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Websites help do-it-yourself artists net cash for their wares

Jan. 27, 2011 - 04:19PM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 27, 2011 - 04:19PM  |  
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All across America, people are making arts and crafts, jewelry, music and more in their homes.

Specialty Internet sites can help you turn creative projects into cash. Some possibilities:

Kickstarter

Kickstarter helps fund creative projects ranging from films to books to ice cream clubs. The success of some is astounding.

Take the TikTok+LunaTik Multi-Touch Watch Kits. The project sought $15,000 to create watchband kits for the iPod Nano. It raised a jaw-dropping $941,718.

There are no listing fees. Rather, Kickstarter takes 5 percent of pledges once the goal is met. Amazon, the payment processor, takes 3 to 5 percent in fees. All projects must reward the donors.

Most rewards are tiered, with bigger contributions earning bigger rewards. Some offer a CD or a print. Other artists meet with big donors.

You set a financial goal for your project. If it's not met, no money changes hands, and you aren't obligated to continue the project.

Kickstarter says donations average $68.

http://www.kickstarter.com">www.kickstarter.com

Etsy

Etsy is the most popular online marketplace for handmade goods. You can also sell crafting supplies and vintage items.

Sellers get their own Etsy store. A four-month listing costs 20 cents. If you list multiple copies of an item, it's 20 cents per copy. Etsy takes 3.5 percent of final sales.

http://www.etsy.com">www.etsy.com

RedBubble

Art can get lost on Etsy. On a specialized site such as RedBubble, you can upload digital files of your artwork, then select the items you would like it to appear on. RedBubble offers prints, cards, shirts and more.

RedBubble charges a base price for an item. You set the retail price and keep the difference. RedBubble creates and ships items. Tools help you promote your work on Facebook and Twitter.

http://www.redbubble.com">www.redbubble.com

Artbreak

Artbreak lets you sell original works for free. There are no listing fees or commissions. However, a Plus account gives you an ad-free experience for $5 monthly.

Artbreak is also a sharing site. And it offers tools for promoting your work on Facebook and Twitter. Artbreak may not be appropriate for younger sellers, as it contains nude works.

http://www.artbreak.com">www.artbreak.com

CreateSpace

Amazon's CreateSpace helps you sell books, CDs and DVDs in physical or digital formats. Physical items are created on demand. You pay nothing until an item sells. List your work on CreateSpace or on Amazon.

You name your price; CreateSpace takes a cut. For example, you'll pay $5 per CD or DVD created, plus an additional 15 percent for items sold on CreateSpace. The commission jumps to 45 percent for Amazon's site.

Book pricing is more complicated. Length, trim size and content affect the price. A recent price quote for a 300-page, 6- by 9-inch, black-and-white book was $25, with royalties ranging from $5.55 to $12.50.

https://www.createspace.com">https://www.createspace.com

UPLOADnSELL

Maybe your work doesn't fall neatly into these categories. Maybe you want to sell computer wallpapers or Web templates. UPLOADnSELL helps you sell digital downloads. Upload your work and set your price.

You'll get a link to share on your site or via Facebook. PayPal processes payments, taking 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction.

http://www.uploadnsell.com">www.uploadnsell.com

There are no guarantees that you'll get rich or even be moderately successful at these sites. But you'll never know until you try.

---

Kim Komando writes for Gannett.

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