Stock Workbook Online

Posted on 3/4/1997 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)


Stock Workbook Online

March 4, 1997

On February 15th Stock Workbook went on-line with its site (

which has 13,000 images from over 40 stock agencies. By summer they expect
to have more than 25,000 images on-line.

In addition to the stock catalog, this site has individual portfolios and
a directory to help locate photographers. The site is designed for use by
legitimate art buyers, and all areas where images can be seen are password
protected. Any working art buyer can easily get a password.

All negotiations are handled directly by the stock agencies and Workbook
receives no percentage of sales.

Initially, Workbook will promote this site through an extensive direct mail
campaign to the 33,000 art buyers on their mailing list, as well as in print
ads in Pix, How, Print, CA and Creative. They will also be promoting the
site through each of their publications which are heavily used by the creative

In addition, Workbook has hired a publicist specifically for the purpose
of pushing the site to potential users. Their promotion plans also include
a series of postcard mailings later in the year. One of the important factors
in developing traffic on an Internet site is the use of traditional promotional
methods to make potential users aware of its existence. The principle problem
for many sellers who have developed their own Internet site has been in
publicizing it. Quality images won't sell if the buyers don't know where
to find them.

This site has several advantages from a users point of view. It was designed
by Doug Dawirs, creator of the Fetch CD-ROM catalog software. Fetch is used
by more art directors than any other cataloging software. The online interface
has much of the same feel as Fetch, and thus should be a very comfortable
transition for art directors.

To find images users may use multiple keywords connecting them with AND
or OR, and the user can put in certain words that should be EXCLUDEed from
the list. For example: "Landscapes" EXCLUDE "people"
will give you landscape images that have no people in the pictures. This
allows the user to easily narrow searches to manageable groups for viewing.
The time it takes to review a selection of images on the Workbook site will
probably be much shorter than on PNI or Corbis because there will be fewer
inappropriate images resulting from any search.

The subject matter on the site is heavily oriented toward the advertising
and graphic design communities, rather than editorial users. Most of the
initial images on the site have been on one of Stock Workbook's discs which
were distributed primarily to the advertising community. Any agency may
participate on this site and as it grows it is possible that images of a
more editorial nature will be added.

From a sellers point of view it is much cheaper to show an image on-line
than in a print or CD-ROM catalog, and there is no limit to the size of
the database as there is with the other catalogs. While the size of the
database is unlimited that doesn't mean that an agency can, or should, dump
everything they've got into an on-line database. Careful editing and keywording
will be extremely important.

Photographers interested in reviewing the site can subscribe for $10 per
month. This could be helpful to a photographer who wants to get a feel for
the kind of subject matter that is in demand. In addition, if a photographer
is planning a shoot he could input the keywords appropriate to the concept
he is working on and get an idea what has already been done.

Stock Workbook deals primarily with stock agencies. Photographers who would
like to promote their images on the Stock section of Workbook Online should
contact their stock agency.

Copyright © 1997 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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