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Regardless of how I wound up in this situation, the fact remains that there is still a ton of this retro art from the '40s and '50s that has to be preserved, lest it be lost forever. Since I began selling this type of artwork in 1997, I've discovered so many sources through which to acquire more of it, I barely know which way to turn. Aside from the 3600 images we have online, we also have roughly another 15,000 amazing images sitting in this office in various formats (magazines, catalogs, prints, letterpress blocks, digital files, etc.), waiting to be processed (scanned, cleaned, retouched, vectorized and added to the cart). It's a gargantuan task. Every time I feel like throwing in the towel and saying "I've had it ", all I have to do is take a gander through the archives, and seeing the sheer beauty of these drawings (unlike any of the clipart that's being made today), gives me the inspiration I need to get back in the saddle and continue on with this task.
    The fact remains however that it can't be done
by such a small company. I've personally refurbished thousands of images, however I simply have no more time to be doing this. My goal is to find other artists who can put in the care and attention needed to bring these images to life, but of course finding the money to pay these artists is another story.
    Therefore, my plan for the immediate future is to find a way to generate much more revenue with the images we already have online. Starting in January 2010, we will be splitting the Jpegs and EPS files into two price categories. The Jpegs will be sold for a very low price (approximately $3.00 on average), while the EPS counterpart of those same images will be triple that price ($9.00).
    One might wonder how lowering the price could help to generate more revenue, however we believe it will, because if the average consumer has access to inexpensive jpegs, they're going to be much more apt to even purchase these images in the first place, instead of just skipping the site altogether, and secondly, they'd be more likely to purchase several at the same time. We of course don't have to actually provide any more "product", because these are just digital files anyway and can be duplicated endlessly, so why not simply offer them cheaper and allow John Q Public to download more of them? We are confident that this is going to be a very positive move.
    Meanwhile, the EPS versions of the same images will remain pretty well at the same price point they're at now. It's mainly professional graphic artists and ad agencies who use these EPS files anyway, so they can easily justify that cost. Besides, it's a heck of a lot of work to create good quality vector files, so they're simply worth more anyway!

    Another big plan that's in the works is to offer the RetroClipArt collection (all 1800 images) on CD. This will actually be happening in the very near future. We're still trying to settle on a price point for this CD, and will be conducting some surveys shortly to see what the market will bear, however according to our preliminary calculations, this could actually help us to generate enough funds to begin processing in earnest the many thousands of offline images which we have here. We really need to get this retro clip art factory off the ground!
    Finally, there's still the question of whether we should offer memberships... ie: users paying a daily, weekly or monthly fee to have access to the whole catalog. Admittedly, we're still leary about this one for a number of reasons, but we may be obligated to do this anyway, simply out of necessity.
    The more revenue we can generate, the more images we will be able to add to the catalog, and in this way the mechanism should begin to pay for itself.

    So that sums up the immediate plans for RetroClipArt.com. Anything else?.... read on!



   
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