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Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered Paperback – March 6, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 421 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
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  • Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
  • +
  • The Steal Like an Artist Journal: A Notebook for Creative Kleptomaniacs
Total price: $24.13
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Forget the lone genius myth, says Kleon, author of the best-seller, Steal like an Artist (2012). His 10-step journey in this beginner’s guide to self-promotion emphasizes audience building and explains the how and why of such approaches as thinking about process rather than product, sharing something each day, teaching what you know, learning to take a punch, and developing staying power. Kleon’s use of artists’ quotes, photographs, and organizational diagrams enhances the text as he reminds readers of how interested people are in the creative process. Become a documentarian . . . start a journal . . . keep a scrapbook . . . see the work you’re doing more clearly and feel . . . progress. When you’re ready to share, you’ll have a surplus of material. Put work out there and let people take their best shot. Then make even more work and keep sharing it until you learn that criticism can’t hurt and may help you. And stick with it. Kleon’s powerful advice makes this small-format book not-at-all little. --Whitney Scott

Review

"[Show Your Work is] timeless; readers can return to it repeatedly throughout life and still glean useful ideas and tips... Anyone starting out (or starting over)...will find upbeat encouragement here."
Library Journal

“Some people are natural self-promoters. For others, it’s painfully difficult to put their work out there. In this creatively designed pocket-sized book, Kleon offers the latter group effective strategies that allow them to share their work without leaving their comfort zone…. Kleon’s advice is sassy and spot-on.”
Publishers Weekly

“[The] subtitle could just as easily be, ‘How to Self-promote Without Being a Jerkface.’ It’s an incredibly useful and compulsively readable short book.”
Fast Company

“Kleon addresses with equal parts humility, honesty, and humor one of the quintessential questions of the creative life: How do you get ‘discovered’? In some ways, the book is the mirror-image of Kleon’s debut ― rather than encouraging you to ‘steal’ from others… it offers a blueprint to making your work influential enough to be theft-worthy.”
Brain Pickings

“A must-read for anyone involved in the creative process.”
LibraryReads


“Kleon’s powerful advice makes this small-format book not-at-all little.”
Booklist

“In this motivating book, packed with smart approaches, ideas and quotes, Kleon teaches you how best to navigate through creative work in the present day. . . . A certain and deserved bestseller.”
The Bookseller

“It’s not often that I find myself reviewing a book that I can say has already changed my life. . . . At a crucial turn in this fabulous little wallop of a book comes the simple directive, ‘Share something small every day.’ That ‘something’ oughtn’t be your Instagrammed latte or a selfie, but something ‘useful or interesting’ about your work. Put enough somethings out there, and a lone artist or entrepreneur can soon be a productive part of a creative community.”
BookPage

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (March 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076117897X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761178972
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (421 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kleon has an engaging writing style. His illustrations are cute. He is an able curator of interesting quotations. But this book is mostly devoid of meaningful or useful content. Here is some of the advice you'll receive:

- Put your work out there, share it with others regularly
- Meet up with people in real life, not just on the Internet
- Don't be afraid to make money off your creative work
- Keep going
- Maintain an e-mail list
- Give proper credit when you refer to other people's work

I won't spoil the rest--if you do read the book, you'll see that I'm not simplifying anything in that list. He goes into zero detail about *how* you should do any of those things, which leads me to believe that he considers the suggestions themselves as worthy of paid publication. Even as free blog posts, most of these chapters would leave me asking, "And...?" This is a catchy write-up of the most banal common knowledge on the topic.

I loved Steal Like An Artist (and still do), but this book was not worth the money or the time I spent on it. Big disappointment. I will probably still buy his next book, but I hope I won't have to return it like this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One thing I've always strived to improve has been my transparency. It's also one of the things I've always struggled most with. It's just not instinctual to me. I literally have to pour my time and energy into showing pieces of myself and my work to the world. And it's not even just my work--I don't even update my personal Facebook on a regular basis.

When I realized what Austin Kleon's newest book was about, I knew I had to have it. The theme is Show Your Work. How apropos. Once I had it in my hands, there was so much for me to learn. Here are a few of my favorite lessons from each chapter:

1. You don't have to be a genius.

Anyone can share their art. There are no limits here.
"You can't find your voice if you don't use it."
"Raw enthusiasm is contagious."

2. Think process, not product.

It's not about the final product; it's about the journey.
"We're not all artists or astronauts. A lot of us go about our work and feel like we have nothing to show for it at the end of the day. But whatever the nature of your work, there is an art to what you do, and there are people who would be interested in that art, if only you presented it to them in the right way."

3. Share something small every day.

You don't have to post something big. Share small things on a regular basis and you'll keep up your momentum.
"Put yourself, and your work, out there every day and you'll start meeting some amazing people." - Bobby Solomon
You should be continually asking yourself this question: "What are you working on?"
Whatever you do, do not overshare.

4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities.

If someone shares something and you like it, share it, too.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As Austin Kleon explains, his previous book, Steal Like an Artist, "was about stealing influence from other people" whereas "this book is about how to influence others by letting them steal from [begin italics] you [end italics]." I agree with him that "all you have to do is to show your work" but only if (HUGE "if") it's worth stealing and you know how to do that in terms of what, when, and where. Actually, he wrote this book "for people who hate the very idea of self-promotion." It's not enough to be very good. "In order to be found, you have to [begin italics] be findable [end italics]. I think there's an easy way of putting your work out there and making it discoverable [begin italics] while [end italics] you're focused on getting really good at what you do."

Kleon's two books can be of incalculable value to those who need help with creating content (whatever its nature and extent may be) and then help with attracting the interest and support of those on whom the success of the offering depends. It could be a product, a service, or both. Its target market could be singles, seniors, the unemployed or under-employed, new parents, do-it-yourselfers, beginners at whatever...you get the idea.

So, how to become findable? First, Kleon explains the need for developing a new mindset, one that will enable the reluctant self-promoter to think differently so that she or he can then operate differently. Here's his key point: "Almost all of the people I look up to and try to steal from today, regardless of their profession, have built [begin italics] sharing [end italics] into their routine. Next, he urges his reader to find what the musician Brian Eno characterizes as a "scenius": a group of creative individuals who make up an ecology of talent.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I study innovation, and one of the most common misunderstandings of that process is thinking that it is all about having ideas. It's not. To innovate, you have to have great ideas, but then you have to execute them & make them real. And once you've done that, you have to get the idea to spread. All three parts are essential.

Steal Like an Artist is great for the first part - having more, and better, ideas. But that's actually the easiest part. Making things real and getting ideas to spread are both harder. Show Your Work gives excellent guidance for how to approach these two steps. The idea part is glamourous, so this book will probably be less popular than Steal Like an Artist. But Kleon has done outstanding work with this book - it's actually more important, and more valuable.

If you're interested in actually having an impact with your ideas, then you should read this book.
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