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Review: 2015 Crafter’s market

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First, the facts:

Title: 2015 Crafter’s Market: How to Sell Your Crafts and Make a Living

Editor: Kelly M. Biscopink, Editor

Published by: Fons & Porter, 2014

Pages: 331

Type: Reference

Chapters:

  • Business Basics
  • Articles and Interviews
  • Market Listings (Industry Shows, Shows and Fairs, Online Marketplaces, Book Publishers, Magazines, Communities)
  • Indexes
KS: 2015 Crafter's Market

The In-Depth Look:

You know that “crafts” are big when they get their own marketplace book.

As a writer, I’ve been using the essential “Writer’s Market” for years to help determine where and what kind of stories I should submit. There are similar references for photographers, illustrators, agents … anyone who needs a reference on where they can sell their stuff.

But until now, there was no similar source available for crafters.

Really, it’s not surprising that Crafters are finally joining the group, though, because making and selling crafts is big business these days. And so F+W brings us the “1st annual edition” of a really fabulous reference for people making and selling their crafts.

The editor says in her introduction that, “For those crafters who want to turn their passion into their business, this book is both a starting point and a research tool. A section of articles from crafty professionals provides insight, tips and advice into business-related subjects such as branding, packaging, social media, publishing and copyright. This shrewd business advice is sprinkled with personal stories from the front lines of craft business ownership. The writers featured in this first edition of Crafter’s Market are thrilled to help up-and-coming craft professionals start, build and grow their business, and their advice will certainly help new business owners avoid some common mistakes.

As she says, the bulk of this book is listings–shows, magazines, book publishers, online marketplaces and so on. Places you can sell your stuff (and nobody can deny that that is one of the key elements to a successful craft business). The listings are broken out by category, but the indexes helpfully re-sort things for you by region or by craft. So, if you make jewelry and live in Indiana, for example, you can narrow down your list of likely craft shows without having to weed out events like the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival that don’t fit your niche.

Seriously, this is a fabulous reference book. Most people know at least some of the shows and markets available for their own particular niche. They might know about online communities to help spread the word, but nobody knows all of them. (Because, really, is that even possible?) A complete resource that tells you about shows you didn’t know about is going to be more than just a little helpful.

The business advice at the front is useful, too. This book is by no means a step-by-step legal guide–because while this book does not give legal advice, it gives helpful suggestions about the kind of legal advice you should seek out from a professional. But that’s important–if you’ve never started a business before, there are going to be zillions of things you don’t know about, so having a reference that spells out some of the things you should do is incredibly helpful.

In addition to the nitty-gritty facts, there are articles on a variety of topics–anything from creating a brand for your business, finding your niche, taking good photos to pricing your goods to writing your own craft book.

The only other book I can think of that compares to this (for knitters, at least) is Shannon Okey’s “The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design,” if only because she also talks about ways to make your craft business an actual business, rather than a hobby. That book, though, focuses on making designing patterns your career. This book is all about the craft business as a whole–whether you’re selling finished products or writing articles or putting together a book or teaching classes … it’s just more inclusive. (And, of course, the Crafter’s Market is not limited to just knitters.)

Obviously this book is not just for knitters. There are listings here for jewelers, quilters, sewers, and paper-crafters as well.

The very first page promises this will be the “first annual edition,” and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s about time we crafters had a resource like this at our fingertips!

If all this useful information sounds at all useful to you (and if you’ve got a crafting business, it certainly should, you’ll want to get a copy of this book right away!

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by the publisher. Thank you!

My Gush: It’s about time crafters had such a great resource.

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