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FotoQuote Pro 6 Coming

As a user of FotoQuote Pro 5, I get periodic newsletters from the author at Cradoc Software. It has been some time since FotoQuote Pro was updated to include new pricing tables, new categories, new coaching, etc. I received the following newsletter recently and it got me excited to see what is in store for FotoQuote Pro 6.

The following letter is reprinted with the express permission of Cradoc Software ...

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I started writing fotoQuote in the early 90's, in the middle of a recession. Articles in photo magazines said stock photography was dead. Photographers were undercutting each other, and prices were spiraling down. I decided to do something about it, and I spent a year creating the best pricing and negotiating program I could. I feel good that the release of fotoQuote helped shore up stock photography prices and got photographers talking to each other about good business practices.

Now we are in another recession, and I want to pass on the same advice that I've given every time the economy has slowed down:

Don't lower your prices to make a sale!

Give discounts if you have to, but always make sure to stipulate that a discount is being given. Be creative; come up with a reason for the discount. Maintain a price that will keep you in business during the recession and after it is over. It will be much easier to eliminate a discount than it will be to "raise" your prices again once the economy opens up. You can find a list of suggestions on reasons for giving a discount in the fotoQuote Coach.

When you know exactly what is going on in the photo industry you will be in the strongest negotiating position. To that end:

I'm putting the finishing touches on fotoQuote Pro 6, and the project has been huge. The upgrade should be released soon, and I will send you an email to let you when you can order.

There are some big changes happening in the photo industry right now. I've spent the last year researching prices and looking for trends that might help you cope with some of the problems that exist, and also help you take advantage of some new opportunities that have emerged.

As your clients shift their presence and promotion from print to the web, they need additional media for their web pages; using more multi-media on their website.

One of the fastest growing needs right now is for video, both shot specifically for your client, or for stock clips. Corporate photographers are being asked for video, as are editorial photographers who shoot stills for magazine stories. Often the need for video is simple, and does not require a full production expense. With 35 new film and video footage categories this may be way for you to make more money, and we explain how to get started in the new fotoQuote Coach categories.

There are some problem trends too, but I feel with good information you can still work in these areas and continue to make a profit. What are some of problem trends that we are finding?

Obviously the markets are tightening in some areas because of the economy. There is also a shift from print to web, and web prices are often weaker than comparable print prices, but potentially more photos will be used on the web than in print.

There is a huge rights grab happening right now in the publishing industry, especially in the textbook segment. The biggest agencies are smashing around in the photo industry like bulls in a china shop, without much apparent concern for anything but themselves. Their behavior may be having an affect on the weakening of web and textbook prices and licensing terms; including caving into the insistence of the textbook industry to increase the license duration terms from five years to ten years as a standard time frame, without much, or any, increase in the license fee.

Textbook publishers are also trying to change how a book revision is handled. It used to be if a book was revised more than 5% the photographer could charge for the re-use of the image. Then publishers got photographers to agree to a 10% change. Now the publishers are trying to get photographers to agree to a 25% change before they can charge a re-use fee. This is being resisted but if it is accepted by too many photographers it may become a fact, and that source of income would disappear. Not many books are revised more than 25%.

You may get calls from clients who say that X agency is charging X dollars for a specific usage and they want you to match that price. There are some good reasons why you may not want to. The big agencies are cutting deals right and left. Discounts and special package prices are offered to clients to encourage repeat business. Images are often sold for less than the cost of production, and that is a business model that you, the producer can't afford. Your business losses are not being propped up by investors. If the client has come to you to license an image, they've probably already tried the big agencies, and you deserve to be compensated fairly for having what they want.

Also, from my research, the pricing in some of the larger agencies can be inconsistent, and it changes constantly; at times with major price shifts that defy logic.

An example of the inconsistency is one agency currently has two rights packages that are essentially identical, listed in two different parts of their website, one is priced at $1,300 and the other at $7,000.

In another example, changes were made recently to the rights packages an agency offers. Two packages, had their prices reversed, we think in error, with the package offering the fewer uses costing more than the other, by several thousand dollars.

So, I have taken my time with the fotoQuote upgrade, and I have again created a tool that you can continue to rely on to give you an accurate view of what is currently happening in the photo industry. Information is power and being informed will help you during tough times, and tough negotiations.

Some of the new features in fotoQuote Pro 6 are:

NEW STOCK CATEGORIES

FotoQuote Pro 6 has 86 new categories, bringing the total to 304; that's 86 new opportunities to sell your work. Every category has a Usage Tip to help with your negotiations. All categories can be easily chosen from the main screen.

FotoQuote Pro 6 has 35 new video clip stock categories. There is also a video pre-production worksheet that you can print. As more still cameras come with video capability and more clients request video clips for their websites, these new video clip categories are a potential way to make more money.

There are also over 30 dedicated web categories. This too is a fast-growing segment in the industry.

NEW COACH INFORMATION

There are 38 Assignment Coach topics, including helpful tips on how to break into the video market. The Stock and Rights Granted Coach topics have been updated and new topics added; including new information on the current issues with the publishing industry, especially the textbook segment.

REDESIGNED INTERFACE ENHANCEMENTS

A new SUPER streamlined interface makes this the easiest to use fotoQuote ever.

All 304 of fotoQuote's Usage Tips are now visible on the main fotoQuote screen as you click new categories, so you can quickly decide if you have the category that matches your request. All the categories are easily selected from a list on the main screen.

You can also select Geographic Pricing Factors from the main screen that define the geographic area of your license and adjust the prices accordingly.

NEW QUOTE PACKS

In fotoQuote Pro 5 we suggested you group together various rights and offer them to your client as a package of rights for a specific time in response to their request for all rights to your images.

FotoQuote Pro 6 now includes several different Quote Packs. The included usages, time limits and prices for each pack are broken down for you. A special chart lets you quickly see what is included in each pack. When you select a Quote Pack the detail of the included usages is automatically added as a text block to your quote.

EASY QUOTE CREATION WITH THUMBNAILS, LICENSE BY IMAGE, AND MORE

The whole process of creating a quote has been simplified, and you can now include a thumbnail of each image on the quote.

The RightsWriter now creates a license description for each image. Previously your license applied to all images in the quote. This is no longer practical in many situations because of the varied way in which images are being used.

The license for each image can easily be copied so that you can embed it into the metadata for your image, illustration, or video clip. The license can also be pasted into an external invoice or document. It will look like this:

Usage: Magazine Editorial.Consumer
Circulation: 25k to 50k
Size: Cover
License Duration: 1 Year
Territory: US Only
Industry: Publishing-Periodicals
Rights/Exclusivity: One-Time Non-Exclusive
Release Information: No model release

NEW INTERNATIONAL FEATURES

There is now a dual tax ability for users in Canada, Europe and other areas with double tax needs. There is also a field to enter a discount amount or additional charges to the quote, such as shipping, CD burning, special handling, etc. This has been a much requested feature.

There is now correct handling of many international currencies. You select the currency when you create a new quote, and all items added to the quote will be converted to the selected currency.

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Thanks again for being such loyal customers. It keeps me going. I love the independent marketplace photographers like you create, and I will continue to do what I can to help you succeed in your business.

You can expect an email announcing the fotoQuote 6 upgrade soon (anyone who has purchased fotoQuote since January 1, 2009 will receive a fotoQuote upgrade at no cost).

All the best,
Cradoc

Cradoc Software - http://www.cradocfotosoftware.com/index.html