Q: How much does it cost to get a booth?
A: Nothing. Feel free to toss a dollar in the tip jar, but that’s not a requirement to be listed.
Q: Do you really need all the info you ask for in the application form?
A: I only need answers to the ones with the asterisk. These help me put the right search tags on your booth, sort your application for admin purposes, that kind of thing. I only put information pertinent to your listing on your booth and the rest stays private.
Q: I use a pen name/don’t want to reveal my address/phone number. Can I still be listed?
A: Sure. Use whatever name you publish under. You can opt to only include your state if you want to be included in Local Talent searches, or include the state you used to live in, or leave it off. I’m not putting anyone’s phone number on their listing unless they are a retailer and their phone number is publicly listed on their site. Individuals’ numbers are for my records so I can contact them as a last resort if something goes wrong. You don’t have to include it either.
Q: Can you publish my…
You publish it. When it’s done and ready for sale, and you have a site somewhere people can buy from, and a system in place to deliver it, fill out the application form. All I offer is a virtual booth space that leads to your store.
Q: If you aren’t charging for booths, then how are you making money? What’s the catch?
A: I have a booth for my business, OtherRealm Studio, and also a booth for IndieGen.xyz, which will soon have a link to buy print-on-demand merchandise with the logo I designed. I’ll be earning the same way everyone else will. In addition, if there’s an affiliate link available to use, I probably won’t pass that up. Those are unobtrusive and add nothing to the cost of the items sold. Tips are welcome.
I didn’t develop this site to earn money directly. It’s a needed service, and monetizing it with cluttery ads and cookies and pop-ups will ruin the pleasant shopping experience. I want to shop here too, you know.
Q: How is this different than offering “exposure?”
A: I am glad you are aware of the exposure scam. I hate it too. Let me break it down for the people who aren’t familiar with it.
“Exposure” is offered by unscrupulous people who want money or goods from you. They are aware of the value of your work; they just don’t want to pay you. So they claim that so many people will see your work if you just give it to them free, or if you pay them for an ad.
The only problem is that you don’t get any value in the exchange. The people who may see your work by random chance aren’t actively shopping for what you offer. Even if they saw it and wanted something similar for themselves, they would have to work hard to figure out who you are and reach you to see if you’re even still in business. If it’s the “pay for an ad” variation of the exposure scam, your ad is useless. It’s a tiny ad buried in the back of a periodical among thousands of others just like it, or it’s just an ad like we’ve all learned to ignore or block, on a site that we visit to socialize, not shop.
That’s “exposure.” Random, easily ignored, purposeless.
Visibility is different.
IndieGen.xyz is structured for shopping. People who are shopping for independent entertainment will visit. They want something new and unique from the indie sphere, so they’re already warmed up and ready to really look at the booths and find an indie creator to support. They can search to find what they are in the mood to buy. Instead of random passersby, you have a self-selecting audience coming through with the purpose of seeing what there is to buy. There is lots to choose from, which is attractive, but it’s also searchable, which is convenient for shoppers and narrows down the competition for creators. So already it isn’t random, and nobody is coming here just to ignore all the booths, because there’s nothing else here.
The other reason it isn’t “exposure” but it is visibility is that I’m not charging. I am not taking anything from creators. All I need here is the info to make you and your booth look good and be easy to find. You have nothing to lose. The risk, such as it is, is all mine.