Tricia McKellar asks:
How can online pdf exhibition catalogues be used to generate sales? How are they different from printed catalogues and online web images?
I think potential collectors may like that they can download and print the pdf catalogue (often free). This might spur them to purchase a printed catalogue (if available). The advantage for artists may be that while there is development cost for an online pdf catalogue, the cost is much less than for a small run of a paper published exhibition catalogue.
The online pdf catalogues seem very popular in online artists' communities…
Tricia, I’m all for PDF catalogs! They can be a great viral marketing tool if they’re free. People can download them and forward them easily. RED ALERT: Always, always, keep in mind that people will share things that, as Seth Godin puts it, are "truly remarkable." Only those ideas that really stand out will be shared. And, as Godin says in his books, this is the best way to market these days.
Fabulous design, terrific images, fascinating content=Something people will want to share
At the same time, keep in mind that many people are still on dial-up. I imagine any virtual art catalog would be quite large due to the size of images. So, maybe not a good idea to forward them.
Here’s another thing to think about: If you’re targeting other artists, many aren’t enamored with technology like the e-books you’re talking about. Trust me as a source who sells e-books to artists. However, free e-books might be different. (I’m just thinking out loud here.)
I guess I’m slow, but I haven’t seen a lot of artists’ PDF catalogs. If you have one online, please leave the URL for it below.
Image: Tricia McKellar, Insect Machine #2. Digital collage, 2006. (c) The Artist.