An Income from Calendars
There are two routes to creating an income from calendars, selling photographs to an existing Calendar Publisher or Self Publishing. There are 5 types of calendar sold in the UK:
Calendar Publisher Route
For most the obvious route is to sell images to a calendar publisher who then takes on the rest of the task, see Selling Pictures to Calendar Publishers for more on this.
Self Publish Route
The other route is to produce and sell your own calendars, known as self publishing. This way all the pictures in the Calendar are your choice and you can use one of the many calendar printers, see Calendar Further Information, to produce bespoke versions with your company name/logo on.
The problem with calendars, from a selling perspective, is that they go out of date, and when selling a calendar that is already pre-dated the majority of the stock would sell for only about 3-5 months of the year, typically October-February. However you could offer a bespoke/print on demand service for corporate clients which are not printed until you actually have the order. So initially you only have to come up with design potentials.
Selling to the retail market or direct to the customer has a limited selling window, but can produce a reasonable income which could run alongside another area. Other photographers who are producing and selling calendars are pricing them at between £4.50-£10.50 each and the following income analysis is an illustration of what could be earned. It assumes you get 1,000 calendars of 3 designs printed and you manage to sell them all over a 5 month period, which is the equivalent of needing to sell 200 a month per design. It only illustrates the type of income which could be generated, not the profit, as print costs will vary depending on what type of calendar you produce.
Print On Demand for Corporate Clients
Many businesses each year produce calendars for both their staff, but more importantly their clients, both current and potential new ones. A calendar has impact, if the quality it good, and for a marketing tool can be effective, as it will hang on their clients wall for a whole year, and if designed correctly each page will carry their name and contact details.
You could also have a selection of your own bespoke calendars online on a website and promoted to businesses and charities, where these companies/organisations could have their name/logo overprinted. The client could select from a range of styles that you had designed and order the quantity that they required. This would have the advantage that the service would not date, as companies could contact you throughout the year, and by printing as and when you have orders you have no stock to hold.
Companies who sell promotional/corporate calendars are offering quantities from 25-1,000 per design and usually have around a £30 origination charge to do the overprint. Their prices range from £1.93 to £8.20 per calendar and they are usually offering 6 page or 13 page versions of differing styles. The following example is a very simple illustration and assumes you have a total of 90 clients, 30 clients taking 100, 30 taking 500 and 30 taking 1,000.
In the example above we have just taken hypothetical prices to the client, for different quantities, you of course would need to calculate your sales prices by looking at the printing and production costs as well as any others and adding some profit.
If you were doing this in a big way then often the coloured calendar pages will be printed on large sheets uncut, the overprint can then be run in just a single colour to personalise it. This way you achieve volume discounts for printing the expensive colour process but are still able to offer personalised business calendars. For details on calendar printers and B2B publishers see Calendar Further Information.
The Production Process
In order to produce calendars we need to look at:
Click on each of the topics above to see our detailed articles on these.
We have many other articles looking at different aspects of calendars from producing to printing them, to getting an income from them, looking at charity and fundraising calendars as well as templates and much more. See Calendars for the full list.