Looking for the right read to help you take your creative business to the next level? There are a tremendous number of books on the market aimed at helping artists become more successful entrepreneurs. With this post, Assets for Artists is launching a series of book reviews to help you find the best resources for your creative business planning. We start off with two books by western Massachusetts-based writer Kari Chapin! Grow Your Handmade Business and The Handmade Marketplace empower the reader to make practical steps towards envisioning a healthy, fulfilling business.
Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop and Sustain a Successful Creative Business
An ideal read for those creative schemers who want to structure their daydreams into their day jobs and need a reassuring boost. Kari Chapin’s energetic guidance lays out the foundation for building sustainable business practices in the arts. Her positive, can-do approach is tailored for real people with real passions — no incomprehensible business jargon here. The book is filled with personal accounts and advice from a variety of creative business owners, and presents a step-by-step plan of action to help the reader strategize for his or her own business.
Drawing on the power of reflection, Chapin asks the reader to take time to write and define what ‘benchmarks’ must be reached to lay out a personal path to success. Even through these exercises, Chapin’s upbeat coaching inspires the reader to keep the goal in mind, and to stick with the planning needed to get there.
The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell your Crafts Locally, Globally and Online
Crafting on the side can be satisfying, but with Chapin’s guidance, a hobby that you love could turn into the business that you own. Though this book is designed for crafters, Chapin’s business models and marketing advice can be applied to many types of art-making. Exploring a variety of ways to market to a consumer — whether at craft fairs, online, at events or in stores — Chapin lays out strategies that let you play by your rules.
Having an online presence is a must for modern-day crafters; blogging, online forums, podcasting, online stores and social media are marketing tools available at the click of a mouse. Chapin insists that partaking in online communities is key in connecting you (and your craft) with other like-minded craftspeople, creating a network of supporters and consumers alike.
Chapin also explains the ins and outs of participating in the craft fair scene. Whether regional or local, craft fairs are an important venue for selling products, checking out competition and networking with others.
Chapin’s powerful blend of enthusiasm and practical advice makes it possible for readers to envision the end to the 9-5 work week — and the start of an exciting future as a creative entrepreneur.