I have now uploaded most of my iStock bestsellers to all sites and so I am hoping for some more positive results soon. One of my favourite images (my Viking fire shot) was immediately downloaded as an EL on Shutterstock, which netted me a very welcome $28.
Acceptance rates have broadly followed those of my 'first fifty' images ie 80-odd percent on most sites, 50-odd percent on Shutterstock (although I have not yet begun to downsize the rejections to resubmit there).
In total since independence I have earned $571, of which $358 came from iStock and $213 came from other agencies. The end of December and beginning of January were pretty poor, as was to be expected, but my sales have begun to heat up again. The new earning structure at iStock has now kicked in, resulting in my royalty percentage there being cut from 20% to a miserly 16%. Obviously this will see a sizeable fall in my future iStock income. This does not inspire me to want to upload more images there, in fact with my recent revenues being as low as 13c for an XS, it makes me contemplate removing images from the site. If I do this I may well remove the images that have been accepted at other sites and leave those that have either been rejected elsewhere or which I haven't bothered to upload as I don't think they will sell.
Earnings for the first three months:
iStock - 358.25
Shutterstock - 105.32
Veer - 51.45
Dreamstime - 29.84
Fotolia - 18.26
Canstock - 5.50
Deposit - 1.78
Bigstock - 0.50
Crestock - 0 (started uploading Jan 2011)
StockFresh - 0 (started uploading Jan 2011)
123RF - 0 (started uploading Jan 2011)
For three months worth of exclusivity with iStock (including Christmas and New Year) I would have expected to bring in about $900-1000, so I am currently about $300-400 down.
For the next three months I want to get at least another hundred of my back catalogue uploaded plus another hundred new images. I am also hoping that this period will see my earnings back up above $300 a month to be comparable with my old iStock exclusive earnings. I won't be uploading all of the 661 images I have currently on iStock to other agencies as I don't think all of these are worth the effort.
The EL at Shutterstock put me over their minimum payout threshold of $75 for the first time. My understanding is that payouts there take place automatically at the end of the month in which you earned more than your set payout threshold (this can be altered by the contributor). It will be good to reach the point of getting regular payouts across the sites - so far it has just been iStock that I have been able to take payments from, which has meant some pretty lean times.