Every week a customer suggests we sell posters, postcards, calendars, stationary or sketchbooks that feature a piece of artwork or photograph from one of our Lost Art Press products.
It’s flattering, but we decline. During my tenure in publishing, I’ve studied this market and have concluded that this is how you make money on posters that do not feature kittens, human flesh or dumb motivational sayings.
- Select the most popular images from your publishing business; scale and clean the images so they will reproduce well on heavy coated paper stock.
- Find a press that can hold the line screen appropriate for a quality reproduction job.
- Purchase 2,000 posters so you can reduce the unit cost and charge less than $20 for the poster – a key price point.
- Sell 200.
- Warehouse the 1,800, running up a monthly fee to store them until your profit is gone and someone decides to pulp them.
- Sell a kidney.
Rather than lose another internal organ, let’s try this. Last night I made a high-resolution scan of one of the pages from this post on furniture styles. I scanned it at the maximum resolution we can handle, cleaned it up in Photoshop for about two hours and scaled it so it would print nicely at 18” x 24” – a common and inexpensive ($13) poster size at Staples.
You can download the high-resolution file here (it’s more than 50mb):
You have our permission to take it to a printer and have them make you a poster for your own use. If 50 people send me a photo of this poster on the wall of their shop, I’ll do another one for free. We lose less money this way.
— Christopher Schwarz