Author Topic: Canva is charging  (Read 2362 times)

alhawke

Canva is charging
« on: April 09, 2023, 02:10:28 AM »
This is new. I was surprised today to find that Canva now charges for downloading images. That sucks. Before, only certain images were free and I used them to create free BookBub ads for free. Now I can't even create those without getting a <300 pixel barely visible useless image.

So... I need to find a new imaging service. Ideas? I can try Bookbrush, but after 15 images I have to pay there too. It is cheaper now than Canva, though.

Are all the imaging programs going this route (ie Covervault)?
 

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Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2023, 11:23:17 PM »
Over the years, I've seen a lot of free opportunities either disappear or charge. That's because usually the free program is intended to be a sample prior to joining some premium offering by the same company. If not enough people graduate to premium, the company either shuts down or starts charging for what used to be free. Come to think of it, there is a third option--make the free offer so minimal that people will be forced to go premium to get any use of it. That seems like what may be happening here.


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Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2023, 12:40:02 AM »
Over the years, I've seen a lot of free opportunities either disappear or charge. ...

It is the McAfee business model, which he stole from the drug dealers. Give away the early product, hook the consumer, then begin a recurring revenue stream: Subscriptions Baby!

R.C.
 
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alhawke

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2023, 02:43:51 AM »
Essentially, Canvas gone from free to $120  :icon_eek: I really like Canva, but that's too steep for what I'm using them for. Apart from every other expense I've got going.
I signed up for their free month. Funny, and coincidentally, they're allowing a free trial again for one month. But next month...
 

She-la-te-da

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2023, 06:21:27 AM »
This is going to upset a lot of the low content gang. They bank on getting everything done free so they can make that big passive income they've been promised.

Amazon has been having issues with a lot of books done on Canva, too. Some accounts got terminated because of some kind of issues about not having rights to use the images. This is mainly low content, but has affected some with cover issues (actual books, not blank stuff).
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2023, 12:13:24 PM »
Amazon has been having issues with a lot of books done on Canva, too. Some accounts got terminated because of some kind of issues about not having rights to use the images. This is mainly low content, but has affected some with cover issues (actual books, not blank stuff).

A lot of the time when questions come up on Quora about being banned on Amazon, that word Canva comes up around rights to use images.

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writeway

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2023, 04:58:31 PM »
If you think you will be able to have $40, keep a lookout for AppSumo's special for DepositPhotos. You can get 100 photos (lifetime downloads) for $39. Many authors wait for this deal. It happens about twice a year usually close to the winter holidays and then the spring or summer so it might be almost here. Again, the downloads never expire so you don't have any time limits to download images.

As for free vs. paid, yes either free plans are disappearing or cheap plans are going up. Everyone's using inflation as an excuse. Even the promo sites have gone up.
 
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Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2023, 11:21:44 PM »
In order to license images in a way that conforms with copyright laws, the company doing the licensing has to have the right to do so. Normally, that means paying a fee to the creator, which is the model stock photo companies use.

If people using Canva images were having trouble, that would suggest either that Canva wasn't paying fees (which seems unlikely) or that people were stealing photos from others, pretending to be the photographer, and collecting fees from Canva for work that they didn't have the rights to. In the former case, Canva would have to start charging to be able to pay appropriate fees. In the latter case, Canva might need extra staff to check the provenance of the images and probably pay more in fees because the thieves were licensing rights more cheaply than the actual creators want to.

There could be other reasons if there's something about Canva's business model that we don't know. But a jump as big as free to $120 doesn't sound planned. It sounds like a response to a sudden change in circumstances.


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TimothyEllis

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Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2023, 11:37:06 PM »
If people using Canva images were having trouble, that would suggest either that Canva wasn't paying fees (which seems unlikely) or that people were stealing photos from others, pretending to be the photographer, and collecting fees from Canva for work that they didn't have the rights to. In the former case, Canva would have to start charging to be able to pay appropriate fees. In the latter case, Canva might need extra staff to check the provenance of the images and probably pay more in fees because the thieves were licensing rights more cheaply than the actual creators want to.

That might explain Amazon blocking books and banning people for not having the rights to images they use.

If Canva didn't legitimately have the rights to the images, then whoever did could successfully issue take down notices on Amazon, and Amazon's bots might store those images, and compare them with new uploaded books to save that from happening.

Might explain a lot.
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alhawke

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2023, 01:03:50 AM »
Even the promo sites have gone up.
Which is infuriating being that the promos are working less and less effectively.

Another thing that I'm seeing with promos is consolidation. Many are working together now or being bought out.
 
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Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2023, 06:22:28 AM »
Even the promo sites have gone up.
Which is infuriating being that the promos are working less and less effectively.

Another thing that I'm seeing with promos is consolidation. Many are working together now or being bought out.
Could this be a death spiral for promo sites? Less effectiveness=fewer bookings, maybe, with the result that the sites raise prices to try to maintain income. However, this creates an even bigger ROI problem, leading to even fewer bookings, etc. Such a trend would naturally lead to consolidation as smaller sites can no longer make it.

Some sites used to generate a hundred sales or more even for a prawn like me. My last big, multi-site new release showed that few sites, including my old faves, could even break five sales. All of them together could barely match the effectiveness of one or two of the best sites (not even counting BookBub, which I've never been accepted for).



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alhawke

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2023, 12:09:31 PM »
Some sites used to generate a hundred sales or more even for a prawn like me. My last big, multi-site new release showed that few sites, including my old faves, could even break five sales.
I hate reading old threads about the numbers garnered from promos. They're usually four to five times the amount I can earn these days. It's depressing. I hear BookBub is not as powerful anymore either.

There will always be advertising methods. Perhaps the promo newsletter method is waning? But then, what is the substitute for marketing? Ads only go so far too...?
 

PJ Post

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2023, 10:07:16 PM »
The Tiny Niche Celebrity StrategyTM version of the 1,000 True Fans approach.

It creates more revenue streams and reduces reliance on promo sites and especially on Amazon.

It's also a 'more time less money' strategy - but it requires persistence and patience because it takes a while to get going - like a year or more.

It's also a hedge against AI and other market/platform goofiness because it allows us to take control of our own brands.
 
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writeway

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2023, 03:36:16 AM »
Even the promo sites have gone up.
Which is infuriating being that the promos are working less and less effectively.

Another thing that I'm seeing with promos is consolidation. Many are working together now or being bought out.
Could this be a death spiral for promo sites? Less effectiveness=fewer bookings, maybe, with the result that the sites raise prices to try to maintain income. However, this creates an even bigger ROI problem, leading to even fewer bookings, etc. Such a trend would naturally lead to consolidation as smaller sites can no longer make it.

Some sites used to generate a hundred sales or more even for a prawn like me. My last big, multi-site new release showed that few sites, including my old faves, could even break five sales. All of them together could barely match the effectiveness of one or two of the best sites (not even counting BookBub, which I've never been accepted for).

I find that many still work okay depending on the book. For a KU book, you will get more mileage and ROI than with a wide book from my experience. It's HARD to sell a wide book on these sites now even if it's 99 cents. And, another thing you gotta price 99 cents or free for these sites to work. I see so many trying to promote higher-priced books on these sites but the readers want bargains so these sites aren't the best thing if you wanna advertise books higher than 0.99 even if they do go to 2.99 or up. Of course, promo sites might not work the way they used to because that's natural. Even Bookbub doesn't work as well as it used to but I think these sites are using the "inflation" excuse because they all started going up this year around the same time. Bookspry is one of the best in terms of ROI but after using them regularly for the last few years, they've gone up twice. Last year they went up to $35 and just a month ago has gone up to $42. Well, I no longer use them regularly.

Promo sites aren't as effective as they used to be but they still get the word out and are a good option for folks who don't use ads. But some are pricing themselves out of the market by going a bit too high. I mean Bookspry's jump is ridiculous in just a month.

Promo sites still get tons of bookings though. Because I use them all the time, I am a subscriber to hundreds of them and they never have a shortage of books. Seems like authors are using them as much as they always did whether they get the same effectiveness or not.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2023, 03:38:39 AM by writeway »
 

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Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2023, 04:17:31 AM »
I suspect that's because of limited alternatives. I still use promo sites for new releases because they are better than nothing. Even if achieving a positive ROI is difficult, the increased visibility may pay off in the long run. And no really great option has yet emerged to replace the promo sites.

You're certainly right about having to price the books low, which also complicates the quest for ROI. But it's a decent tactic if one doesn't overdo it.

I'll mention BookFunnel briefly because it does offer another avenue. A lot of people only think of it in terms of getting newsletter signups, but it also has good sales promos. Though BF does cost something, a paid plan gives you access not only to newsletter signup promos but also to sales promos, so if you're already using it, the sales promos come at no extra cost. They aren't world beaters, but with no releases in particular, the clicks convert pretty well to sales. Even a book that isn't a new release tends to get at least a few more sales, certainly as many as I'll get with a single promo site in most cases. As with the promo sites, though, $0.99 books do best.



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LilyBLily

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2023, 04:26:07 AM »
<snip>
I'll mention BookFunnel briefly because it does offer another avenue. A lot of people only think of it in terms of getting newsletter signups, but it also has good sales promos. Though BF does cost something, a paid plan gives you access not only to newsletter signup promos but also to sales promos, so if you're already using it, the sales promos come at no extra cost. They aren't world beaters, but with no releases in particular, the clicks convert pretty well to sales. Even a book that isn't a new release tends to get at least a few more sales, certainly as many as I'll get with a single promo site in most cases. As with the promo sites, though, $0.99 books do best.

The problem I found with BookFunnel a couple of years ago when I did a lot of them is the same today. People insist on putting books that do not belong in a promo category in it anyway. The same books also show up in multiple promos close together in time. That has to make readers and potential buyers both bored and wary. I just tried a free download from one only to discover the story was a different genre altogether. It would be stretching it in a big way to say it fit the category being promoted. Naming no names, obviously, but what a disappointment.
 

Anarchist

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2023, 09:18:40 AM »
Another thing to keep in mind regarding promo sites...

Some have kept their prices at the same level but increased the number of titles they include per mailing. The more titles they include, the less visibility for your title (unless yours is positioned at the top of the mailing).

In the worst cases I've seen, so many titles are included that Gmail clips 'em off. It happens whenever an email exceeds 102 KB (other email clients may have different limits). When you scroll to the bottom, you'll see this:





If your title is clipped, you've wasted your money. I'd be surprised if one in 1,000 recipients clicks to "view the entire message."

I track all of the email promo sites. Several have done this.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2023, 11:39:01 PM »
The problem I found with BookFunnel a couple of years ago when I did a lot of them is the same today. People insist on putting books that do not belong in a promo category in it anyway. The same books also show up in multiple promos close together in time. That has to make readers and potential buyers both bored and wary. I just tried a free download from one only to discover the story was a different genre altogether. It would be stretching it in a big way to say it fit the category being promoted. Naming no names, obviously, but what a disappointment.
Yes, that's an issue for sure. I think some promo hosts spend more time than others actually vetting the submitted books to make sure they fit the category.

It didn't take me long to discover that joining a whole bunch of promos in the same month wasn't productive for anyone. My newsletter subscribers aren't going to click on more than a couple at most, which means it's hard to do my part in sharing the promos. And because a lot of the same people were seeing more than one promo with my book in it, my click rates and conversions from clicks to sales went down.

What I found was that I can productively do two a month, one for newsletter sign-ups and one for sales. The newsletter one, because people like freebies more, gets more clicks, but both get a respectable number. And because the reader magnets are naturally different than the book I'm trying to sell, I'm not bombarding people with the same ad over and over and over. If everyone did that, the ecosystem would be cleaner.

There was a time when I did three, one each from Prolific Works, Story Origin, and BookFunnel. I ended up focusing on BookFunnel because Prolific Works only has newsletter promos, and both PW and Story Origin have a much smaller selection. That means it's harder to match a book with a promo.


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alhawke

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2023, 02:17:48 AM »
Yes, that's an issue for sure. I think some promo hosts spend more time than others actually vetting the submitted books to make sure they fit the category.
Here's my take from someone running them. If there's one thing I hate about running a promotion, it's taking down an entry. I'll do it if the book is clearly inappropriate (erotica, nonfiction, etc), I review all of them, but I've become fairly open in accepting books. Why? Let me relate a story. Even before my sensitivity to people's feelings, I ran one promo where I cancelled a book. Suspiciously, I was knocked out of another promotion I had entered a few hours later (one I had been accepted a week before). So though I love working with other authors, just as talking to you guys here, a positive effort at cooperating can backfire. Our feelings, as we know, are pretty sensitive when it comes to our books.

For my audience, I like Bookfunnel. A large variety of books works fine for me as I can advertise romance and fantasy as my books fit both genres well. I actually look for promos that are large so I can show my readers more variety. And, I hope, those I run bring enough variety from other authors (I'm running a Beltane Spring newsletter promo May 1st, btw; please feel free to join me grint).
 

writeway

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2023, 02:26:37 AM »
What a coincidence! Look what's here! The AppSumo Depositphotos special. It only lasts a few days so anyone who wants 100 images for $39 needs to order ASAP! I'm stacked up and have almost 400 images.

https://appsumo.com/products/depositphotos
 
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alhawke

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2023, 02:48:33 AM »
Awesome, writeway! Thanks. I'll check it out.
 

alhawke

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2023, 10:37:33 AM »
Okay, took the discounted deal and set up an account. Now I have high the 100 quality photos via deposit photo with the discount. I do think this is a great deal for premium stock photos and I didn't want to miss out. But...

What about templates and typography? I think I still need to use Canva or Bookbrush for ad/cover creation, right? Or is there another way to create ads/covers/etc with images? What do you guys use for typography and finished downloads? Because Canva's new hook is that, in order to download your created art, it's downloaded in low res forcing you to purchase their yearly service. What do you all use for final creation?
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2023, 11:55:18 PM »
Yes, that's an issue for sure. I think some promo hosts spend more time than others actually vetting the submitted books to make sure they fit the category.
Here's my take from someone running them. If there's one thing I hate about running a promotion, it's taking down an entry. I'll do it if the book is clearly inappropriate (erotica, nonfiction, etc), I review all of them, but I've become fairly open in accepting books. Why? Let me relate a story. Even before my sensitivity to people's feelings, I ran one promo where I cancelled a book. Suspiciously, I was knocked out of another promotion I had entered a few hours later (one I had been accepted a week before). So though I love working with other authors, just as talking to you guys here, a positive effort at cooperating can backfire. Our feelings, as we know, are pretty sensitive when it comes to our books.

For my audience, I like Bookfunnel. A large variety of books works fine for me as I can advertise romance and fantasy as my books fit both genres well. I actually look for promos that are large so I can show my readers more variety. And, I hope, those I run bring enough variety from other authors (I'm running a Beltane Spring newsletter promo May 1st, btw; please feel free to join me grint).
Yeah, I can see how removing books wouldn't be much fun. Perhaps that's one reason I haven't tried running a promo yet.

What's the name of your May newsletter promotion. I'm not seeing anything with "Beltane" in it (or under your name, though I know you could be using a different handle on BF).

I also think a large number of books is better (and involves more authors promoting it, hence more reader engagement). I often go for the largest one I can find that fits the book I want to sell or the reader magnet I want to use to get newsletter signups, depending on which kind of promo is involved. But it also try to switch a little among different promoters. This isn't always true, but sometimes, people put the same book up with the same promoter month after month after month. Enough of those, and it's not as attractive to readers.



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alhawke

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2023, 02:32:10 AM »
What's the name of your May newsletter promotion. I'm not seeing anything with "Beltane" in it (or under your name, though I know you could be using a different handle on BF).
:cheers Spring Fiery Romance and Fantasy by A.L. Hawke; under romance and fantasy genre categories. Beltane is the theme, but I didn't want to restrict books to only witchy themes: https://dashboard.bookfunnel.com/bundles/board/92yi17p2im
 
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writeway

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2023, 03:27:29 AM »
Okay, took the discounted deal and set up an account. Now I have high the 100 quality photos via deposit photo with the discount. I do think this is a great deal for premium stock photos and I didn't want to miss out. But...

What about templates and typography? I think I still need to use Canva or Bookbrush for ad/cover creation, right? Or is there another way to create ads/covers/etc with images? What do you guys use for typography and finished downloads? Because Canva's new hook is that, in order to download your created art, it's downloaded in low res forcing you to purchase their yearly service. What do you all use for final creation?

Why don't you invest in your own program? If you plan to make covers then this is the best solution. I use Photoshop Elements and I also have Affinity Photo. It's better to have your own program so you don't have to depend on something that might not be around one day. Neither Photoshop Elements or Affinity Photo requires any kind of subscription. You can buy both outright.
 

alhawke

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2023, 04:05:02 AM »
Why don't you invest in your own program?
Do I need both? Affinity photo appears to be the most affordable and I was considering purchasing this. I want something simple and the one time fee is about the cost of a year subscription to BookBrush or Canva. So, for years to come, it seems to be a good investment. But have you found that you need Photoshop to suit all your needs as well? Photoshop appears more expensive.

I take it I can use either software for fitting graphics? And it comes with available fonts??
 

She-la-te-da

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2023, 04:36:08 AM »
alhawke, you can use something like GIMP. It's free, works basically like Photoshop and will make nice covers if you know how to make them for your books (which it seems you do). I used it for years before I got Photoshop (before the subscription nonsense).

On another aspect of the thread, I don't know what's going on between Amazon and Canva. I don't know if it's Canva's fault, or that of people using it. I know it seems to be mostly newbs and those roped into the easy money from blank books scheme. But, it seems some who know better are getting caught up in it as well.

All I know is, I'm not touching Canva nor "AI" generated anything. I value my account too much, even if I'm not utilizing it as much as I should be. :)
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Post-Crisis D

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2023, 05:04:19 AM »
Affinity photo appears to be the most affordable and I was considering purchasing this.

I have Affinity Photo and an old version of Photoshop (pre-subscription).  I use Photoshop out of habit, but I haven't found much that Photoshop can do that Affinity Photo can't.  I mean, Photoshop has a lot more features than Affinity Photo, but most are features I don't use so . . .

One thing to be cautious of is that, with Affinity version 2, they switched to an Internet activation scheme.  With version 1, you entered your serial number and you were good to go with no Internet connection required.  With version 2, you need an Internet connection for activation.  So, some day down the road, should Affinity go away or shut down their activation servers as Adobe did for CS3 and CS4, you won't be able to activate it again.   Just a possibility to bear in mind.  After being burned by Adobe, I try to avoid software like that whenever possible.

Other options to consider are GIMP and possibly Krita.
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writeway

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2023, 06:57:45 AM »
Why don't you invest in your own program?
Do I need both? Affinity photo appears to be the most affordable and I was considering purchasing this. I want something simple and the one time fee is about the cost of a year subscription to BookBrush or Canva. So, for years to come, it seems to be a good investment. But have you found that you need Photoshop to suit all your needs as well? Photoshop appears more expensive.

I take it I can use either software for fitting graphics. And it comes with available fonts??

No, you don't need both. I just bought Affinity about 3 years ago during a Black Friday sale because folks were hyping it up. I don't like it. It's too complicated. I've tried about 4 times and it's just more complicated for me. I use PSE because I've been using that for years. That's my favorite program hands down. I've been making covers for probably about 8 years and PSE is all I use and it fits all my needs. I've never needed a template. I make covers from scratch. There might be some but there are tons of features in PSE that I've never even used so I'm not sure.

I'd go with PSE but as I said I am biased. Don't like AP. I really don't get the hype of it.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2023, 07:03:39 AM by writeway »
 

PJ Post

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2023, 07:19:20 AM »
I've used all of the above. If Photoshop isn't an option, Clip Studio is hands down the next best thing. It's like Photoshop 10 or thereabouts - so much so, I can't believe they didn't get sued. It's a 'go to' program for illustrators.

Fiona Staples is the illustrator for Saga, and she uses it as part of her workflow.



Most of these apps offer free trials. They all have something different going for them. Best to take a look and see which one works best for your needs.
 
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alhawke

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2023, 12:03:32 PM »
alhawke, you can use something like GIMP. It's free, works basically like Photoshop and will make nice covers if you know how to make them for your books (which it seems you do).
I'll check out GIMP. But, no, I don't make my own covers. I've been lucky at hiring amazing designers for all my covers.

I'm looking for simple 350 pixel images for BB or banners for my website. That stuff I do myself. That's why I don't want to spend a lot of money on this; Optimally, I'd like to find imaging software that I can buy as a one time fee, like Vellum for formatting, and use for years. Maybe... PSE because it seems pretty affordable.
Most of these apps offer free trials. They all have something different going for them. Best to take a look and see which one works best for your needs.
That's good advice. I'll look into that
 

hjmoritzo

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2023, 10:00:09 PM »
I'll check out GIMP.

I'm looking for simple 350 pixel images for BB or banners for my website. That stuff I do myself.
I find Krita (also free) a lot easier to use than GIMP. You could also try photopea http://www.photopea.com which is a free online Photoshop alternative.
 
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Lorri Moulton

Re: Canva is charging
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2023, 02:50:44 AM »
The Tiny Niche Celebrity StrategyTM version of the 1,000 True Fans approach.

It creates more revenue streams and reduces reliance on promo sites and especially on Amazon.

It's also a 'more time less money' strategy - but it requires persistence and patience because it takes a while to get going - like a year or more.

It's also a hedge against AI and other market/platform goofiness because it allows us to take control of our own brands.

THIS!!

Author of Romance, Fantasy, Fairytales, Mystery & Suspense, and Historical Non-Fiction @ Lavender Cottage Books
 
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