T-Shirts

8 years ago | Ryan A. Span (Member)

Well, I've gone ahead and done it -- I created some STREET t-shirts which are now up for sale in one of those horribly overpriced web shops. However, they may be pricy, but they definitely look the business.

http://streetofeyes.spreadshirt.com/us/US/Shop/ (edit: originally was http://www.printfection.com/streetofeyes)

I'm getting some in for my own use, and I really look forward to wearing them.

What I'm wondering is, if you were a fan of a web fiction title, would you pay these sorts of prices for a branded shirt? Would you check something out if you saw an interesting logo on someone's t-shirt? Do you think merchandising is important to online entertainment ventures?

Tell me what you think!

Regards,
Ryan

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Responses

  1. RavenProject (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    If you don't mind me asking, how much of a markup are you adding for those shirts? You're right, $27.99 is incredibly high.

    I've done t-shirts through spreadshirt.com. A high-quality shirt with a full-color image has a base price of $14.40, so even with a $5 markup you're keeping it under twenty bucks. Or go for the lower-grade shirt that's four bucks cheaper.

    (Hm, can I get a referral credit... hmph, not yet. Fine, take this advice for free. ;))

    As for their importance... depends if you're looking at them as a revenue generator, promotional tool, or a little of both.

    As a revenue generator, you may want to look for something a little more "general wear" than a Street logo. There are a number of webcomics which offer shirts which may be "in-jokes" for fans of the book, but to the general public they're just a normal shirt. For example, take a look at the t-shirts offered by the creator of Questionable Content. A number of those designs are clever on their own, but inspired by the strip itself. I'm not sure if Street offers anything like that, but it's worth considering if your goal is to sell lots of shirts.

    If you're looking at it as a promotional tool, then you'll want to work with the logo but you might have to consider a) asking for less of a commission and/or b) accepting lower sales.

    Of course, there's also the personal satisfaction of seeing people --- particularly cute members of your preferred gender -- with your logo on their chest. ;)

    Me, I'm planning to offer shirts when Midnight Cross launches in August. I'm keeping the commissions reasonable -- $5 seems plenty -- and I'm tying it to a Premium Content program where each item purchased gets you one free month of Premium access. For now, I'm sticking with a basic logo design, but I'll be watching how readers react to things in the story -- if something seems to grab hold of the audience particularly strong, then it's worth coming up with an appropriate design.

    I also had a few made up for myself, my wife, and my three main cheerleaders. See aforementioned comment regarding cute members of the preferred gender. ;)

    -J

  2. Alex McG (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    RavenProject seems to have this under control. QC is definitely a good example of good shirt sales.

    I think shirts can be great things for free online entertainment to offer, since it lets people support the story while getting something they can hold in their hand.

    That said, I agree with Raven that something more that the logo would probably be a good idea. Considering what people who don't know what Street is will think when they see the shirt is probably a good idea. Even better would be having something funny or interesting enough that people ask about it; that's when they're actually useful for marketing. I don't often look things up when I see them on t-shirts, but if I ask someone about it and end up having a conversation that involves a recommendation, then I might end up checking it out.

    Also, yeah, the 27.99 is a bit prohibitive. I rarely pay over 20 for a t-shirt.

    Myth... Magic... Midterms...
    Children of the First
  3. Ryan A. Span (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    First, the prices are with no markup whatsoever. Not a penny. I was quite disappointed over that, and if Spreadshirt.com offers such a difference, I may have to jump ship right now!

    Designing more stuff is certainly in the plans, but I'm definitely aiming more towards promotion than sales. I don't think sales would be high enough to do a major push in that direction. However, lowering the prices is definitely something I want to do, and then I can figure out where I stand in that regard.

    Regards,
    Ryan

  4. Murazrai (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Well, this is quite a good idea, but the price...you should make it less than 20 bucks. But then, using T-shirts might ba something not that effective, in terms of promoting you web fiction.

    Chaos Fighters...the fantasy of the scientific magic.
  5. Ryan A. Span (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Right, let's salvage this debacle -- I've run screaming from Printfection and its ridiculous prices, and have now set up shop at Spreadshirt.com, where a standard dark t-shirt is $14.99 and not freaking $27.99.

    See here: http://streetofeyes.spreadshirt.com/us/US/Shop/

    The prices are much more reasonable, there's a much wider selection of different products, and the design tools are a lot better. I would recommend anyone else to steer away from Printfection and towards Spreadshirt.com for making shirts.

    Now I just wish I could edit that original post with the new URL . . .

    Regards,
    Ryan

  6. Chris Poirier (Moderator)

    Posted 8 years ago

    @Ryan -- I edited it for you.

  7. Ryan A. Span (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Thanks a bunch, Chris.

    Regards,
    Ryan

  8. Janoda (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Hey Ryan, they use the same line as you about women on the internet. Nevertheless I'm glad there's now a slightly more elegant edition :D

  9. grantcravens (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    My first reaction is "that is an extremely esoteric shirt." If it were up to me, I'd go for a favorite story-related doodle, maybe with caption. You may not have a story-related doodle, which is fine. I bet you do have a favorite line from the book. I'd go with that.

    Boat Story: kidnapped kids, mysterious maps, debt, tropical storms, pirates, sea monsters, family, tea.

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