Friday, 6 January 2012

Book Review: The Handmade Marketplace // Craft INC.

Following on from my New Year's blog post I thought I would share with you some books that have been helpful in giving me some ideas on structuring and growing a creative business...

The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin covers the full spectrum of being a crafter or designer.
From the initial stages including tips on 'Working in Small Spaces' to 'Evaluating Marketplaces' this is a book that is easy to delve in and out of to suit your needs.
Though based on the American craft market I still found this a handy guide on the day-to-day realities of trying to get handmade products 'out there'. I think the good thing about this book is the focus on online presence - something that I know a lot of illustrators and other creatives work hard at - it is handy to be reminded of the simple things that can be done to make the most of blogs, websites and other online platforms.

Another plus point is that Kari has grouped together a 'Creative Collective', a group of peers and colleagues who share their views and experiences in snippets throughout the chapters which means there are lots of examples and tips to pick up...

The second book is Craft INC. by Meg Mateo Ilasco, another really handy guide to business, I found this really useful in helping to give my creative ideas some direction.

Again produced for the American market not everything is applicable and there are some bits that wouldn't make sense to a UK business. However, with a guides to writing a Business Plan, on Sourcing and sections including 'Be Your Own Publicist' I think this is definitely worth a read if you want to give your creativity some structure. Meg, like Kari, has included examples and Q&As with industry experts so there is lots of information to take on board. If you like checklists and structure (as I do!) and can work through the Americanisms this is a great place to help start organising!!

Finally, as I was on the subject of organisation here's a little look at my new illustrated 2012 diary. A Christmas gift from my lovely friend I thought I'd share some of my favourite pages.

It'd be great to know your thoughts on these books or if you have any other helpful guides that might prove useful to a growing illustration business?



  1. These both look great! I'm planning a big year of growing my business too so might look them up. Thanks for sharing!

  2. thanks for sharing, they look really great i'll have to take a look at them myself. good luck in your ventures! i've read 'how to be an illustrator' by darrel rees and found it gave lots of useful advice regarding becoming a freelance illustrator. it too have small interviews with illustrators who share their experiences. i have heard illustrations 101 by max scratchmann is good too

  3. Great post! There's now a "starting an etsy business for dummies" which is jam packed with info and another good one I found is "Creative Girl" by Katharine Sise. :)

  4. Thank you all! I will definitely have a look at the other books you recommended! x