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Selling Art Online: The Creative Guide to Turning Your Artistic Work into Cash Paperback – July 10, 2013
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About the Author
Dave Conrey is an artist, designer, entrepreneur, and family man. When not spending time with his son, playing dinosaurs or superheroes, he is working on a number of creative projects, ranting on his podcast (The Fresh Rag Show), or writing his next book. Before launching his own brand, he worked for 2 decades as a graphic designer and art director, and he uses this experience to inform, engage, and advise creative entrepreneurs on how to take their work from a hobby to a viable business.
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Surprise surprise!! Dave has taken everything he knows (and continues to find out through his Fresh Rag podcasts, interviews and creative connections) and put it into this small but incredibly powerful little book about navigating selling art online today. It's not something you can't find out yourself but nothing beats investing the blood, sweat and tears into it yourself as an artist, making all the mistakes and then articulating it in a way that's easy to digest so that others can learn from your experience.
My favorite part of the book is how he groups the various sites/platforms into categories so that it's easier to compare features. This is not just a list of what the platforms do but also invaluable analysis and thoughts from someone who has investigated them for himself. Dave tries to update it too as times change but he will tell you that it's hard to keep up so he has made himself reasonably accessible for questions so you can always email him or reach him via social media!
Basically, depending on the type of art you create, there are different websites to sell your art from that have very different clientele. Obviously, the hard part is to find the right site to sell your art that will reach the right person who will like your art enough to buy it. The author helps you assess your website choices and motivates you to pick one and try it out. In fact, this book is like speed dating with 20 websites.
Seriously, if this book doesn't give you the kick in the proverbial pants to post your art online, nothing will. The author genuinely wants you to get your art on the Internet and he feels it is his job to talk you into it by the end of the book. And again, to push you over the edge, he gives you 20 sites to choose from, which are grouped into five categories, and the pros and cons of each site--no excuses! If you're a control freak, there are sites for you. If you're more hands-off, then let these other sites do the work for you.
By the way, he says if you don't think you're ready to put yourself out there or your art piece isn't perfect, you're wrong. Get your art on the Internet and don't be afraid to fail because nobody will care. Don't let fear paralyze you. And if you do fail, then maybe the site you picked wasn't the right fit and just try again with another site in the same or different category. As Tennyson once said, "'Tis better to have posted your art online and failed, then to have never posted at all." (That quote wasn't in the book.)
The author also shares some of his tricks, like the "3T" method of posting, to promote your art-for-sale on social media websites. He even offers some ideas on how to create lots of interesting content for your online followers or blog readers.
Being in a slump myself, I would highly encourage you to get this book if you feel anxious or discouraged about your art - whether you're a beginner at selling, or if you've been doing it for years. It can help you get started quickly and confidently, with simple ideas for getting a system in place for social networking!
The author readily acknowledges that there is no 'one size fits all' solution and that the online landscape is always evolving. However, he pushes the artist to TAKE ACTION -- citing a quote from Steve Jobs: "Real artists ship" -- and encourages the reader to use this book to begin building your knowledge base while continuing to search out and evaluate new opportunities for sharing your art. I consumed this book in one sitting, on a Saturday evening (no social life?!?!), but the info at the end of the book about building your e-mail list and platform, sales funnels, and how to create new content from your art, and ways to sell that content, are worth many, many times the cost of this book.