Getting serious about turning your craft passion into a career requires some research and planning. Knowing you have to market your creations is one thing but how to go about it is another. So advice, tips and insider knowledge from those who have been there and done that is not only useful but a time saver. There is no need to make the same mistakes other new small business owners make.
I received the second edition of Crafter's Market from Fons and Porter (F+W Media) recently for review. Crafter's Market 2016: How to Sell Your Crafts and Make a Living is an annual resource guide for up to date information on how to start and expand your craft small business. It is edited by Kerry Bogert, craft book author as well as an editor for Interweave. This guide is about 1 inch thick and packed with information relevant to all marketable crafts. There are 3 main sections.
The first section deals with business basics like how to keep track of expenses and tax information. The latter is most relevant for US craft business owners. People from outside the US will have to do your own homework about taxes in your countries. I suspect most countries will let you deduct home office expenses and a percentage of your utilities, rent or mortgage and so on.
The copyright part was an eye opener and contained invaluable information. Did you know copyright is not just a singular right ? "It is a bundle of rights you enjoy as the creator of your artwork." So an artist could control which rights - such as reproduction right or even public display right - he or she wishes to grant to others or sell.
The Articles and Interviews section of the book contains invaluable insights on several different topics by seasoned artisans and artists. They clearly know how to market and promote via email marketing and social media such as Pinterest. They also know where the time sucks are and how to be more efficient with today's technology.
Reading what other artisans go through reminds us of common issues. Knitwear designer, Heather Zoppetti lamented about knitwear design, "It's a saturated and unpredictable market that is, in most cases, unable to provide a living wage." And you thought it was only jewelry making! But she shares her tips on how to expand one's market.
Jason Tennant's article on his Perspectives as an Online Visual Artist included pros and cons for selling on Etsy. Selling at a craft show is a popular way of earning but what if you have never done one before? Kerry Bogert has some great tips. One interesting article was Heather Power's Hosting Creative Retreats. She should know - she is the organizer for beadcruise.com. Diane Gilleland's Crafting a Book is another fascinating read as she covers 5 reality checks any book author wannabee needs to know. #1 was "Can You Afford to Write a Book?"
The bulk of the book consists of market listings - information on shows both offline and online and other marketing ventures in publishing. Each listing not only contains contact details but also what the show/online market/book/magazine is all about. Some publications offer compensation at competitive rates for published articles but not all do. All this will help you determine which place is a best fit for you and your craft designs.
The industry shows are the wholesale ones where retailers around the world come to buy stock for their stores. The craft show listings also contain additional (brief) information such as deadlines, application feeds, booth space etc. These shows are listed alphabetically with helpful symbols for a few Canadian and UK venues, making it easier to spot these in a sea of US ones. The index also lists these by state and country. Small, locally organized craft shows and fairs are not listed.
The book covers most important listings but not all. For example, under online marketplaces, Cafepress is included but not Zazzle. This may be related to the requirements for the book or the fact that some companies did not respond to requests for information.
The amount of information also varies. This is directly due to the returned questionnaires from companies. Dwanda, the European online marketplace, submitted a long paragraph compared to Etsy's terse 5 lines!
Crafter's Market 2016 is a very useful resource to have at your finger tips. It's no surprise they are already working on the next issue which will be out at the end of this year with updated info for 2017.
If you'd like to win a copy of Crafter's Market 2016: How to Sell Your Crafts and Make a Living please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.
Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.
This giveaway is international.
If the winner has a non-post box US address, the prize will be a physical book. Otherwise it will be an eBook.
Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments. (The exception is Facebook - just like/comment on the giveaway status there!!)
It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, April 4 , 2016 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!
I receive books and products for review. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.
Before You Go:
- 5 Ways to Improve Online Handmade Jewelry Sales
- Selling Your Jewelry Wholesale to Stores
- Craft Show Time | Some Set Up Tips
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips