I’ve mentioned SymbioStock, the network of independent stock illustrators and photographers before, but things have continued to develop.
First up – I got my first sale from my own SymbioStock site – BackyardStockPhotos. Now this is nothing to get excited about, but a buyer found my site, found the image they wanted, registered and bought/downloaded the image with no issues or fuss. It was this one:
They bought a small version – which I priced at $3. As I said, nothing that is going to change my life, but it really cheered me up to see the start of a new adventure. There have been quite a lot of sales being reported over on the Microstock Group, including some at $40 for a similar sized image to mine – pricing is something that I need to consider going forward.
Then – scale. There are now 98 stock sites in the network, with 105,000 images and illustrations for sale. This is really gathering momentum!
Features – the main developer, Leo, has now released a premium plugin that adds the ability to sell under more complex license types – eg Extended license for product use, or various Rights Managed license types. He has dramatically improved the site search functions and also added some useful bulk management functions as well. Also, other developers have started adding their own plugins – small things at first to automatically show “Exclusive” or “Editorial” banners or link through to other agencies where the site may be available under different licenses. This is all pointing to a dynamic community being created.
Finally, we have a very comprehensive network search site up and running with the ability to search for words, exclude certain words, find certain orientation or dominant colors – in fact, everything you would expect from a major agency. It is fast too!
All very good signs that this new approach to getting the full value from our work is starting to take shape!