I'm excited to announce a new (and long-requested feature) for Society6: our brand new art / product upload and publishing system - the Artist Studio!
For much of 2016, the Society6 development team has been working under the hood for this release and the many additional upgrades to come. For years you've worked with our classic upload system, and while many have learned to use it well, many others have suffered through limitations in both efficiency and flexibility.
When setting out to build a completely new upload system, we relied on your feedback and our own experience to solve 3 major problems: complexity, discoverability, control. And the initial release tackles those in some unique ways.
1. "Too many assets required."
Our classic uploader required many individual assets to enable all product types. This caused a lot of back and forth between external tools and the S6 uploader. We now minimize that need, by supporting the upload of a single high resolution file (which we call the "key art") to be automatically applied to as many product types as the file's resolution will allow.
Aren't satisfied with our best auto-configuration results? You can override the key art for any product with a new file of your choice in a few simple clicks.
To further reduce the need to leave the uploader, you can now size and position your key art file within each individual product directly within the browser. Each adjustment quickly renders an inline preview so you no longer need to upload, check, reconfigure, repeat!
2. "Nobody can find my products."
There are an amazing amount of updates to enhance discoverability on Society6 coming soon, but it all starts with having the right amount and type of data.
So we have expanded on the number of ways you can classify your new work.
Before, a title, description and limited pre-set list of tags (categories) was all that was required. But with greater levels of detail, we become more effective at putting the right product, with the right design in front of a world of potential customers looking for products like yours.
We can't understate the value of having rich context around the work you've made. The more accurate and detailed you are, the more you help us (and search engines) surface your work in the most relevant ways.
You can read a more detailed breakdown of the importance and best practices here or check out the details section of our Uploader Demonstration Video below.
3. "I want to control which products I sell."
Thanks to the removal of product-specific assets, you can now enable or disable each product individually.
Or more simply, what you sell, or don't sell, is completely up to you.
For example, if you previously wanted to sell phone cases it also meant you were forced to sell stationery cards. Now you can choose to sell either (or both, or none)! Which also means for the first time you can sell any product in the Society6 portfolio without having to first enable art prints.
While we don't recommend this as art is our most popular category, we know many of you are not able to sell all designs as all products. Those constraints no longer inhibit your ability to take advantage of the other products we offer, at your absolute discretion.
That covers the primary bases, but they're not inclusive of all the exciting enhancements you'll find, such as a new artwork management page to quickly preview, edit or publish/unpublish products in one place, or the fact we've increased royalty flexibility for Framed Prints, Metal Prints and Stretched Canvas (you're going to want to read more on that one).
While we've worked hard to make the new system as intuitive as possible, there may be questions as you go. We put together a "short" video tutorial to walk you through everything with a skip-to table of contents if you're looking for something specific.
As you get more familiar with the Artist Studio, we invite your comments, concerns, suggestions and anything else you'd like to send our way through the small Feedback button you'll see in the lower right corner of your screen while in the uploader. These submissions go directly to our development team - they are eagerly awaiting your feedback!
We anticipate most artists will flourish with the new tools, but change can be tough and for those that need time to update their workflows the classic uploader will persist for a time, while we gather feedback and roll out improvements.
Please note: While we have both upload systems in place, please stick with one or the other to create or edit posts. Any post created or edited in the Artist Studio can't be edited in the classic uploader without losing all the changes you have made (including enabled products, size and position, tags, etc.). We have a warning in place as a reminder so this doesn't happen accidentally.
As the single largest update we've ever made to Society6, we're already planning for ways to make it even better. It's our commitment to you that we will continue to work towards being the best print-on-demand marketplace for independent artists around the world.
And as always, please keep your feedback coming!