I’m getting ready this morning to glue book jackets to book covers. Most of these are 1980’s science fiction book club books. Many of them are classic titles that are well regarded.
At the time of this writing the covid-19 crises has been around for about 4 months. At the same time there is a quite a bit of protesting and calls to action for Black Lives Matter. Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood is now called the CHOP and has declared it’s independence. There is also some evidence that wearing a mask is an appropriate way to reduce risk for yourself and others. It’s debatable whether or not people will actually comply with the requirements. Basically, my 2020 calendar has a lot of stuff cancelled and giant blank spots for the rest of the year.
So what does one have to do with the other? This pile of books is from a small family owned gift shop that is closing. When I went to pick up the books (they had sold my journals there) there was a crowd there in the shopping area. In some of these classic books they discuss the apocalypse and how people behave. Would people go shopping during a pandemic without masks? I had never thought about it. But some of these classic science fiction writers had thought about it and wrote these books.
These are not perfect books, of course. A fair number of these classic science fiction books were not written with today’s standards; either for lack of information dumps or inclusivity. So do I feel bad about tearing down these classic books and reducing the pages to what is currently not problematic? Nope. There were plenty of book club editions printed, people will like the iconic covers, and you can write or draw your own story in the classic science fiction novel.
It’s a couple days later and here are some of the book covers that have the book jacket pasted on them. I still need to transform them into journals.
One of the immediate communities that was hit hard was the northwest artists, crafters, and vendors who help bring our local comic con’s to life. Emerald City Comicon and Sakura Con both feature large in their year and their yearly connection to customers. I’d like to do a long post where I mention as many as I can. Many of the people listed here, count heavily on this revenue to make their rent and pay their bills.
Her Bio from her Etsy Shop: Hi! Thanks for taking a moment to check out my artwork. Independent artists like me rely on the support of wonderful people like you!
I’m an artist and illustrator, and pen-and-ink is my favorite medium. I make pictures of things that I love and that speak to me, and it has been a joy watching a successful business grow and thrive out of my dreams.
Hi! I’m writing this April 3, 2020 and the Pike Place Market is closed due to Covid-19 for handmade artists. There are some grocery and restaurants booths/stores still open, but for the most part the market is hibernating.
I’d like to talk about some of the other people on the craftline who are also staying home and keeping other people safe. For many of us, we concentrate solely on Pike Place Market. With all the turmoil happening in tourism and world travel, even when we do return, it’s not going to be a typical summer season for us.
Jennifer is a multidisciplinary artist living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She pulls from her background in graphic design and her interest in Japanese folk art and textiles to create decorative objects to be used and enjoyed.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting the folks at Otherworlds up at the Fairhaven Steampunk Festival. After talking a bit, you can now purchase my book journals at the Otherworlds store in Edmonds.
203 5th Ave S, Suite 2
Edmonds, Washington 98020
They are a steampunk and geeky themed store where you can purchase art, games and books. They also host a wide variety of events. If you live in the Seattle area love geeky things and haven’t visited their shop, you are missing out!
Kickstarter thoughtfully sent me an an email that I shouldn’t worry that the project has gone quiet. It’s the middle part and usually projects get most of their funding at the beginning and the end of the project.
I bought some glow in the dark paint yesterday, that I hope will work out. While the project has gone dark for now, I’m still busy doing R&D, looking for that perfect color of red, and busy making a holiday campaign for facebook.
For a project that I started in January of this year, I’ve been happy to ship out thousands of Lore Bits. The road is bumpy from time to time and sometimes you have to hold your breath. Especially when you have to order thousands of glass domes that will arrive months into the future.
I just got back from mailing some more packages out. The mail box person, just waved, took the package, and told me that she could see me coming.
I think that these shiny game tokens have legs and I will be shipping them out for a long time. I can see that coming.
Update: (9/8/2015) ThreeBirdNest is no longer on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/people/ThreeBirdNest
I sell Lore Bits Game tokens on Etsy as well as few other different places. They sell pretty well for hand crafted game tokens. However, I’d like to talk about Etsy for a bit.
The plain fact is that I’ve sold seven packages of Lore Bits on Etsy. Pretty dismal outcome over six months. I’ve sold like 10 spreadsheets for rental expenses and a few other things. My day job is doing FP&A work for small companies, so I list generic versions of what I create.
I frequent the forums when I get frustrated with the seller experience on Etsy. I’ve found that I’m not the only person who is frustrated by Etsy. Here are some of the issues that I and other people have noticed on their selling platform.
Go through the searching list and I see a lot of resellers and sellers of licensed characters. There are massive quantities of Disney, Power Rangers and other characters products available for sale.
The vintage resellers have always been part of Etsy, so no problem. They go to garage sales buy vintage items and resell them like ebay used to. The licensed characters on the vintage goods are okay, because you have freedom of use if you are reselling an item that you bought.
However, type in “disney” and this is what you get. Hundreds of thousands of Disney products. Even the main section examples seem to be violating Disney licensing agreements. Original art that featured Disney Name, Art, and names. Maybe they have that properly licensed. Maybe not, I’m not an attorney.
This is very frustrating when I’m competing on the same platform with my original game tokens. With all that noise, how are they going to get found?
Obviously sourcing products from large factories.
First, let me say that factories are great at producing mass produced goods. I’ve worked in a manufacturing company and well understand that we would not be able to ship with out them. However, when shops have 10 variations on each of over 500 products listed; it doesn’t take a mental giant to figure out that this is no small workshop that is churning out hundreds of baby leg warmers each year.
Etsy has changed their sourcing policies so that an idea has to be conceived by a designer, but can be produced in an approved factory or some mumble jumble like that.
This allows them to have shops that literally close to a million dollars in sales each year on it. Target would be happy with a product line that generated that much revenue.
What do you think the average shop owner makes each year? Less than a $100 a year.
Talk about the haves and the have nots! I love to knit, but there is absolutely no way that I can knit that many leg warmers. Factories can always compete on price with crafters, that is the main benefit of mass production.
What is going to take for Etsy to change? It’s probably not going to change. When a company goes public it makes revenue projections to go public and it is under a lot of pressure to meet those numbers with investors and wall street.
I used to do a fair amount of legwork for publicly traded companies; so I’m perfectly aware of how an investor call can go bad and then the stock is traded poorly after that.
Etsy went public this year, they are being sued by a special interest group about the licensing and so and so forth. So I’m not the only one who is worked up about some of these issues.
I expect to see a trend of moving to brands and licensed companies selling and creating products on etsy. After all, didn’t we see mainstream companies selling and promoting products on Ebay after it went public?
How can a handmade selling platform feature obvious mass produced objects?
Is there so much noise that a small maker can’t get featured on etsy?
Why do products that sell at a fairly good clip on other selling platforms do poorly on etsy?
What will it take to make a level playing field for everyone?
Depend less on SEO and keyword stuffing on products?
More curation by etsy staff?
I don’t know the answer those questions. I do know a sure bang way to increase your etsy views. Post a few comments in the forum sections. That is just sad.
Manipulating the SEO on Etsy
There are etsy treasuries now that anyone can create. Those are subject to manipulations by anyone who wants to take the time to create them. Why else are there people with thousands of random likes. You don’t even need to actually go the store to add them to the list. Merely enter a search term and add things to the treasuries from there.
More blantent are the favs or hearts. You know what I have to do to favorite my own stuff? Log on to a different etsy account and favorite it. Even from the same computer and IP address. *headdesk* What did etsy staff not know anything about ghost clicks? What about the click farms of the 1990s?
After I do a few test clicks or favs the views on my products always increase. Always. The search engine is influenced by how many clicks a product gets. The more clicks it gets, the higher it ranks.
Did I mention the clicks are easy to create?
Obviously, I found them to be a waste of money.
Why am I still listed there? I’m not sure why I am. Maybe because it’s a traditional place to list products? Maybe I still hold out hope? I don’t know.
I sure don’t think that Etsy is a platform for small workshops any more.
It’s been a long road to get to this step. I’ve just started working on the final batch for the Lore Bits Kickstarter. It’s about a month late and there have been a lot of late nights. Unfinished Lore Bits even melted in a hot car! I hadn’t finished putting on the backing, but I wanted to get more finished during a long planned trip. Put them in a plastic box drove across town and when I checked on the, the paint was melting off the glass. I guess I should have paid more attention in high school chemestry. Turns out, if you heat uncured paint, it can reliquify.
It’s almost finished though! This was the first color that I finished. And Wow, they looked nice. It would be super nice if the Kickstarter funded and we could get busy shipping them out to everyone!!!!!
Note: Now at 78% funded! Getting there step by step!
There are five more days to go on the Lore Bits kickstarter. I’m not sure it’s going to fully fund. There is always hope, but mathmatically, the numbers don’t quite add up to being at 100%.
Which means that zilch happens when the kickstarter ends.
I will be adding all the rewards to this website after it finishes, rain or shine. They will be up for about a week and then I’m raising the Lore Bits game counters. The main feedback that I got on them was the shipping was too high. I think that we have all gotten used to free shipping from the mighty zon. The only real adjustment that I can make is to increase the base price and decrease the shipping.
I wish there was a magically shiny place where the post office or fed ex don’t charge for shipping. Let me know when you find it. 🙂