This post discusses having professional draftspeople draft plans for your homemade tools, which we could then sell in our plans market. Both you and the draftsperson would receive a portion of the sales, like an author and illustrator of a book.
Our homemade tools plans market is doing surprisingly well. We now have three authors who have earned $100+ payments in a single month. It looks like authors can do well with multiple plans, and it also looks like certain plans are selling like hotcakes (nhengineer's Rotary Phase Converter plans sold 27 copies at $12.50, in just the first month).
We've been promoting the plans via a combination of specialty newsletter mailings to our 35,000+ subscribers, forum promotions, and replacing site banner ads with in-house plans ads. We'd like to have more plans for sale, but many of our members have built incredible tools, but have never used formal technical drafting software.
The solution: professional draftspeople can make formal drawings for your tool plans, like illustrators working with an author. You can add your existing tool descriptions and photographs to their professional plans drawings. We would then edit the plans for syntax/grammar/formatting, add a graphic cover, and we could sell the complete plans, with you listed as the author, and the draftsperson listed as the illustrator.
We've been interviewing professional draftspeople; there are dozens of applicants with years of experience, and there is plenty of enthusiasm.
Currently, plans authors receive 70% of the sales of their plans. If using a professional draftsperson, plans authors would probably receive 50% of the sales, and the draftsperson would probably receive 20% of the sales.
The legal agreements would be similar to that among an author and illustrator of a book. Both the author and the draftsperson would retain ownership of their separate descriptions/photos/drawings; they would just agree to combine them in a single downloadable plans file.
We would allow multiple draftspeople to register on the forum. They could PM you, and say: "I'd like to draft plans for your homemade tool." If you agreed, they would use software to make technical drawings of your tools, then you would approve them. We would combine these drawings with your text instructions and photos (you can often just copy-paste these from your original post, but you might want to add additional text instructions). Then, we would clean up formatting/syntax/grammar, package everything, add a graphic cover, get your final approval, and put it up for sale. You would not need to physically send anyone your actual homemade tool in the mail; the draftspeople can make drawings from photos and descriptions, many of which you've already posted.
The great part is that if you're skilled at making homemade tools, but not at using technical drafting software, you can still sell beautiful, formal, professional plans. Your reputation (that you have slowly built with multiple posts, tools, awards, etc.), is valuable to people, and they would be buying "official" plans endorsed by you, with technical drawings created by a professional draftsperson, and approved by you.
What do you think? Any questions? Suggestions for improvement? Criticism? If a professional draftsperson did all of the plans drawing work, would you be interested in selling your plans?