Energy Card Distribution Conundrum

My Tarot-deck-like Energy Cards are ready for beta testing (i.e. playing). I have two versions, available in PDFs, with some assemblyrequired.

1. Gorgeous poster-ettes (8-1/2 x 11) with 2x3ish cards, which you have to print (8 to a page) and cut out. (Get the kit here.)

2. A self-contained 4×6 deck (including explanatory postertitos) that you can print directly to 4×6 index cards or photo paper, if your printer cooperates. No cutting. (Get the kit here.)

This is okay for my most diehard fans, er, fan — that being Pat D, who loves to have her input. But what about people who say just send me the freakin’ cards — and bill me? (Or, can’t you just give me the damn cards as a present??)

Okay, so I’m researching the distribution choices, short- and long-term.

1. Commercial card publisher. Con. Long shot. At least a year’s lag before distribution. Pro. They could decide to distribute 10,000 decks. Con. In my dreams. I’m too off the beaten path, too unstandardized. I’m stuck on my self-image as artsy, not commercial.

2. Download PDFs from my website. Always free. Always DIY. No analytics.

3. Download PDFs. Still DIY. If they catch on, I can begin charging. Analytics on number of downloads, etc. available. College kids can download while they’re looking for papers to plagarize.

4. I can upload my images. Customers can order the 4×6 deck of 61 cards @ $.09. = $6.49 + shipping. No DIY. And no profit, ever. And I don’t think there are any analytics provided. Shutterfly — same deal, but @$.15 = $$9.15 + shipping.

[Note: the average boxed oracle card deck is $10-$15.]

5. I’m leaning toward this alternative of using a service aimed at professional photographers (think wedding albums).This is more of a $commitment$ but has the advantage of a smooth operation (you can sell a “package” of prints) and the potential for profit. $149/yr (includes unlimited cloud storage space for all my photos). To make 85% of a penny profit on each card, a deck would cost $12.20 + $2.95 shipping. I guess they would arrive in your standard photo print envelope instead of a nifty illustrated box, but that’s the least of my worries. I’d have to sell 300 decks a year to cover the vig.

ShutterflyPro and Zenfolio are also options. Zenfolio not quite as sophisticated. ShutterflyPro is really expensive — I’d have to charge more than $20/deck.

[Memo to Self] (a) This is an art project not a career. (b) I suck at marketing. But (c) if my “system” is fun-useful-interesting-inspirational-etc, then that kind of fulfills a mission for me: make a couple people think, make a couple people have to pull out their dictionaries and look up the meaning of sanctimonious or garrulous, make a couple people realize their lives have the energy of a weak battery so they better gather some kindling for that divine spark they need…

I’m looking for ideas, advice, stray thoughts, etc. Meanwhile, I may sign up for the free trial at SmugMug to test it out.

[No guts, no glory.]

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