Book Review: the Handmade Marketplace
I’m having a hard time finishing The Handmade Marketplace, but not for the usual reasons of lack of interest or complicated language. Nope. I’m having a hard time finishing this book because about every other paragraph I’m compelled to run off and jot something down. Committing to my idea list inspired ideas that keep raising to the surface. I love this book, it’s so inspiring. So what is it all about?
Just like the title says, this book is about, “how to sell your craft locally, globally, and online.” It’s all about why you (& me) should sell, how to get started, and once started what should we do next.
Part 1: Getting to Know Yourself and Your Business
The first part of the book focuses on the “why we make” question and why it may (or may not) be a good idea to sell in the handmade marketplace. Kari asks a lot of great questions and there are tips and stories from her Creative Collaborative (a group of amazing makers who contributed their insights to the book).
Chapter two that really grabbed me. Branding has always been built up as a corporate word, but it completely applies to all of us too. The ones who do it well are the successful ones. She challenges us to think of branding (as well as marketing later) as just one more fun creative project. As I step from where I am now to where I want to be, tightening up the way I present myself will be important. This chapter inspired me, and sent me off to write down a million things as well as finally finish the new archive template.
In chapter 3 there is a lot of solid info about sole proprietorship vs. partnership vs. LLC, picking a name, and loads of other great advice for going from crafting as a hobby to making it a busines.
Part 2: Spreading the Word–And Images.
I got back to the book and dug into the chapter on marketing. Did you know, other than saying “yes” to opportunities, I’ve hardly ever done marketing for Craft Leftovers? I think things could be going along at a better clip if I put a little more effort into my PR, that and my images. More on that next week. She offers up a lot of great advice on how to approach marketing with the same creative problem solving I do a leftovers challenge.
I, of course, had to stop and brainstorm press packets and improvements to the blog, haha.
She covers a lot more than just press releases, things like podcasts, twitter, facebook, and a great Q&A with Holly Becker of decor8 about what makes an email inquiry stand out. Very informative for sure!
Part 3: Getting Down to Selling.
I’m shooting for a craft fair or two in the summer of 2011 and I am so happy to have this resource in my tool belt. I’m sure I will turn to it again and again to help figure out where the best places are to sell, how to choose what to sell, pricing, and my set up. It even covers craft fair etiquette – I didn’t know that existed, but it makes sense that is does and it is foreign to me for sure.
There is also a great section on online shops. Having had 2 for more than 3 years now you think I would know a lot. After reading this section I feel like a newbie. It definitely opened my eyes a bit. I’m excited about putting to action some of the things I learned.
And don’t despair, if having a physical shop is your dream, that’s covered in great detail! Ahh, someday. :)
A bonus to the book for me is that quite a few of my favorite people are part of the Creative Collective I mentioned above:
If you are in anyway thinking about selling your creative projects, this is the perfect book to get you acquainted with all aspects of being a part of the Handmade Marketplace.
I’m so glad my editor sent this along to me. After seeing this book, I’m pretty happy to be publishing my book with them. More and more I’m finding that most the books I love are put out by Storey Publishing.