Etsy breakthrough!

My Etsy shop from 2011-2018, zero sales. 2019, one sale and a positive review which I was quite grateful for. 2020, nine sales. 2021 prior to November, 16 sales. Then came this month, seven sales just this month! And ten reviews now too, all of them glowing five-star reviews!

Now, given enough time it could still unravel due to unreasonable behavior by enough buyers like my eBay shop has. On eBay circa 2020 I pretty much gave up on that… eBay by 2020 I spent hundreds of hours working and was losing money doing so, due to a combination of a flawed and overly generous and too trusting, business model and an alarmingly high proportion of unreasonable customers who were essentially trying to scam me. They would order a personalized artwork, when it arrived they would claim it was damaged or that it was not what they wanted, and threaten to give a scathing review unless there was a full refund. I kept my 100% positive feedback score but only because I was caving to all of these people. It sucked and it has caused me to make three clear determinations – one being no more time consuming personalized art for buyers in most cases unless the buyer has proven exceptionally reasonable through a series of previous orders. Two, is that eBay’s become too much of a cesspool and I don’t want to be an art seller there anymore, though occasionally I still use the platform to buy and sell other things. Three, that I need to enact refund policies that are not excessively trusting and generous, and price just enough profit margin in to survive and still profit despite the few who do still somehow manage to exploit me.

I still believe most buyers are genuine. I still charge less than a typical vendor, and my effective pay per hour remains well below minimum wage doing this. But it’s now not so low that it can be entirely cancelled out for the entire year if a few sales go sideways!

I was not convinced to set the current boundaries because of my own greed or any such thing. Actually, what finally convinced me to do it was the well being of the customers, who wanted timely response and delivery, wanted a growing roster of promising new products from me, wanted my venue to survive and grow because that was good not just for me but for them! And if the shops don’t remain viable that all goes down the tubes so… there is good reason to do what I need to do to make this all sustainable and able to expand.

I have a TON of new things I want to do in the near future. Not all of them make sense as Etsy products but many do. Some – digital games and gamedev asset packs, mainly – are going to be launched mainly on Itch.IO instead, or even Steam. But Itch.IO, despite longstanding efforts to gain reviews and sales there, has yet to really be viable. My Itch.IO profile still lacks the key first review or reviews which is perhaps necessary to get momentum going there.

So here is the plan for late 2021:

-games, a few of my small or midsized projects, will launch on Itch and Steam by end of year. That will likely drive activity to my Itch profile more than asset packs ever could. And it is something I’ve been working towards for an awfully long time regardless.

-asset packs shifting to become accessible outside Itch.IO, including Unity Asset Store submissions and a big complete asset pack collection on DVD and digital download, posted as a product on Etsy.

-Etsy things that are working will be built further if the prints continue to sell well, more print product options, like glossy photo prints, prints on normal weight copy paper, more size options, etc. Likewise, even more colorful and charming miniature papercraft kits based on even more architectural styles.

-sales will continue on Etsy. November 17-30 is now a planned sale range and all the papercraft items will be 40% off, all the other items 25% off, so should be pretty amazing. And there will be another sale leading into Christmas, if you want to cut shipment of things that close! (Dec. 10-18, 2021)

-sales also on Itch.Io. As in… Nov. 20-30, and Dec. 20-Jan. 2, 2022. So that is also going to happen.

As usual, here are the links:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MatthewLHornbostel/

https://matthornb.itch.io/

Thanks for reading!

Garage Sale now delayed to Oct. 23

As before, please bookmark this page and keep an eye out for updates if this event is of any interest to you. We’ll have a lot of artworks, original ones, in the $6-14 range. Plus a ton of different, cheap house plants grown by my grandmother, and some other items. And even a couple dozen little bags of freebies for those who show up, maybe, if I can get all of that put together in time. Current location is: 118 Queenswood Drive, Cranberry Twp, PA.

I am not sure why I kept misremembering this as ‘wildwood’ as that was clearly inaccurate, there is no street or road named ‘wildwood’ in Cranberry Twp, and having checked it, my grandmother’s address is on Queenswood Drive.

Time keeps shifting around but we are, finally, looking at doing this on Oct. 23, from 1-4 pm. Temperature is expected to be about 54 degrees, overcast, mild winds, possibly a bit of light rain. No guarantees it won’t get pushed back again if the forecasts change but this very well could be what happens. Seems like it is actually moving forward for the 23rd now.

There are some issues ongoing with my Etsy shop that should be fixed any time now, worst likely case that will be back up and running in 4 days (Oct. 19). Best case, it will reopen sooner than that. I have quietly continued to make new artworks so if the shop reopens and you see one or two you love, you might opt to grab them right then instead of waiting until the garage sale (which would be a cheaper option, especially given the total absence of shipping costs. But some items might get snapped up before then, maybe.)

OCTOBER 10, 2021 – supplemental update

The weather keeps messing up our plans. We’d considered a possible garage sale on October 9th, or 16th, in Cranberry, PA at my grandmother’s home on Wildwood Road.

But… looks like a forecast of rain keeps hitting us on every Saturday. At the rate things are going, the next credible timeframe for this is October 30th [the 23rd is looking likely too busy for us, and if we’re set on a Saturday it would be then at the earliest.]

Please – if you’re curious about any of this – bookmark this page and I’ll try to keep it up to date as we figure out what we’re able to do.

The upside of this: More artworks, plants, and other items will be available at this sale when this finally does happen, and things will be better prepared in other ways as well. I also will be able to make a box of freebies available there. Little stuff, mostly, one of each item per visitor. Stickers, booklets, and other such things in a stack of smallish packets. Maybe other surprises in some of them?

Downside: All the uncertainty definitely does keep this a bit confusing. And it may be cold by the late October or possible early November timeframe. So… dress warmly!

In the meantime – check the post below this one for more pics from a past similar event [2019], and a gallery of artworks on sale – plus the link to the Etsy shop which you can visit basically at any time, even if you do miss this garage sale!

The first of a long string of new additional artworks made in the days leading up to the sale. This one in particular was sold very quickly on Etsy, but there are many more new paintings on the way, and all of the ones unsold online will be at the garage sale for under $15/item!

Sept. 22 update

I am posting tons of paintings on Etsy over the span of October, averaging one a day. I am hoping to do that in addition to these artworks already posted there:

-Still getting things back on track with desktop file recovery and it is going well so far even if progress is a bit slower than I’d like. Have a good shot at launching indie game project Panoramic Worlds HD by Halloween 2021… and Miniature Multiverse in early or mid 2022?

-Itch.IO, My new stock media packs I mentioned earlier, may not all be ready by October’s end due to Etsy taking priority.

-I will soon be making dioramas showcasing upcoming mini papercraft sets. I am planning to really have a nice batch of dioramas for release of the Paris, Venice, and Amsterdam papercrafting kits, for example. The miniature stuff is visible on NScaleScenery.com and sold on Etsy.

-Sharlene Hornbostel, my grandmother, is holding a garage sale, assisted by my father, Scott. I am contributing many paintings for sale during it. She has been insistent on doing this despite the pandemic, and she has a mix of assorted used items and TONS of houseplants and other plants she has grown, she has a green thumb and cannot stop them growing everywhere, spreading from container to container. It is just a habit of hers at this point. So she will be unloading a large number of beautiful decorative plants for dirt cheap. I will be contributing well over a dozen items as well, paintings seen on my Etsy shop. Prices at the garage sale won’t be discounted drastically below the current Etsy levels but the opportunity to pick up an artwork for $10 or so and not need to pay a bunch in shipping on top of that? That is a potential opportunity for any of you who attend. Prices of individual paintings without shipping involved should be around 45% of what they are on Etsy.

This garage sale is currently planned for 118 Wildwood Rd, Cranberry, PA on the early-mid afternoon of Saturday, October 16. But the exact info on the hours should appear in the next blog post update along with a few additional image elements relating to the scheduled event. Sharlene is pushing for an earlier date – she suggested October 2 initially and we rejected that, but she is still arguing in favor of Oct. 9 and that now *might* actually happen instead of the 16th, even though it kind of ruins my promotional efforts thus far. As the person posting about this over and over, I kind of wish my dad and grandmother would agree on a day and timeframe well in advance of the thing instead of jerking everyone’s expectations around chaotically and likely losing customers in the process.

Here are a few photos from our last such sale at this address. The artworks and decorative plants will be different and more numerous this time, and it will be held inside the garage, and yeah, I might not be attending myself this year (we’ll see) but this gives you at least some sense of what the event and location might look like.

September – recovering

The Etsy Labor Day sale was not super successful. Indeed, the data-recovery efforts mentioned earlier – getting new external hard drive storage media and downloading cloud backup files back to local storage where they can again be used… plus some other assorted work, costs and issues resulted in delayed payment of a few bills and certain things going down visibly, including the Etsy shop itself for a few days post-sale, and the website MiniatureMultiverse.com which hit its expiry date but was still well within the ten-day grace period when I renewed the domain. Both bills have since been covered and things have indeed stabilized around here.

While customers online have continued to buy things at a gradually growing rate, the really key thing here has been the support of family and in-person connections. I am being paid by my sister Katie to do videography at her upcoming wedding, for example, and am assisting my dad with illustrations on his workbook (a church small-group workbook he’s putting together based on the Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard, I’ll show some of that later…) and all of that I’ve been really trying to do well. I’ll show more of that material soon. In practice, that means over $300 made in the past week between those things and a few sales online.

I’m even doing 3d-animated menu stuff for Katie’s wedding DVD and BluRay, based on what her wedding and reception sites look like:

Reception hall
Sanctuary in 3d
Another view of the sanctuary
Another view of the reception hall

It’s not enough pay to be outright transformative, but it absolutely did get things back on track a bit and it did allow me to cover some new stuff which will result in some things moving forward a bit more. I’m optimistic now, for example, that the stock-media packs I’d planned will be available by Halloween 2021, along with an initial launch of Panoramic Worlds. I’ll also have the first asset pack of mine on Unity’s Asset Store by then, assuming they actually have enough sense to see that it’s good, and approve it.

I am actively making more artworks, listing them on Etsy. Don’t be surprised if there are over 45 listings total on the shop by November 2021… and over 60 by the end of 2021.

That will be not just MANY paintings but also a LOT more papercraft listings showcased with some lovely new dioramas – the urban inspirations for the new sets are Venice, Paris and Amsterdam, so that gives you some sense of what’s planned by end of 2021. I may even have a couple of Greek sets up by the end of the year with both modern Greek structures and ancient Greco-Roman ruins and structures. In case you wanted to make an ancient Rome or Athens and not just stuff from the medieval or later eras. There are a bunch of mini supplies inbound largely for this purpose and a number of those materials may yet find secondary use in wrapping up the physical assembly of remaining areas in ‘Miniature Multiverse’ as well.

HERE ARE MORE NEW PAINTINGS, SEEN ON ETSY:

Lighthouse artwork -this painting sold within just four hours of being listed.
Hummingbird painting – also on stretched canvas

Basically, things are improving for me. And despite some depressing missteps a few days ago, and my opining that I might never have a career success at all given the risk of climate-change related collapse over the next 25 years, right now things are looking up. And while I still believe environmental issues could cause a massive wave of volatility and instability in the coming years, for now I’m feeling like the end of 2021 and the start of 2022 might not be terrible. I might actually have a shot at some sort of success here, and I’d love it if that meant I were able to help people struggling with lack of access to food, medicine, education, etc – all the people already on the brink in this world, who’ll face tremendous adversity as things start to unravel. These people will need our help. Nature, too, will need our help. We will have to dig deep and make sacrifices for everyone and indeed for the planet itself, if the world is to hold together in the coming crisis. And I want to believe that America and Americans can show global leadership, instead of petty tribalism, greed, short-sightedness, and self-absorption. To that end I’ve begun giving more to charitable causes this month than I was even earlier this year… raising the giving level from around 11% of my monthly budget to 23%. I want to make the world better. And I’m hoping that I can do so while also still making creative work that you all will love, at a rate that’s unprecedented. If things continue improving, there’s no reason I couldn’t continue to push my giving upwards as well, which I would love to be able to do.

If you like that idea please continue to support my work – buying on Etsy, Itch.IO, etc – and ideally also reviewing what you’ve bought. Next sales are Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and I think you’ll be excited to see what will be available during those events. Or – you know – you can also buy things quickly at full price if they show up and look interesting. Like what a recent buyer did with the lighthouse art – they saw something they liked, a one-off unique item – and they immediately grabbed it instead of waiting and running the risk somebody else would claim it.

Labor Day art sale!

Etsy: All original handmade artworks at 25% off Papercraft printed kits 50% off. All digital items 70% off. New items posted.

Itch.IO: Everything available at 45% off [individual asset packs] and 90% off [bundle deal]. Note that for various reasons most planned new content won’t be there at time of sale. I’ll explain that in the next paragraph.

Why some items are delayed: It’s not just the fact that attempts to bridge the buyers on Etsy and Itch.IO with a cross-incentive in August failed utterly. (They’re two very different audiences of buyers!)… or the fact that I can’t afford to shoot any new, high-quality VFX 4k stock-media elements packs just yet. No, it has more to do with a deluge of hardware issues on my desktop PC. I’ve had three external drives run into issues in the last two weeks. So that is a huge distraction. It would be heartbreaking and an utter disaster, except for the fact that it is all backed up in the cloud by this point [using Backblaze, which is an amazing service for that kind of thing.] so it’s just a matter of getting new drives as needed and downloading over 11 TB of data back onto the new hardware. I’m struggling because I am focused on that entire process and covering the new costs, and it inevitably has also stalled some projects critically dependent on files which were on those drives. If you want the new collections or anything digital of mine to move forward faster – as usual, buying things from the above shops DOES help keep my work going. There’s a tendency for many of you, an understandable one, to wait until a cool thing is done before buying it – yet somehow be unaware of the practical reality that those big projects like Panoramic Worlds or Miniature Multiverse or whatever else, are often limping slowly along and that financing them in some limited way before launch will in fact help get them wrapped up faster. Buying a thing from me does generally push me to make more like that thing you bought. So if you want more stock media, buying my existing stuff will encourage further work on that. Same with art or miniature papercraft on Etsy, or gamedev efforts, etc. One of the better ways to ‘cast a vote’ for a certain type of project is to buy my entire collection of stock media on Ko-fi for $3.95 – through my Ko-fi shop. You can choose what project type the funds support and I will put them towards creation of content within that category. Same idea also applies to website traffic but to a lesser extent; the more busy a site of mine is, the more it gets prioritized for future updates.

SO, considering THAT LOGIC – obviously we’ve got a problem:

mTurk microtasks and freelancing for others, constitute the SOLID MAJORITY of my online earnings and that pushes me to pursue those more than I’d like. Even though they result in no new creative content of mine usually visible to the public.

In distant second place, Etsy, which has gained a lot of ground over time. Third, eBay, even despite my rarely listing things there lately. And fourth – Itch.IO – indicating exactly why I’m struggling to justify gamedev and stock media as major priorities so far. Limited response to a category slows it down usually, and big success somewhere pushes that category faster. And then there’s the last-place category, ad revenue on my websites. Clearly not a ton to be gained from posting a lot of frequent website updates. Nonetheless, I am going to be pushing forward on that a bit as it seems the sites do drive some 15-20% of the activity and sales to Etsy and Itch and eBay so… in that sense, worthwhile?

And it’s not like earnings are what matter most to me. But they are needed to make better creative work and even to keep things online consistently. My websites went down for a couple of days a month ago… my Etsy shop has just gone offline as well THIS MONTH. And all of that is me scrambling to cover hosting bills, shop fee bills, etc, while also dealing with the cloud backup, local hardware issues, etc. It’s a mess and if things were to go badly it could all easily come crashing down. That’s why I’m having to prioritize some things like mTurk that in a better world, I maybe wouldn’t have to.

Not that I am starting a crowdfunding campaign or any such thing, but… I’d like to see a few of you do simple things like buy something cheap on one of the existing stores during the sales I am going to run, and also rate the item you bought fairly. Maybe leave a comment on the Itch page or an Etsy star rating or something? The more people see feedback from existing buyers, the more they’ll feel safe buying something. Which means your review of an item on my Etsy shop or Itch.IO shop might be an immense positive factor as far as funding goes and thus completion of additional content and updates. Look at what happened on Etsy. My Etsy shop ran from 2015 up to early 2019, no sales, tons of views and no sales. In late 2019 a brave person bought an item, loved it, reviewed it. That was the start and the more reviews were posted the more of the viewers and visitors on Etsy would actually buy something.

From 2015-mid 2019, 0% of visitors on my Etsy shop bought something. This is what happens when a shop has no ratings or responses or comments or any sort of engagement from the customers. My experience on Etsy was that the percentage of visitors who buy anything has gone up by 0.25% after each additional review, so far. Now that four ratings exist, it means 1% of shop visitors will buy an item. Four reviews took the monthly sales level from $0.00 to a new record of over $50 in August 2021. And that sort of thing tends to snowball once it gets moving, so I am asking YOU to look through the items I’ve listed and to find something you like, buy it, review it, and get things accelerating dramatically here.

I realize that every review dramatically increases the odds of any given visitor later on, making a purchase.

I recognize that both my Etsy and Itch shops have thousands of visitors every month now.

I recognize, finally, that if the rate of purchases increase as they have so far on Etsy, in response to reviews – that an added 10 reviews on each platform will mean an added 20-30 sales a month likely in months that follow.

So I can pretty much promise that if a few of you post reviews of things you bought, and looked at once they arrived (either digitally as downloads or as physical items) that those reviews will be transformative in my capacity to get everything moving forward faster and on a larger scale in the near future. I hope this goes well.

Heck, I almost made an offer to donate a certain sum for each review posted, to an array of charitable causes but I did the math and cannot be sure it wouldn’t cause a cascade or collapse of my entire web network. So… no specific numeric promises there but I will be donating whatever I can reasonably spare because as much pain and frustration exists in my life, and yours, there are others even worse off in the world and they do need our help. I can pledge this: If my total earned income ever somehow climbs above $7k a year, which is well above the current level, at least 50% of everything above that, will be given to others who really need it.

I’ve been trying to make things work for 20-odd years now. I’m closing in on my 35th birthday. Really hoping for a breakthrough.

UPDATE now that the [Labor Day] sale is going on:

Here are two new artworks on Etsy:

Western lake
Desserts

More to show up soon.

Etsy & Itch.IO sales, August 2021

I had mentioned in my last post that I was aiming to get three new collections posted on Itch.IO shop by Labor Day, plus a launch of ‘Panoramic Worlds HD’. These collections include a 3d-asset sci-fi and a medieval/fantasy collection BUT also a big VFX elements pack.

That VFX elements pack, I have a few possible outcomes for. The lowest-end outcome would involve a ackage of 20-odd digital effects – rigid-body dynamics debris blasts/falls and a mix of explosion FX that are simulated. But if you want an additional 25+ clips of real stuff in the mix, from dirt bursts to debris and splashes and cloud tank stuff potentially, well, I have a contingency plan for that but it’ll cost me about another $150 to do it right, $150 I currently do not have in place.

That $150 is almost entirely a mix of additional debris materials, the aforementioned water tank setup, a waterproof case, and camera lenses. I’ve already got a viable camera that can do this stuff at high quality 120fps – though if you really want pristine footage and the amount raised is close to $300, I can trade out my camera system and push that to be a bit better as well. Though, I’m unsure if that’ll happen.

The catch: The budget is locked in by Aug. 16 – so any funding raised after that will not be in time to meaningfully change the scope of the asset pack. That pack is launched by Sept. 1 so… any materials that I order in the last 2 weeks before package launch are going to be a bit too late.

SO HERE’S MY OFFER FOR AUG. 10-15:

-WHILE THERE’S NO NEW ITCH.IO SALE FROM ME SO CLOSE TO LABOR DAY, recall [firstly] that Ko-fi payments sent to me do include all existing asset packs I’ve got on Itch.IO plus any future Itch.IO packages. And for now, those Ko-fi payment minimums are very low. As in, $2.25 to buy ALL MY STOCK MEDIA PLUS ALL STOCK-MEDIA and ITCH.IO GAME FUTURE UPDATES.

https://ko-fi.com/s/77537ed3e4 – click here to take advantage of the new $2.25 Ko-fi deal directly.

Second, everything on Etsy is about to go on sale and not always discounted to the same extent. The digital products on Etsy are going to hit 45% off from Aug. 10-15, 2021. That’s mainly some print-your-own miniature papercraft kits in a mix of scales. But if you opt to order anything physical on Etsy it’ll be 25% off [and] will include a free download link to all the content I have on Itch.IO. As in, that same $2.25 deal is included with all Etsy physical-item orders for a span of the next six days!

And remember, the Etsy link is here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MatthewLHornbostel

The big Etsy promo pic.


One of my smaller, newer paintings.

A quick note for the end of July…

Firstly, the July 4th sale went okay but mostly was underwhelming in terms of public response.

Nonetheless, I continue to push forward on more ambitious new product releases as much as I am able.

Between now and the Labor Day sale (which is sept. 1-10, 2021) I intend to release a bunch of new art items on Etsy, plus three more asset packs on itch.IO. Plans include:

-a substantial and high quality new 2.7k video VFX elements pack on https://matthornb.itch.io/

(the creation of this pack will cost at least a couple hundred $ doing a wide range of various debris bursts/falls, involving a mix of different materials, different types of FX stuff, maybe some good smoky billowing cloud tank FX too if this goes well, and that budget, of $200ish which is… roughly what I have available at the moment, and the way I want to do it – bigger and better -will be about $75 -$125 above that, so any support in the form of Etsy or Itch.IO orders in the next week or so will make it possible to do this better, with an even wider range of effects elements. But it has to be roughly within the next 20 days, by Aug. 20 or so, past that point, the scope of the collection will kind of be locked in and won’t change meaningfully between then and the Sept. 1 launch. )

-a new medieval/fantasy 3d asset pack there too. Think modular castles – interiors, exteriors – smaller structures, and many different middle ages period details filling all of them. At least 20 3d assets included at first launch.

-and a scifi pack as well with SF themed 3d assets. Sort of a mix of the darker gritty cyberpunk stuff and some cleaner / glossy future designs too, plus some alien / outer space environment elements. Again, well over 20 different 3d objects/assets included from the get go.

And those three new asset packs will have very nice preview images and materials showcasing them effectively. Which they should have, given that they’re each priced around $2.50 or so.

But: despite this accumulating mass of epic-scaled asset packs closing in on a $30 combined price, and fast approaching 3000 total files across all of them, don’t assume that you won’t still be able to find great deals from me anymore during holidays! Labor Day 2021, Halloween 2021, Thanksgiving and Christmas 2021 all will have the bundle of all my itch.IO products together for over 90% off the normal cost (i.e. under $3 for everything released to date)

That – the trio of entirely new packs – is on top of some new, and fairly substantial free additions to a few of my existing asset packs, my first submission to the Unity Asset Store, about a dozen more listings on Etsy bringing the total to 30+ listings… a relaunch and redesign of several websites including HornbostelVideos, and the release of a little adventure game called ‘Panoramic Worlds‘ across multiple platforms.

Yes, a lot is going on around here.

Some new Etsy items have already been posted, in fact.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MatthewLHornbostel/

Like this painting, or a brand new second set of model buildings, which will be visible in a preview image very shortly on NScaleScenery.com! (in the next 36 hrs! with the actual sale listings across multiple model scales posted for sale on Etsy within 36hrs after that!) This is a big deal! So much has been in the works here these last few weeks and I am hoping that as the results of that effort start to go public you will be thrilled by it all! 😀


BRIEF UPDATE, JUNE 2021

I am working on a lot of different things, but the unavoidable result of that is that each individual effort progresses more slowly. That said, here’s a breakdown of where things stand:

  1. Microtasks. These have become higher-priority as I’ve found some work [off and on] that pays more, as in an average of $7.20/hour. And it’s work that’s available about half the time, each week so… I’ve made $400+ so far this year doing that, most of it since mid-May. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it earth-shattering, or life-changing, but rather pathetically this – minimum-wage part-time work – has a better pay rate than anything I’ve ever really landed in my life before.
  2. Miniature papercraft. I’m updating it a bit in the next couple days with a modest amount of new material tacked onto existing listings. You’ll see more soon. And best part is I do actually have a large-format printer with fantastic print quality, it can go up to 13″ by 19″ poster size. This means my papercraft will be available in TT and HO scales soon and not just the smaller scales (T, Z, N).
Nigel’s Pub, with an optional ‘outdoor seating’ addition. One of several new structures being tacked onto the British papercraft set in the next few days, across multiple scales of printable papercraft. Is there any name more stereotypically British than Nigel? Certainly not a name that is at all common in the USA!

3. Blood… the blood particle effects I have for free on Itch.IO just got an update. And it’s one of a number of updates showing up over the next week there. Watch for about 30-40 more assets to be added across some of my texture and 3d asset packs before the July 4th sale. WHICH IS ONLY ACTIVE FOR ONE DAY – JULY 4, 2021! DON’T FORGET IT!

Blood. For all the horror fans on Itch.IO.

Speaking of July 4 – I absolutely am working towards a gigantic sale on Etsy that will coincide with the Itch one and it’ll be good too. And though promotional efforts have been sort of modest this past month, they’re likely to be substantial starting a couple of days from now.

As in, I’ll be spending approx. $55 on ad campaigns, just between now and the end of the July 4 sale. That is, $35 over the two weeks leading up to that date and $20 on the day itself. It’s extremely likely to produce massive results based on past test runs.

Recall that in the past three years, between Etsy and Itch.IO, I’ve made over 60 individual sales worth over $500 total… almost all of them the direct result of active ad campaigns that were about $150 in all. So given that track record, I figure making over a dozen sales across these two venues in one day… July 4th… is fairly likely. This also means that some of the popular oft-viewed, oft-favorited listings on Etsy should finally sell by the end of that day. If you want them, but have been holding off… seriously, grab them now before someone else does! (Or take a chance on that, and wait until the morning of July 4th, and get the item you want then at 20% off if it happens to still be there.).

In preparation for the new sale I’ll be increasing the total listing count on Etsy to over 20 total listings, 20 different listed items. Granted, some of the new listings will be print stuff – the model railroading stuff appearing in a couple of larger scales they have not yet appeared in. But there will also be some new paintings showing up by the start of the sale.

Final notes: I am still working on both “Miniature Multiverse” and “Panoramic Worlds HD”. As for the latter – in the past month I’ve scrapped the old scene load/unload system and set up a new one with nicer loading screens, I implemented ad and ad-free versions of that loading-screen transition, did some playtesting, identified some situational bugs and fixed most of them, did a bit more graphics polishing in various spots, and in another few days will be doing further playtesting with a handful of other people (mostly close family) and will note any glitches/bugs they find, or any places that are confusing or that get them stuck. I’ll try to fix whatever issues they find, and also will post some trailer and video material on the web (Youtube, Vimeo, the PWHD website, the Itch.IO page, etc.)

Despite numerous failed deadlines, many delays and numerous bugs found and quashed, now I am still very optimistic that it’ll be out there by the time the sale hits. As in, during the week leading into the sale. Keep an eye out for that! It shouldn’t be more than 12 days off now!

Also, I’m working on a MAJOR update for HornbostelVideos.com to go live after that sale, some time in early July. Just know that that is still in the works. I want a lot more of my archived video content accessible but… still, not everything. There are basically going to be several tiers/categories of stuff for legal and other reasons.

A few brief updates [mid-April 2021]

  1. Panoramic Worlds has been fast-tracked but despite a lot of work is not yet released. I’d expect it to be available by the end of April 2021 though. See: PanoramicWorlds.com
  2. A massive and sustained ad campaign is moving forward. It includes a few relatively niche banner-ad networks, mainly an additional $40+ ad spend on Comic Ad Network over the next 60 days, which seems to be a natural successor to the defunct “Project Wonderful” in that I’m optimizing my ad spend well enough to get targeted clicks to Etsy, Itch.IO, etc, for about 20-25% the cost that would be involved in a typical FB/Twitter/Google ad campaign of similar effectiveness. I won’t be at all surprised if there are well over a thousand real people who show up to my online venues and sites in that timeframe. This is combined with online forum activity [signature banners and links] and YouTube and social media group comments. Such activity is proving very effective at finding interested [relevant] people who actually want the types of items I have to sell.
  3. I’ve been posting more items on Etsy and that’s going to expand further over the second half of April. For example, these artworks that have begun gaining a bit of attention:
A floral artwork priced at under $10. 12″ by 16″, original and handmade.

Paris street scene, $15 on Etsy. 18″ by 24″ original acrylic, on stretched canvas.

Finally, let’s note that I’ve done a ton of mTurk work over the course of this year so far. As in, $4-5 per hour worked, and a total amount of over $130 so far in 2021.

This -among other improvements – has helped stabilize things and I’m optimistic that there won’t be any further future issues with domains going down, or Etsy shop closures, due to lag in paying related bills.

Watch for some cool things to happen over the rest of 2021!