Episode 12 It Hurts The Industry


Join in as Steph, Katie, and Peppermint answer your questions and discuss some controversial topics in digital scrapbooking. From what kinds of albums we use, how we organize our printed layouts, to some things we think are hurting or helping the industry (and lots more in-between).

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Joining the Discussion:
Katie Nelson
Peppermint Granberg

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55 Responses to Episode 12 It Hurts The Industry

  1. Linda says:

    With all this album talk, do you know of a landscape album in 8.5×11?
    I know SEI makes one but to be honest, the colors don’t appeal to me as much.

    Often I struggle with 8×8 is too small to really show off your photos and 12×12 is too big and bulky.

    Any suggestions?

    • steph says:

      Unfortunately, non of scrap 8.5×11. I would google it and see what companies make them. That’s what I am doing with 12×12 post bound albums because they are becoming more and more difficult to find.

  2. Ashleigh (caprimom) says:

    Just wanted to chime in on Picasa and PSD files. Picasa can view them. You have to go into the file type manager and check the box. The great thing about it is from your Windows folders, you can view the psd files by using Picasa as your default photo viewer bypassing the need to open Photoshop or create preview jpg files.

  3. Angie Gladwell says:

    Hi Katie thanks for reading my email. I feel famous twice now. I guess I didn’t word my email very well the first time…. I was letting you know that you can see psd files in Picasa “Also Katie, if you use Picasa you can view PSD files like a regular png or jpg file.” When I said directory I meant folder, I guess I just use that old “MSDOS” terminology from the 80’s, remember DOS, I guess I am dating myself and yes I read your fantastic post about icons and have figured out where to put the icon. Thanks for the fantastic show and Peppermint I think you are worth more than 10 dollars :-}.

  4. Shannon says:

    Hi Katie! I just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know that 3 ring (or d-ring) albums are larger than post bound. When I was a paper scrapper I scrapped 12×12 and stored them in American Crafts d-ring albums. I really like them, but they’re huge and don’t fit on my shelf. The pages also seem to droop out of the bottom. I did find, though, that they can store more layouts than post bound albums. So, there’s pros and cons. Ultimately, when I made the switch to digital I chose to stop using them.

  5. Tiffany says:

    I found your insights into S4H interesting. As a customer, I thought it was really neat when I saw designers starting to allow S4H use, but I didn’t think about the business aspect of it.

    I got the impression that Steph and Katie might be disappointed with the low price of digi kits, with respect to the amount of work that goes into making them. If so, how do you reconcile The Digi Files? It is obviously the best value out there, getting 6 or 7 full products for (or less than) the price of one. Do you think that has any influence on the market as a whole and the value that scrappers expect/demand?

    • mrshobbes says:

      Just throwing my own thoughts in, to respond to your comment on the Digifiles :) But I hope Steph chimes in as well!

      One, the stuff in the Digifiles is available only for a month at that price, and I know participating designers have the option after the month is over to either sell it at full price in their own stores, or even ADD stuff to the kit and then sell it at their stores.
      Two, the Digifiles is a sort of “win-win” option for everyone: scrappers get an awesome–if limited–deal (to generate urgency, I imagine, lol); the Daily Digi gets the revenue they need to operate; and designers get good exposure (as they are featured/interviewed on TDD). :)

      As for it influencing the market, I’d love to hear Steph’s thoughts (or anyone else’s) on that. That’s an interesting notion :)

    • steph says:

      I think it’s a really good question! One we will probably talk about this next week ;)

      In order for The Digi Files (TDF) to be a win-win all the way around, the price does need to stay low and be one of the best deals, if not the best deal around. This helps maximize exposure for designers. Many of the reasons for the price to be low are exactly what mrshobbes explained, but also, our customers are purchasing products (for the most part) site-unseen. Their PayPal accounts are charged automatically on the first of each month and then they download anytime during the month. We don’t start revealing the contents until a few days into the month as we feature the designers.

      To me, comparing what you get in TDF to what you get in one designers’ collections is comparing apples to oranges because of our business model. It’s hard for me to know or even speculate really how it has influenced prices or not. I hope what it has done is give customers an idea and expectation of what high quality, well made, digital products are and expect that.

      All of that being said, I inherited the price point when I purchased the site. It was decided for me. Before moving to a subscription model, we did start adding a new level that includes the Playbook and increased the price a little. I have thought about increasing the price for a long time and if or when I do, it will not effect current members for as long as they are subscribed.

      I do get sad for designers when I see a HUGE collection by a great designer and look at the price and it’s super, super low. I have also heard my real life friends that are digi say, “I stopped buying from designer xyz because she charges so much and her kits don’t have that much in them anymore. I have a hard time making even one layout from them.” So, I do understand that pricing is one of those really difficult (and not fun) things.

      I’m not sure if that’s what you were looking for or not…lol.

  6. mrshobbes says:

    I thought this discussion was very frank, and in some ways, also very diplomatic, lol. As someone who’s dabbled in S4H (I keep thinking I’d like to officially open a S4H business but don’t really have the gumption to do so), I wasn’t offended and yes, it did cross my mind how low the prices for kits were, and all the other aspects business-wise that Katie and Steph brought up.

    I did wanna comment though on one thing: I don’t know if it’s because I think differently (aka my brain is weird) but–perhaps in a bid to “control” or “regulate” this aspect of digiscrapping–most S4H terms specify that the business must be home-based and all the work customized. Some even state that if you’re going to make stuff like invitations, candy bar wrappers, etc you can only print maximum [insert number here] copies. So while the idea of someone using a single kit to make oodles of layouts is possible, I get the feeling with SO many designers becoming S4H-friendly that isn’t really happening? Maybe I’m just clueless, but I wouldn’t really do that. Maybe I’d use a kit once or twice (but then I have a huge stash, lol), or one kit = one project, be it an album of layouts or a single one.

    Also, discussing S4H opens up other proverbial cans of worms in licensing, as mentioned: when photographers use digital scrapbooking product, the heavy use of CU items in kits (perhaps why some designers can sell kits so cheaply if they simply reuse CU items?), etc. lol! More possible topics for other shows?

    In any case, thank you again for a fascinating discussion :)

    PS/ I actually LOVE listening to TDS episodes while I scrap. I can actually focus on what’s being said. I only pause the episode when I’m working on my journaling, lol. But I also enjoy “easy listening” music like The Weepies too :) Or music I can belt out to.

    • Sarah says:

      I think S4H would make a really interesting topic. I think there are a few of us out here that have really considered scrapbooking for others to try to make a little extra money. I think it would be fun to get the perspective of a person who does S4H and maybe a store owner that requires their designers be S4H friendly. That way we can hear a little bit about both sides of the business.

      • Peppermint says:

        Yea, I suppose I’d any S4H artists are among the listenership they could contact Steph and “declare their interest” in talking about it on the show. The three of us admittedly have no experience in the business model so we would need to find a guest who could answer all these questions. :)

  7. Susan Paquin says:

    First, thank you so much for reading my comment on your last episode. What a shock and a treat. It made my day!
    Second, I have a question that’s been bothering me and definitely falls under the category: “it hurts the industry”. Are you ready for this can of worms? … it has to do with paying your design team. I have been a computer graphic designer for 20 years, but I am just getting my feet wet in the digi kit design world and I am finding it way harder and more time consuming than I thought (but I still love it). I just can’t seem to find enough time to design kits AND make layouts to show off the product. I was thinking of asking around for some scrapbookers to trade sample layouts in return for free product, but then I read a huge debate on Twitter/Facebook about how it hurts the industry when designers accept free product instead of requiring monetary compensation. I totally get this, but I can barely afford to pay the electric bills let alone a designer. I want to do this the “right” way and not give myself a bad name, but I’m worried about crossing the “picket line.”
    Do you have any thoughts or insight into this sensitive topic?
    p.s. By the way, it was your show that gave me the confidence to finally get started designing digi products. I had no idea how to begin and then I found you guys. Thank you so much!!

    • Ashleigh (caprimom) says:

      Although some product designers pay their creative team, I don’t think monetary compensation is necessary. You trade your product for their time and a layout. For some that’s more than enough.

      • mrshobbes says:

        Haha, you’re right, this is another topic that can spin off to a long discussion. I’ve always thought being a CT member was an awesome win-win situation for both designer and CTM: they get layouts to use for marketing and the CTM gets free product. I haven’t read any of these debates on FB (I’m hardly on there) but I’ve never heard of a designer paying their CT (like, cash??). I guess I can understand it to a point, as definitely being a CTM is more than making layouts now. It’s really helping a designer market their brand and in some cases even giving input on product. But I’ve always thought that getting to have free product was more than enough payment for the time and commitment needed for the “job.” :)

        • steph says:

          It isn’t customary for team members who have layout requirements only to be paid cash. The only time I am aware of team members being paid cash for only creating layouts is if they are published or if the designer requires her team to be exclusive. The digital scrapbooking creative team platform was adopted from the paper industry. They call it a design team in paper though.

          On my team, my team members have either layout requirements (two layouts a month including tips for the Playbook, there are no posting requirements) OR another requirement of equal time commitment (one post a month). Anything outside of that, I pay for in PayPal cash. I don’t know how other designers do it, but it would be interesting to find out…maybe I need to do a survey, I love surveys! :)

    • Tiffany says:

      I would have loved to see that discussion. Was it among designers who aren’t involved in scrapbooking? I ask because I think that the concept of Creative Teams is very well accepted in digi scrapping.

      I agree with others that kits in exchange for layouts is an acceptable form of “payment.” I think that’s win-win for both the designer and the layout artist. It’s when it goes into doing other things – like writing blog posts, making gallery comments, forum participation – that I feel payment in kits is not enough. I think that’s a win for the designer/store but not so much for the scrapper – all those other activities would take away significantly from my scrapping time, and should be compensated appropriately – in my opinion. (Of course, whether designers make enough profit to actually do that is a concern)

    • Susan Paquin says:

      Thank you to everyone for your responses. This helps so very much!!!

    • Peppermint says:

      I do not pay my creative team. I guess I don’t know any designers, personally, that do (but I only know a fairly small number of designers personally).

      Speaking designer-to-designer, if my opinion carries any weight in your mind (haha), I would say you should do what you can and not worry about the commentary of others making a bad name for you. You’re probably always going to be doing SOMETHING wrong in SOMEONE’S eyes most of the time. You’ll drive yourself insane worrying about all of the worst case scenarios. There are plenty of clothing designers, photographers and artists who offer product for marketing and no one questions that business practice.

      I love my creative team and for way more than just their beautiful layouts. They’re my cheerleaders on a bad day, they’re my much needed laugh/cry/distraction with their personal stories and adventures, and they’re some of my most imaginative product innovators. They’re ALL my friends, whether they want to be or not. I have been extremely fortunate to maintain predominantly the same team for the past couple of years, so they must not think I totally suck, right?

      Don’t worry yourself out of a rewarding experience. Being a digital designer can be very isolating career path, and any creative team member who wants monetary compensation will just not apply for your team is all. There are plenty of others who create for product, and those will be your right people. :)

    • StudioWendy says:

      Some CT members do get paid for additional services like making quick pages. But in general, most consider getting free kits from their favorite designers payment enough. Like Steph said, it’s a win-win for everyone.

  8. Angie says:

    Off topic question for Katie – how do you straighten aplhas in pse. For example you have six letters that you have added but want them all in a straight line. Do you have to do this manually or can you select all six letters and use a function in PSE that can straighten them out quickly. Thanks a bunch. Angie

  9. LeslieM says:

    I’ve often wondered if designers can make much money in this industry. I keep my eye on my favorite designers and those featured in The Digi Files, but I don’t buy as much as I used to for several reasons.

    Budget–in addition to the price point of kits (I don’t mind paying for a more expensive kit if I love it), I think digital designers also have to compete with consumer dollars spent on software upgrades, dslr purchases and classes. In the past year I purchased all of those plus signed up for yearly memberships to The Digi Files and Masterful Scrapbook Design. My laptop screen is cracked and I’m holding out as long as I can to replace it but it will probably have to be within the next year. . You find you “need” more than just supplies and it all adds up.

    Time— I am not a fan of the time it takes to unzip and organize digital supplies. I unzip as I go to make sure the downloads are ok. Everything stays in my downloads file and then once a month I go in and organize it–file the folders by designer, copy previews into my previews folder, tag previews into ACDSee.

    I feel bad sometimes about not purchasing more now that I am a “mature” digital scrapbook consumer. I went through a spell of purchasing a lot of supplies a year or two ago. Now I’m learning how to use them.

  10. Beth says:

    Thanks so much for discussing my question on printing/albums/etc. on both the show and on the site! You’ve probably wondered if I’ve fallen off the face of the earth since I never chimed in over there (I did see it, and read the post a couple times now, plus the comments). In some ways it’s overwhelming to read so many good ideas — and yet at the same time, it’s freeing. I like that there is no “wrong” way to do it, as long as it “makes your heart sing.”)

    I think I’m going to adopt a system similar to Steph’s. I just can’t pass up on the tidiness and cost-effectiveness of photobooks, so my vacations and “event scrapping” will probably go that direction. But I’d also like for my kids to have their own books, especially as my oldest is starting to bring home so many cute things from school that I’d like to save.

    I really appreciate all the food-for-thought, both here and on the site, both from the three of you and from all the readers and listeners. You guys are the best!

  11. Laurel says:

    Loved this episode! I’m an 8.5×11 scrapper (continued from my paper days). I scrapped chronologically when I had a film camera. If i made a page a week or two later that needed to be inserted i would take page after page out and make sure everything was in perfect order. Now that I’m digital I no longer scrap that way. I still like my albums organized mostly chronologically, but if I need to insert a page in between a couple pages-I just stick in another page protector and don’t worry about the blank side. Who knows–I may end up putting another page in there later on :)

  12. Laurel says:

    Hi Katie,

    I have a PSE question for you. I’ve been digi for a few years now. I started in PSE 6 (for mac). I just upgraded to PSE 9. There’s something driving me crazy that I can’t figure out. In PSE 6, when files were in the project bin, they seemed to be minimized. If I dragged them to my layout without maximizing them they came onto the layout small and I could then resize them. Now I can’t figure out how to “minimize” a file. I’ve tried, but it minimizes the whole screen. With photos from my DSLR they end up being larger than my layout so I have to zoom out a ton to scale down the photo. Does that even make sense? Any suggestions?

    Thanks a bunch!

  13. I just wanted to post a quick note of what a huge fan I’ve become. I’d heard of the digi show but never listened until recently. It’s quiet in the mornings at my office so I thought I’d break up the silence by listening to your show. I fell in love. <3 I now find myself looking forward to what's next and am going back to listen to older shows. Your advice is just priceless. Thank you!

  14. Christine says:

    I get to about minute 36, and the sound cuts out with error 2032 on the player – I’d like to know about licenses and best business practices, it sounds like Ravelry discussions of what to do if someone is distributing a pattern pdf without the designer’s permission, or selling finished objects from it without permission.

  15. Lisa says:

    I’m quite confused… does S4H mean that you can buy the kit once but use it over and over again for multiple clients? I thought you had to buy it again for each client…. or is that the protocol for the non-S4H? (I don’t know why I have this burning desire to know… I have no plans to start scrapping for hire! LOL! But I can’t get the bee of enquiry out of my bonnet!) Thanks!

    • Peppermint says:

      That’s a good question, I guess I never thought of that and it may vary from TOU to TOU? I always assumed it allowed multiple uses for each product. Maybe a S4H friendly designer will pop in with an answer.

    • StudioWendy says:

      It depends on the license. Most of the time, yes, you can use the same kit for multiple clients. However, each project must be unqiue. You cannot create quick pages and then plop multiple clients’ pictures in there. If you use a wedding kit to create an album for one, you must create a completely new design for the next. Some designers offer special license pricing for that reason.

    • mrshobbes says:

      Yes, that’s pretty much how Wendy described it. I guess the debate on S4H is on why a lot of designers won’t charge more or an extra fee for S4H use. I get the feeling it’s like a step down from commercial use–that it’s a sort of sub-group different from commercial use, hence no special license as opposed to commercial use. I think it’s also why there are limitations as outlined by Wendy, too.

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for clarifying!

  16. Susan Paquin says:

    Are old episodes of the Paperclipping Digi Show available in iTunes? I can’t find them. I’m sorry if you’ve addressed this issue many times already … I just got my first iPhone and I am relistening to old episodes to catch up on all the iPhone App suggestions (and more, of course), and I never payed attention to the iPhone stuff before now. (I’m a PC by the way … don’t tell Izzy). Thanks for the help!

  17. Katie (sakura-panda) says:

    This was an interesting show — there were so many topics that I can’t remember all of the comments I made in my head while listening to it.

    I prefer postbound albums too and have been having a hard time finding them. I thought it was just me! I have no suggestions for albums; I go to the store and handle them until I find one that satisfies me. I’ve often left empty handed, but when I do find one, I buy it whether I need it or not, with one extra set of matching page protectors, if the store has them.

    It didn’t occur to me before the show, but I like the idea of printing *current* and up-to-date (photo wise) layouts *now*, rather than waiting until I’m ready to put them into the book. I can put them into a ring binder and share them right away. There is no reason why I have to wait for the “real” album to print them. Thanks for helping me realize that!

    While I personally have no interest in scrap-for-hire, I would still find a discussion about it interesting. I always wonder about the business end of things, especially when it is a business that interests me. I’ve always been surprised at how inexpensive digital kits are and I’d love to hear more discussion about “behind the scenes”.

    Thanks for another great show — I’m already watching for the next one!

  18. StudioWendy says:

    I thought I’d throw in a few comments about S4H. I used to have a special license for S4H separate from a kit. However, around the same time, there was a movement by those in the S4H industry to purchase only S4H-friendly products. They basically boycotted any products that were not S4H-friendly without additional license or fees. That put pressure on a lot of designers to switch. The reality was that I don’t think I sold even one S4H license prior to that point, so I ultimately decided to do away with the license and allow S4H on all my personal use products.

    I do price my products accordingly, however. If a product is likely to be used mainly by scrappers or is a smaller set, I keep the price low and affordable. If the products are going to be used by designers or S4H folks, I tend to price it higher with the knowledge that it is being used to help other people make money.

    As for S4H itself, in my experience, there are very few people who are actually making a living wage off of that business model. Most people are doing small projects for friends, school or other non-profits where they occasionally make a little money. In many cases, they are even purchasing kits that they would not normally purchase to accommodate their client. Scrapbooking is not a cost-effective business model. It takes entirely too much time to create a masterful work of art (2-3 hours per page sometimes). I don’t think that many would pay the monetary rate required for a scrapbooker to make a reasonable paycheck from scrapping.

  19. Amy says:

    another great show this week. every week i have to laugh a little when i’m listening to the podcast “all about digital scrapbooking”. i remember the excitement i felt when i discovered the term “digital scrapbooking”. i thought “YES! that’s IT! that’s me!!”. i feel that way every time i listen to a show, there is a whole industry of people out there, just like me :O) because i need that rush, and feeling of belonging, i’m trying to go back and listen to the old shows but they don’t seem to be available on itunes anymore. am i looking in the wrong spot? they also took the digi show link down from the paperclipping site so it is harder to find the old shows. i’ve figured out a way to sort of google them and listen through the browser on my phone, but that isn’t ideal. it would also be awesome if i had a list of all the show names in one spot so i could track them. i totally forget which ones i’ve listened to. great job ladies and thank you!!!

    • Katie (sakura-panda) says:

      I just downloaded all of the old Paperclipping Digi Show episodes recently from here (one file at a time, paging back to the beginning): http://www.paperclipping.com/category/digishow/

      I haven’t listened to them yet, but I have them all stored on my phone and am going to use my MP3 player on them. Not as convenient as my podcast app, but at least I can still listen while I’m in the car!

  20. Linda says:

    Thanks for the wonderful discussion. I love this show!

    Katie (sakura-panda) I was thinking that if others have downloaded the podcasts to their itunes that they can share those files with you. I just had to do a system restore so not sure if all of them have been “saved” to share with you. Not to mention, I wanted to clear it with the owners before sharing…Steph is that an option?

  21. steph says:

    I don’t think sharing them would actually do any good if she has to use an MP3 player for the files, that would still be the case. I’m thinking the only reason she is getting The Digi Show through the Podcast app is because our feed is live and updating. When we changed the feed location, it took the older shows out of the Podcast lineup.

    The only authorized place to get the shows from at this time is the link listed above, which is the same as this one here:
    Sorry guys, I don’t own the old episodes.

    • Amy says:

      Steph-Your last line answers it all :O) Thanks for the link. I’ve been able to easly right-click to download the old shows. They are really great!

  22. Linda says:

    I didn’t know who owned them, that is why I asked. :>

  23. MitzyGoose says:

    Thanks for the Daily Digi Friday articles telling us about sales etc! I am noticing though the following pattern: 1. Designer moves stores AND 2. Designer will not sell all old product at the new store.

    Could you explain this phenomenon to us? What causes a designer to “move stores”? I assume it may be because of the existing store’s policies, the existing store’s financial compensation model or similar. Also, why not take all the product to the new store? Is it just too much work? I understand not taking a less popular product, but come on, the product is made, it’s not much work to put it at the store.

    It feels like the Disney Vault – Buy now because you’ll never see it again. I’m tired of that. I don’t want to buy because “I might need it later and it won’t be available”. That was part of the joy of Digital Scrapbooking…it was always there and could be purchased and downloaded at 11pm for any “emergency” that may arise.

    • Peppermint says:

      There could be at least a hundred or more explanations for both of these things really, but I think it’s a pretty common frustration for customers to lose track of some of their favorite designers if they move stores.

      As for the Disney Vault comparison (which is a good example!) I think that the ability to purchase supplies at any time, even in the middle of the night, is a definite advantage of scrapbooking digitally. However, I don’t think it’s feasible for every product to remain available forever. It’s still an inventory consideration even though it’s digital. Some stores would have tens of thousands of pages of product if every product were to remain available indefinitely – and that’s an issue from both a server storage aspect and a store navigation aspect.

  24. Alison says:

    Katie – I am sooooo excited to hear about your roundup class at BPC! I too have been doing a round up of sorts (I call it my recap), but i modified it into a better format after reading all of your posts. It totally satisfies my type a personality for having our family archives all in one place. I even went back to do yearly archives for our family since we were married 14 years ago and some since my childhood. I did this by going through my past photos and certificates etc. I don’t know how many times i’ve gone back to use them already – not just for me but also my kids school projects. Anyway, i am so excited to see how you are going to use this info. I’m already loving the layouts you’ve made. Congrats!

  25. Alison says:

    P.S. I also wanted to say that I love the categories you have set up on the side! Great organization!

  26. Alison says:


    I use 12×12 and 8×8 post bound albums for theme books, 12×12 ring style binders for LOM filing and I use a few digital frames throughout the house to show off photos and recent layouts in between. My kids are much more likely to sit and watch the frame than get out a big bulky album (yes I wrestle with the binder style issue too). This way they are getting viewed by everyone regularly. One day I’ll get it set up to do slide shows through the tv too so that they are larger (I think Becky Higgins did that – she has a really large digital frame situated above her tv?) 12×12 printing here (Ontario) is only at Costco and costs 2.99 regularly. I’ve only recently seen a sale for 1.99. I am putting off printing now because the kids really only look at them on the frames. And for me the enjoyment comes from creating the memories and then the layout, seeing the kids view it, relive it and knowing it is archived.

    Thanks for the thought – provoking discussion!