|Posted by paragon19 on May 28, 2010 at 2:03 PM|
Well, I have some good news and some bad news. I'll give you all the good news first, because it will help make sense everything else: Paragon Cardmodels is receiving a lot of traffic for a hobby site, meaning its quite popular. Unfortunately, the free version of Freewebs comes with certain limitations, especially including bandwidth. Some of you may have already noticed that I removed the Forums and Gallery pages from the website, in an effort to stay within the limits Freewebs has.
The bad news is that for me to meet the growing demand for my models, and still upload new work in the future, I need to upgrade the website, which costs money. Some of you may have also noticed a new tab on the side called "Web Store", this has been added to help me in an effort to keep the website up. Yes, it does mean I'm selling model plans now, but thus far, this is not new. The models currently available in the Store are already for sale on other sites, and not available free here.
If you're anything like me, you're probably wondering, "Does this mean you're going to start charging for all your free models?". No, all the models I currently offer for free will still be free even after all the changes are finished. Some models that depict copyrighted work (like my Star Trek models) must remain free to avoid copyright issues, but my other models will remain free because I wouldn't feel right charging for something that used to be free.
There is, however, a catch. Links to the free models will (eventually) be removed from my website where they can be accessed by everyone. To download these models, new visitors will simply have to join the website. Upon doing this, a welcome e-mail will be sent to those members automatically, including links to all of my currently free models.
Some of you may be skeptical; "Why does he want our e-mails? Is he going to sell them to other companies?". No, I won't. None of the e-mails people use to sign up will be given or sold to anyone else, you won't receive spam when you sign up, only my newsletter and e-mail blasts, which will be used to announce new models or other changes to the website (much like this change is being included in an e-mail blast).
Those of you who have already signed up as members need do nothing. Once the links are removed from the site, I will send an e-mail blast containing the links to my models. I suggest you save the directory in a safe place when you get it, so you can always go download them at your liesure. New free model releases will also be distributed to anyone on the e-mail list as soon as they come out, so keep on the lookout for those. This does mean that if you want to get new models, you'll have to make sure to submit valid e-mail addresses. I can't send anything if you make a typo or use a fake address.
This also brings up another point; those of you who belong to forums for our hobby's community, I have to ask that you no longer share my files with other people, instead, direct them to my website. I will be announcing these changes on the forums I belong to, so the moderators there will also take appropriate action against those redistributing my work, but I know you're all great people, and that this won't be an issue.
I also feel it necessary to mention that I'm looking to make a bit of profit from these new changes. Currently, I make very little money from my hobby, which has been fine in the past, but has sometimes made it hard to justify working on my designs, especially since the development of each model costs money and a lot of time. The better my models sell, the more time I'll be able to devote to the hobby.
"So what does this mean about future designs from you?", you may be wondering. While it does mean less of my new designs will be free, it does not mean I will stop making free models. Part of the reason I haven't charged for many of my models is because I feel they aren't worth you paying money, especially my early aircraft models. I currently plan to do some serious overhaul of some existing models (like my A-10 Warthog, for example), to make them easier to build, more accurate, better quality, etc. These overhauls will likely be for sale, but the originals will still be free. It also means I may release a lot of re-paints of my better models in the store, but again, rest assured the originals will be free.
The final, small issue is that I may be moving to my own domain. I call this a small issue because I should be able to redirect traffic from this current site to my new domain with ease, meaning most of my links (and your links) should remain active. Obviously if I make the move, I'll start replacing old links with new links wherever possible, but this is all possibility, and depends heavily on the future.
Thanks to everyone who has joined my site so far, followed, and helped promote my website. Here's to a bright future for Paragon Card Models.