 for these profits, it's staggeringly helpful + I don't have to do the work on producing whatever I sell on the store, I only just upload my art and tadahhh! (EXCUSE MY DESIGNS RIGHT NOW FOR THEY ARE A PRODUCT OF HEAVY SCHOOL SCHEDULES). *Hollers.*

3. What limits you most on Society6?

They should have a template for phone cases because I have a problem whenever I upload some typography designs. And, some of my designs are not available in another product even though I already uploaded a design for that particular product.

ALSO! Take note on this, if you haven't noticed: Whenever you upload your designs or view some artists store on S6 using Google Chrome, some of the products are not shown or not "there" when you expect it to be there.

ALYSSA RECOMMENDS: Her 'mischief managed' art print and her 'home is where my books at' tote bag look FAB. Check out her store!

Bhavya


1. Why did you choose Society6? It seemed easier and nicer to deal with than Redbubble.

2. What is the best feature of Society6? I think the best feature of society6 is that you can pick your profit for the prints. Also, they seem to have sales all the time.

3. What limits you most on Society6? It's a bit annoying to resize images for the different products. A few of the products to have templates but it would be nice to have one for all of them. That way it's easier to figure where to place things so print doesn't look odd/end up where you don't want it to be.

ALYSSA RECOMMENDS: This iPhone case is so unique. Check out her store!

For those skimmers, here's the infographic towards the right again for your reference.

Personally, while I'm all for monetising book blogs, I feel that the design store market is a little oversaturated, and book bloggers are now gearing up for other ventures like subscription boxes.

There are also some designers who don't really have quality work, but just slap haphazard fonts on random backgrounds. And that's okay — everyone has a learning curve.

But take the time to make quality designs and artwork, and then? Upload everything and "they will come"?

Not quite. Build your reputation in the blookunity (read my super intense detailed guide how), learn how to market your work, and let's rock whatever design store you choose.

Psst, looking for design inspiration? I talked about how I design edits and wallpapers here.


Are you Team Redbubble or Team Society6? Do you sell your designs online? Who sells your favourite book merch?


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