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InfoCentral
10-23-2010, 06:52 PM
With the recent high anxiety tension all over the forums, I would like to know why a vendor would choose KURV Studios or Liberty3D as opposed to the larger houses like Linda.com, VTC, Digital Rivers or even Amazon? (https://www.createspace.com/Filmmaker.jsp)

There must be some kind of plus and minus to make the decision that many vendors have done. I think, a lot now, regretfully. I would like hear from vendors any insight, hindsight, or recommendations for artists who are or who are going to enter into this business. I think there are lessons to be learned if we are free to discuss them. Thanks... :help:

JeffrySG
10-23-2010, 07:11 PM
Well, with Amazon why would a vendor want to only make 50% of their own sales?

InfoCentral
10-23-2010, 07:27 PM
From what I read on the forums that is what KURV Studios was charging. Amazon, first of all is just huge, only charges 15% if you sell it from your Amazon site (CreateSpace) and 45% if they sell it from their main site (Amazon.com).

I would like to know what other sites are charging and what is considered customary royalties for the artists work.

geothefaust
10-23-2010, 09:29 PM
Most of the sites like those charge more than 50%, I know personally a few of the sites actually take 70-75% and the artist gets 25-30%, which is really not fair to the artists... Especially when some of the sites don't pay the artists royalties.

I looked at selling on Amazon as it would have been a better deal, and also Lulu.com, but eventually went with selling directly through my own site, and don't regret the decision at all. Having the control over your own materials with no middle man is great.

djlithium
10-23-2010, 10:27 PM
With the recent high anxiety tension all over the forums, I would like to know why a vendor would choose KURV Studios or Liberty3D as opposed to the larger houses like Linda.com, VTC, Digital Rivers or even Amazon? (https://www.createspace.com/Filmmaker.jsp)

There must be some kind of plus and minus to make the decision that many vendors have done. I think, a lot now, regretfully. I would like hear from vendors any insight, hindsight, or recommendations for artists who are or who are going to enter into this business. I think there are lessons to be learned if we are free to discuss them. Thanks... :help:

Hi there.
Without taking any jabs at anyone, here is how we do it at liberty3d.com

1. Immediate sales reports generated per transaction. All of the citizens (people who have stuff on the site for sale) get access to this information. It's never hidden, never delayed (by humans at least, computers do their own thing from time to time) and it's all track-able.

2. Immediate payouts per transaction at high percentage rates. Right now 100% of the sales from a video by an artist or a plug-in goes to that person at liberty3d.com. There is in effect, no middle man or wait period to get the cash from a sale. It's still done manually but its done lightning quick. I don't know how fast say amazon pays out for example as I have never used it.

3. We have people in countries around the world who are always making sure our customers get what they pay for as speedily as possible. No mail order, no hassles getting a hold of us. There is always someone around who can deal with it and get people what they bought.

4. Support. Again, we are always available or very quick and easy to get a hold of. We all do this on our own independently but work together to make sure every customer who bought something and needs help gets it, even if its not one of our own individual products. We all chip in.

5. What one puts in, one gets out.

6. Anyone at liberty3d.com can continue to sell independently on their own sites and are encouraged to do so. There are no exclusives or pushes to make stuff exclusive.

7. We actually use the stuff that we make and produce and sell the videos for. This gives us a better understand of the subject matter of course while being able to provide new videos that focus on areas based on customer requests.

8. We do more than just videos. We do plug-ins as well and so far it's been great in terms of the response (UberCam and QuadPanels being the first two branded, but still totally independently controlled, by the develoeprs - plug-ins for LW). We will be doing more of this and invite others to do the same, independently, in partnership with us or whoever. We all need these tools and when more people can access them reliably from a stable vendor that deals with the products hands on it makes a big difference for people. So please if you are going to make tools! Do it! :) We support your efforts!
Making videos? Awesome, please let us know so we can do a post about it to let our site visitors know and they can visit your site and check it out. We are very happy to do so. I don't think you can get that from say amazon without paying for some kind of top featured product listing.

9. We want to see the LW community grow and move past the stigma of "no one uses lightwave" stuff, but work with other users of other apps to expose them to LW in a positive way.

10. Our overhead and operational costs are a fraction of what some other sites may be, and while occasionally we ask our citizens to chip in, its usually too late. They have already done it! Everyone gets along great and everyone enjoys working on the site, putting new videos and tools out and interacting with the community and the supporters of the site.

Well, that's the top 10 list from us.

Dexter2999
10-23-2010, 11:40 PM
Most of the sites like those charge more than 50%, I know personally a few of the sites actually take 70-75% and the artist gets 25-30%, which is really not fair to the artists... Especially when some of the sites don't pay the artists royalties.

I looked at selling on Amazon as it would have been a better deal, and also Lulu.com, but eventually went with selling directly through my own site, and don't regret the decision at all. Having the control over your own materials with no middle man is great.

Selling your own stuff is fine. But that percentage to the artist who uses other vendors means they sit down and plan out a session. They record it and edit it down. We're talking two to three weeks tops. The artist may have real world gigs that monopolize their time and can't be bothered with role of vendor.



The vendor takes responsibility in many cases for promoting the material. Accepting orders and making shipments. And customer support. Ordering and inventory control. And this is an ongoing responsibility not a one shot deal like authoring the tutorial.

There is a reason why a real world professional may not want to be their own vendor. Sometimes it's easier to let someone else deal with the headaches...but you have to pay for that privilege. In return you get to bang out a tutorial then go to your mailbox for those checks that keep rolling in with no further effort.

I'm just sayin.

Kelgor
10-24-2010, 01:20 AM
InfoCentral- I do not want this to be taken as jaded or one-sided...however here is my answer to your question.
KURV Studios has and still give so much to the LighWave artist/community through their tutorials and other acts. Not to mention how long they've carried the weight of knowing for certain how great LightWave can be. And at the same time, they've changed the way people/productions work in the process. They swam against the current I cannot ignore that or their hard work for so many people who want and need to learn and further their craft. It's quite sad that so many would plunk down thousands of dollars for packages that people have to study code, or just try to figure out what the heck all bells and whistles do only to end up frustrated and confused having wasted so many hours with let's just say...Maya, or Houdini. First of all, for me those packages are like trying to decipher an alien language and hinder my ability to create, or even finish contracts on-time.

Personally believe they should be rewarded for their efforts; money is not the issue here for me their tutorials are just as good (if not better) than any tutorials I've ever bought from Linda.com, etc.

If positive energy out means negative energy in, what's the point? Positive out, positive in. I start there.

I have to admire everything they've done for LightWave and VFX period...to that end I will be grateful. It's so easy for people to only look at the surface of things. It takes a great deal more to give back to those who have given so much. The LightWave artist can't ignore how much they've given. Larry is in a hard spot right now. So no, I will not look at bandwagons and gypsies. KURV has proven to me that they have given everything they've got to free the digital artist from the engineer's package - Max/Maya/Houdini etc, Modo would be the exception. You may call it loyalty if you like. Does it sound illogical if another company offers the same material and yet I choose KURV? To me it doesn't seem that way at all. Hell, when's the last time you heard the CEO of Autodesk give podcasts from his/her garage about updates to the software every friday? Doesn't that open the door to your artists? Why don't they do that?

I guess the sum of my post is that to some extent, I feel like they need help right now. Now would be a good time to show them my appreciation. That's why I will buy their tutorials. They have won over so many people with their efforts, honesty, and selflessness.

I'm sorry if my thoughts seem more like a game of hot potato but, what am I going to do...ADD lol. This tiny little box I have to write a reply in doesn't help either haha.

djlithium
10-24-2010, 05:55 AM
Selling your own stuff is fine. But that percentage to the artist who uses other vendors means they sit down and plan out a session. They record it and edit it down. We're talking two to three weeks tops. The artist may have real world gigs that monopolize their time and can't be bothered with role of vendor.



The vendor takes responsibility in many cases for promoting the material. Accepting orders and making shipments. And customer support. Ordering and inventory control. And this is an ongoing responsibility not a one shot deal like authoring the tutorial.

There is a reason why a real world professional may not want to be their own vendor. Sometimes it's easier to let someone else deal with the headaches...but you have to pay for that privilege. In return you get to bang out a tutorial then go to your mailbox for those checks that keep rolling in with no further effort.

I'm just sayin.

There are lots of pitfalls in dealing with a third party.
For example at one point I was dealing with distributors around the world for my record label, and for a bit it was okay, but after a while I found myself chasing distributors for sales stats, trend reports, DJ feed back reports (we did get a lot of that from a DJ record subscription pool we provided our tracks to on 12" but that pool folded and left us in a spot as it was one of the last reliable pools for our genre of music in North America at the time). Digital distributors were just as bad if not worse. they loose you in the noise of everyone else's sea of product (amazon) and it's hard to compete, but when you are your own seller and become a destination location, it's much easier to manage, sell and produce the product. Hard copies have their place still, at least for vinyl. But for tutorials many people want it and want it now at a fair price.

Using the label analogy, some people can't part with that hard copy (I am one of them when it comes to records) which is why we have gone back to vinyl completely and sell direct which works great for us when do manage to get a release out.
Licensing tracks and licensing them out is the biggest pain in the ***. Royalties, up front fees, advances. I've had to chase one of the most well known dance labels in the world for over a year for royalties and royalty statements.
Sure, it might be nice to have this all handed off to someone, at a label level, but for training like this I think its best to go independent or link up with other like minded but independent people who you can trust to hold up their end of the bargain.
Printing off a DVD or two when an order comes in, packaging it and mailing out ever 24-48 hours isn't so rough really. Until I moved to london in 2007 I was doing this for my label daily and I was able to keep up no problem. Some days orders of 2, some days orders of 200 units. Helps to live near a post office and fedex of course (walking distance even with a box of 50 12" records under each arm... no problem, its a sale and its worth it even if it was 1 record or a dvd or CD single or mix).

It's a business, it's hard. If it wasn't everyone would be doing it and it wouldn't have any value to anyone. In the end though its worth it. It's rewarding and to see people do great work with the information provided is the greatest revenue you can make.

If you are going to produce video tutorials or plug-ins or music or movies or paintings, sell it yourself. You have to start somewhere. If someone recognizes the value in assisting you do more, awesome. Just make sure to read the fine print and always have an exist clause or strategy and retain your right to choose. That's the most important thing.

GandB
10-24-2010, 10:46 AM
I think Dan Ablan is a great example of doing it all yourself. He's a great teacher, with some excellent tutorials. On top of that, he's very responsive; never had an issue with him or anything I bought from him.

geothefaust
10-24-2010, 11:20 PM
Selling your own stuff is fine. But that percentage to the artist who uses other vendors means they sit down and plan out a session. They record it and edit it down. We're talking two to three weeks tops. The artist may have real world gigs that monopolize their time and can't be bothered with role of vendor.



The vendor takes responsibility in many cases for promoting the material. Accepting orders and making shipments. And customer support. Ordering and inventory control. And this is an ongoing responsibility not a one shot deal like authoring the tutorial.

There is a reason why a real world professional may not want to be their own vendor. Sometimes it's easier to let someone else deal with the headaches...but you have to pay for that privilege. In return you get to bang out a tutorial then go to your mailbox for those checks that keep rolling in with no further effort.

I'm just sayin.

Yep, I know. I do it every day. :) I do all my own support for product sales on top of freelance work, a day job, AND family life. It's doable and to be honest, well worth the effort. As Kelly said, chasing someone down to get paid is tiresome and pointless.

InfoCentral
10-27-2010, 05:18 PM
It also looks like you can sell videos on iTunes but I couldn't fine any information on it. Anyone know what the deal is with Apple?

djlithium
10-27-2010, 05:23 PM
I've looked into this several times but its a major *****.
Payouts are once every six months and entry slot windows to get something out is once every 6 weeks to 3 months (unless you are a major label for records for example). Not exactly ideal for training videos.

You may want to try looking at a digital distributor like Zimbalam. (spelling?)
I'm not sure if they do video yet, but maybe.

Hope that helps! =^..^=

shrox
10-27-2010, 05:57 PM
...9. We want to see the LW community grow and move past the stigma of "no one uses lightwave" stuff, but work with other users of other apps to expose them to LW in a positive way...

Someone one on the Ogre forums said I should use something more mainstream. I referred them to you...

InfoCentral
11-07-2010, 01:00 PM
I looked at selling on Amazon as it would have been a better deal, and also Lulu.com, but eventually went with selling directly through my own site, and don't regret the decision at all.

Here is what I find interesting. KURV Studios besides being the direct distributor also uses Amazon.com and apparently has their own merchant site on Amazon as well. You can purchase all of the training DVDs from KURV Studios through Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&search-alias=dvd&ref=dp_dvd_bl_act&field-keywords=Larry%20Shultz#%2Fref%3Dnb_sb_ss_i_0_12%3 Furl%3Dsearch-alias%253Ddvd%26field-keywords%3Dkurv%2Bstudios%26sprefix%3Dkurv%2Bstudi os%26rh%3Dn%253A130%252Ck%253Akurv%2Bstudios&enc=1) including all of Larry Shultz's. (http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&search-alias=dvd&ref=dp_dvd_bl_act&field-keywords=Larry%20Shultz) And they are all their for purchase even though they are no longer available on the KURV website!

It seems to me that if you were going to pick a distributor for your product having someone like Amazon cut into it also would greatly decrease the profit margin. It would be better if you directly dealt with Kurv Studios and Amazon separately wouldn't it?

Dexter2999
11-07-2010, 01:25 PM
What you don't seem to be taking into account is that more people know about Amazon.com than do Kurv. You make less money on each transaction but the exposure through Amazon means volume of sales theoretically go up.

People have to know about your site before they can get to it. And Amazon will come up on top of any web search engine. It is the internet equivelant to the business moto of "The three most important things in business are location, location, location."

The availability may be an oversite in updating the different sites. I know Wes "Kurv" Beckwith has had some recent personal issues to contend with much like Larry. I'm sure keeping up with business has been taxing.

colkai
11-08-2010, 02:40 AM
What you don't seem to be taking into account is that more people know about Amazon.com than do Kurv. You make less money on each transaction but the exposure through Amazon means volume of sales theoretically go up.

It's an interesting theory and one I personally do tend to agree with, to an extent.
I take a similar tack on the "sell 10 copies at 50 quid, or sell 50 copies at 20 quid" theorem. Speaking personally regarding not software, but entry into the wildlife centre, we find more people come through at a lower cost than we could expect to get through if we double our prices to match the "competition".
It's one of those things that you only really know once you try, sometimes it works, other times, no so much.

Likewise with pricing and selling software, how much is too much? Do you define profit purely on the cost of a single item or a forecast of what you may expect to sell? :stumped:

inquisitive
11-08-2010, 03:04 AM
Here is what I find interesting. KURV Studios besides being the direct distributor also uses Amazon.com and apparently has their own merchant site on Amazon as well. You can purchase all of the training DVDs from KURV Studios through Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&search-alias=dvd&ref=dp_dvd_bl_act&field-keywords=Larry%20Shultz#%2Fref%3Dnb_sb_ss_i_0_12%3 Furl%3Dsearch-alias%253Ddvd%26field-keywords%3Dkurv%2Bstudios%26sprefix%3Dkurv%2Bstudi os%26rh%3Dn%253A130%252Ck%253Akurv%2Bstudios&enc=1) including all of Larry Shultz's. (http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&search-alias=dvd&ref=dp_dvd_bl_act&field-keywords=Larry%20Shultz) And they are all their for purchase even though they are no longer available on the KURV website!

It seems to me that if you were going to pick a distributor for your product having someone like Amazon cut into it also would greatly decrease the profit margin. It would be better if you directly dealt with Kurv Studios and Amazon separately wouldn't it?

Interesting, I thought Kurv was no longer authorized to sell any of those videos listed in Amazon.

I guess those affected parties will have to take that directly with him, but this brings a good point also.

If you dont want X company to continue to distribute your stuff you may have an extra headache to deal with.

inquisitive
11-08-2010, 03:13 AM
Since we are on this topic, perhaps you guys can talk about this, because I have also thought about creating tutorial videos in general but this site and what it does bothers me.

As a little guy, each purchase of one's product pays for expertise, hardware, software, etc. I see this company as preventing the little guy from making money by buying one or a few copies and then renting them, potentially preventing the little guy from selling each of those renters a copy of one's product.

How can we (little guys) not be robbed from that type of income?

They claim it is legal to rent - but renting doesnt help the little guy, and if you dont make money - you stop creating product.

(remove the spaces - I don't want to give them an extra link)
smartflix .com / help / legal

JBT27
11-08-2010, 04:59 AM
It's an interesting theory and one I personally do tend to agree with, to an extent.
I take a similar tack on the "sell 10 copies at 50 quid, or sell 50 copies at 20 quid" theorem. Speaking personally regarding not software, but entry into the wildlife centre, we find more people come through at a lower cost than we could expect to get through if we double our prices to match the "competition".
It's one of those things that you only really know once you try, sometimes it works, other times, no so much.

Likewise with pricing and selling software, how much is too much? Do you define profit purely on the cost of a single item or a forecast of what you may expect to sell? :stumped:

More units for a lower per unit cost - classic business model and it works.

Kelly has it right with Liberty3D - bought some stuff from there, and got very fast responses both from Kelly on transactions and individuals on actual training downloads. This do it yourself approach is the best - it's not supposed to be easy, but it is the most effective and gives your clients alot of confidence to go back and buy more.

There's still a place for the small specialist players, and I firmly believe that alot of what we all do is more rooted in the cottage industry ethos than the mega-corporate.

Julian.

cresshead
11-08-2010, 07:56 AM
a quick 'how to' tutorial on making a paypal ecommerce page with Xara extreme

http://www.xara.com/us/widgets/v6/designer/e-commerce

btw i use Xara for designing webpages as it's VERY friendly, low cost to buy and 'just works' on all browsers much simpler than using nightmare weaver which i used to use.
:hey:

GandB
11-08-2010, 08:04 AM
"Nightmare Weaver"....had to chuckle at that one. Been thinking of getting the Xara package for awhile now, though don't have any current need for a website as of yet.

Dexter2999
11-08-2010, 09:43 AM
Since we are on this topic, perhaps you guys can talk about this, because I have also thought about creating tutorial videos in general but this site and what it does bothers me.

As a little guy, each purchase of one's product pays for expertise, hardware, software, etc. I see this company as preventing the little guy from making money by buying one or a few copies and then renting them, potentially preventing the little guy from selling each of those renters a copy of one's product.

How can we (little guys) not be robbed from that type of income?

They claim it is legal to rent - but renting doesnt help the little guy, and if you dont make money - you stop creating product.

(remove the spaces - I don't want to give them an extra link)
smartflix .com / help / legal


I'm not sure your scenario takes into account all of the factors of the business transactions taking place.
First- renting is legal. They bought the title from whomever and now they make it available for rent. They are not however charging what the content creator charged. They are charging a fraction of that amount. Then say after they rent a title for the tenth time they reach a break even point. Then they begin to make a profit of the investment of title purchased. But in fact it takes more than ten rentals when you subtract operating expenses involved.

Next- the people renting a title are usually people who aren't sure if they want to make the investment in a title. Do you run out and buy DVD's of movies you've never heard of? Or do you rent them first and then if you like them decide to purchase one for you collection? These people who are willing to shell out a couple of bucks to rent a title aren't necessarily willing to shell out $20 or more to purchase a title. People who rent a title aren't guaranteed to learn everything in a single viewing either. They may have to rent a title repeatedly to reinforce learning. Your market is probably being undermined more by people who purchase training (copy it) then sell off the used original.

You really seem focused on how much money is being made and how little you are getting. But that is business. Authors of books aren't making but a couple of bucks on those $20 hardbacks. Recording artists are doing good to make a $1 on each CD. Then when it goes to radio the song writer gets the royalty (not the performing artist). In feature films, the distributor gets 60% of the box office. The theater gets about 10%. The talent now days get "first dollar gross". So at the end of the day the actual investors in the film get less than 30% of the box office gross.

It is normal business practice for retailers to mark up a wholesale item 100 or 200%. That pair of sneakers you paid $80 for cost the company about $4 to make.

I can only say, I think you would be better served to figure out how to make a better product and create a larger demand for your product (thereby increasing your revenue through volume) instead of concentrating on how much money you are "losing" because of other business practices.

InfoCentral
11-08-2010, 05:54 PM
How can we (little guys) not be robbed from that type of income?

What you would have to do is include content (models, textures, etc.) as well as the training. If you do that then they would not be able to "rent" the CD/DVD without breaking the law. The court has already ruled on this also in regards to "renting" software. You can't "rent" them out!