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Book Review

Crafting as a Business
by Wendy Rosen

Wendy Rosen's book Crafting as a Business is directed at those practitioners wishing to make a living from their craft work. This publication covers all aspects of setting up and running a business making craft objects.

The process starts with the business plan. This part of the book covers how to write a business plan, methods of collecting payments, how to find a suitable accountant and what sort of accounting software you might need. There is even a section on how to make use of the Internet.

The next chapter shows you how to analyze who your customer is, an important issue when marketing your works. Advice is given on how to 'tune in' to your customers and ten ways to find new directions for your work. As in other chapters, some actual practitioners get a say here, in this case some metalworkers and a gallerist. The next section, Product Development, takes a look at product value and product design. What makes a valuable, worthwhile product? How should you know if it will sell? How can you find the right market for it? The next chapters cover the important aspects of how to price your works and the importance of networking.

The following chapter offers useful information on how to market yourself and create your image. This section covers such things as the press release, the press kit, the newsletter, public events, direct mail, brochures and other forms of advertising and also gives advice on the issue of how to manage your client and press databases.

Craft fairs are the subject of the next chapter, with help on how to apply for craft shows, advice on juried shows, how to take slides and other related issues. There are not only craft fairs to think about, but also trade fairs, topic of the next section, which covers how to set up effective exhibits, promotion and selling at trade shows and more.

The artist -- gallery relationship is a most important one for those wanting to exhibit their work. What is the difference between a gallery and a shop? What if the gallery wants exclusivity rights? What about getting into public galleries and museums? Last but not least, the book deals with the craftsperson -- family relationship. How do you combine family and business? what roles can spouses and children play? The book is rounded off by an extensive 40 page USA based resource index that covers organizations, galleries, show producers, educational opportunities, craft suppliers, professional services, corporate art consultants and publications.

This is certainly a useful publication for those wanting to take a serious approach to setting up a business with their craft work. While it is based on American craftspeople and the American market, there is also quite a lot of general information useful to practitioners in other countries.

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