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Re: [BKARTS] Niche Market?



Mr. Smolen,

I have found there to be a few different places to show and display book
arts in the public that may help you with your marketing. 

In the first, there is the internet, which I have noted several places
to display your work. Setting up a web site and blog is a great way of
attracting attention, and sharing your work through digital photos is a
wonderful way to help younger people gain inspiration. A very simple way
to sell these online is by adding Paypal buttons, which really is quite
simple. (If you like, please check out my website as an example,
www.octaviapress.com. Additionally, building up an online clientele is a
matter of going where the buyers are - id est, EBay, Abe Books, and
online user groups (such as this one), or groups at Yahoo. 

Believe it or not, marketing directly to people who are interested in
collecting the great literary classics is a fabulous way to open up that
market. One habit is to also craft a business card (simple, yet
elegant...mine is printed on our laser printer on marbled paper) with
your name, craft, and website address. Pass these out to everyone you
know - network marketing has made me more money than anything else, and
friends of friends will often commission you for a new item...always get
some of the money up front...(uncommon sense, but 50% is usually good.
Just tell them it covers materials).

In the second, I have found local galleries to be very helpful, and will
often display work right alongside of their paintings and in their gift
shops. I have made several friends in Calgary who own book stores, and
with some motivation ( usually a bottle of scotch or a decent
consignment percentage) they are willing to take on our products. 

I have had much of the same experiences as you have described with our
Guga Books line, and we had to change our price to something a little
lower than we had originally offered. Although this can sometimes be
disenheartening, our sales have increased dramatically, and interest has
soared. Although the local corporate conglomerate bookstores are not
interested, they have asked up to design a set of children's books in
their target price range...not quite the book arts, but its good money. 

Hope this helps, I'm sure you'll find your ground soon. Remember, the
light bulb took 10,000 tries to get it right, and ole Col. Sanders took
over 1000 tries to sell his chicken recipe. Don't be discouraged,
friend...its all in the perseverance and determination that the reward
is found.

R.L.Angus


-----Original Message-----
From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Theodore Smolen
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 3:34 AM
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Niche Market?


I have been a member of this list on and off for years and have been a
"lurker", sitting back and quietly absorbing and enjoying the repartee
of the other active members. But, at the same time, I have been printing
and sewing and binding and giving my creations as gifts. I might add,
the recipients have always been thrilled to have received either a
richly illustrated day book or a volume of poetry or some other
creation. They are case bound (Quarto) in cloth, paper, and leather and
sometimes boxed or slipcased. They are attractive and well made, but not
up to Minsky standards by any means. (I am a great admirer of Minsky,
and who would not be?)During that time I have developed an "inventory"of
custom made volumes including original works (mostly writings about
art), wedding books, Shakespeare (Complete works), copyrightless
classics (Anne of Green Gables, Two Years Before the Mast, and others),
ABCDerias and very special volumes.

This year (I'm now retired) I decided to really make an effort to market
these. (I am the sole employee of the MERLIN Press). And after many
tries and much effort I am learning that there must be a niche market
for works such as these. Local shopkeepers tell me how wonderful they
are and how they would like to display and sell them but when I show up
with the goods and the promotional materials there minds have changed.
When the shop keeper graciously agrees to display them, there are simply
no bites. These shops are higher end gift shops and arts and craft
stores. I am getting quite used to rejection, but, I know that there
must be a market out there somewhere. And I am determined to find it.
Therefore, my question to the list is could you give me any general
advice regarding how to go about marketing mywork? Thank you for your
attention and consideration.

             ***********************************************
                                    
         The Bonefolder, Vol 2, No 2, Spring 2006 Now Online at
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                    Flag Book Bind-O-Rama and Exhibit
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             ***********************************************
                                    
         The Bonefolder, Vol 2, No 2, Spring 2006 Now Online at
       <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder/vol2no2contents.htm>
                                    
                    Flag Book Bind-O-Rama and Exhibit
                   Entry Deadline, September 15, 2006
                                    
             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
                                    
          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
             ***********************************************


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