In the last few months, I have decided to stop doing limited edition prints. Instead, I am numbering each print that I make at this point, and I include the date on which it was printed. Most of the time, I even remember to record the information.
Honestly, I doubt that I was ever going to really hit any of the limits I had set for the few limited edition images I was selling, and I doubt the "Limited Edition" label made much of a difference to the people buying my prints. I hope that people buy my pictures because they want to enjoy the image. I doubt they buy them as an investment.
I originally thought that marking the prints as part of a limited edition would help to increase sales, but I was never able to see that increase in sales or much of an ability to charge a premium for those limited edition prints. Yes, I think that "limited editions" are a marketing ploy, and it's one that I am not going to use any longer.
I had several problems with the concept of limited editions and my execution. Part of the problem was trying to determine good limits for those limited editions. If I set the limit too high, then the limited edition apparently didn't mean much to most people. What is print #3 of 100 worth? Setting the edition to a smaller number, could put me in the position of losing sales if I did sell all of the prints. Should a collector be able to make money off a popular image that I couldn't print any longer?
In looking at some of my older prints, I have also realized that with changes in technology and materials, and with more experience printing images using those technologies and materials, I can print better pictures. If I can make a better print, why not? I know that some artists get around this by printing an image in a different size or perhaps with a different crop to get around the limits of their edition numbers, but I find that a bit dishonest.
As with my limited editions, there are some images I won't sell for mass produced cards or mass produced prints. There are some I won't sell for advertising or other uses. Those are the images I'd like to still be printing for myself and for you for many years to come.