Friday, September 26, 2014

Launching an Art Tutorial on Gumroad

If you are interested in publishing video tutorials of your own artmaking process, I recommend using Gumroad as a digital distribution partner. Gumroad is an online company that provides an easy to use platform for individual creators who want to sell their own digital content, such as ebooks and videos.

One of the things I love about Gumroad is their commitment to helping individual creators figure out how to market their content. They asked me to share my experience with "Watercolor in the Wild" as a case study for the Gumroad blog. 
Traffic by channel to the Gumroad page for "Watercolor in the Wild"

Here's my conclusion to the article:

Any final thoughts to share?

My background is as a painter and a writer, not a marketer or a sales guy, so all this is kind of new to me, and it’s fun. Instead of working with a big publisher that keeps all this info to itself, I get to work all the levers.

I’m grateful to Gumroad and its community of artist-publishers for sharing information to help me succeed with self-publishing.

What I come away with is that the new digital arts economy is different in several fundamental ways compared to the old one. These differences are suggested by the following four paradoxes:
• You have to give something away in order to sell it.
• Some people will pay more than your asking price if you give them the option.
• Promote others if you want to advance your career.
• Share your trade secrets and you will benefit.
These principles seem counterintuitive to someone like me raised in the pre-digital arts economy. The differences arise because people buying digital content understand that they’re directly supporting the personal vision of the artist. They’re not just buying a product; they’re buying into a relationship.


Robert J. Simone said...

James, thanks for this post. I'm going to look into it. The one point that really jumped out at me was that you have to "promote others if you want to advance your career".

Pedro Vazquez-Casta said...

I heard that someone said once that when you honor someone, you also honor yourself.

Unknown said...

I am confused! The link on the left opens up a sellfy popup. Is the love affair with gumroad already over?

James Gurney said...

Thomas, I do love Gumroad, but I also work with Sellfy because Sellfy uses Paypal (unfortunately Gumroad does not). I opened the Sellfy/Paypal option at the request of customers in Europe.

Glenn Tait said...

I am in Canada but appreciated having the Sellfy option as I use Paypal much more than my Visa card. Making this option available also fits in with the digital arts economy that you talked to in the post. I too am of the pre-digital way of thinking and appreciated the insights you presented.