America Fine Art Prints is strictly web based they can do this for you but they do no marketing-everything is online and the buyer has to browse their website. Unfortunately, their data base is HUGE…they must have at least 5000 artists, expect your offerings to be lost in the shuffle. But check out the prices they charge buyers and you will have a starting price range when figuring out costs etc…
If you do it on your own, most art printers will charge a one time fee for taking the digital photo and doing whatever editing is required, keep the digital image on file (for a fee) Or just give you a memory stick or CD with the image ready for printing..and you can order how many prints you want of it usually their prices are pretty good…They may charge more for fewer prints, AND you will probably be able to order varying sizes or if extra editing is required they can charge you for the time and effort it takes to crop images or touch up etc. Printers will be able to offer prints in inks (fugitive) or pigmented (more permanent) in a range of supports from regular acid loaded paper to archival stuff or even canvas…some printers request artists to supply the paper. This industry is very flexible, very versatile and competitive in larger cities where there are more visual artists around who are likely to use their services. This is strictly a..”they print, you market and deliver” sort of do it yourself.
I used to live in a smaller city, Edmonton, Alberta where fine arts is not a thriving sector. But in larger more arts and culture oriented cities you may be able to find more competitive pricing and more flexibility in services they provide. Use your yellow pages and look for printers (if you do acrylics or oils you may be looking for giclees printers and they can print on canvas) if you do watercolours a regular lithographer will print for you…..and here is the difference– inks tend to fade….so you can go either the cheapie way and print stuff like a regular printer on paper OR you can go pigmented prints on archival watercolour paper. So you have to make that decision first.
On the other hand I have a friend who bought himself a huge Epson printer several years ago when he felt his clients outgrew the small 8 1/2″ x 11″ prints on watercolour paper and started printing in 17″ widths. In the long run do it yourself is cheapest in small quantities, but most expensive initially. If you want to go professionally at it full hog, then let the professionals handle it. They can handle huge numbers.
You can also inquire at places like Art in Motion where they will sign you up with a contract (be aware, though, that their contracts are stiff…EVERYTHING you produce as an artist for the duration of the contract is under THEIR copyright! AND they follow THEIR schedule of fees AND they often request you paint a certain subject or style to match their customers’ needs (they market heavily to home designers and interior decorators) , and you will be providing paintings much like commissions). On the other hand they have worldwide distribution and they promote all your stuff. IF you do decide to go with a print house like Art in Motion I strongly urge you to get a lawyer to help you through all the fine print and legalese. Especially about the copyright period…they will try to blind side you by requesting copyright of everything you produce for the rest of your life). Be sure to demand a fixed trial period after which you are permitted without cost to you to opt out of the contract. <–lawyer lawyer!