News! I have News! and some chitchat about the DIY industry

27 09 2011

Things have been a little on the ZOMG! DISTRACTED! side so apologies for the lack of posting.

There have been DEVELOPMENTS, of the good kind. My lovely friend Heather Poinsett-Dunbar  and I have finally gotten our proverbial stuffs together and are putting together an anthology of Library themed stories. Mine is serious erotica, which I dared myself to write a while back. (There will be more authors involved, but I’m keeping my lips zipped until things are more firmed up & I get a green light from all involved)  I’m finishing it as we speak, as it had been back-burnered while I went through my gazillionth revisions on “When the Lights go Down.”  (Those are almost done as well. Expect a ::cross fingers:: publishable novel by end of October.) More details on a publishing date for the anthology once the project gets a little more jelled

And yes. I’m going to self-publish. I seem to be turning into a cottage industry. Not only will I be publishing (And therefore marketing) my books, I’m also delving into mosaic glass tile artwork that I will be selling under my husband’s Einini Glassworks site.  We’re making a go at a proper company, where he will produce stained glass Tiffany reproduction lamps, sun-catchers & other items and I will be working on trivets, frames and eventually, tabletops & outdoor installations. It’s a whole big thing getting off the ground as we can.We’re hoping to make it a full time endeavor somewhere in the near future, once we move to Seattle. (Stop rolling your eyes. We’re moving in the Spring. Come hell, high water or zombie apocalypse).

Speaking of the whole DIY industry, if you haven’t visited Kickstarter or Bandcamp or even Etsy, you should. Because honestly, they are turning into the best sources of music, indie movies & other amazing unique projects that you will not find in the usual mainstream sources. With the economy tanking and thus effecting some rather egregious cuts in support from traditional sources, people in the arts are starting to make a go of it themselves. Crowd-sourcing is making it possible.

Social media, while it can be a royal pain in the ass if used incorrectly, can also be a great marketing tool. Twitter won’t make you rich, but if used right, it can build you a consumer base or community for support. We’re back to the idea of patronage. Yes, it does make it easier for everyone and therefore floods the market with a rather intimidating amount of product of varying quality, but the good stuff floats to the top. Word of mouth still works wonders. You can make an impression there without making yourself a nuisance.

Check out some of the artists featured at Bandcamp or Etsy and read the articles about self-promotion (There are some great success stories here: Quit Your Day Job.)
Learn by others’ mistakes. Check out artists’ similar to yourself & see what their path to success was.
Don’t look for a blueprint or a list of steps, because a lot of your success will be in how YOU handle your art or promote yourself. The cookie cutter business plan is no more. But what you CAN learn is how to more effectively use resources, and how to  network with other like-minded artists, and how NOT to alienate potential customers.

Don’t get me wrong. Putting yourself and your art out there, for all to see? You still need to have a thick skin and a philosophical attitude. You’re still gonna have to work for it. But you can be a success if you are willing to weather the storm and seek out YOUR audience. They’re out there. Go find them.

On one last note, I’m going to be attempting to apply WordPress to my proper website. It’s been an elephant’s age since I did proper web design of any sort, so I’m not holding my breath it will be done anytime soon. BUT! If I succeed, I’ll be consolidating my blogging there. Watch this space for more updates. Hopefully more frequently than once every season. (BTW– WELCOME TO FALL!)