Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Selling Your Handmade Books- What level are you at?

I am now a contributor to the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team blog! My posts will be published each Tuesday, starting today... (ok, a little late on this one).
My main focus on the posts will be how to sell your handmade books online, locally, in stores, and in art galleries.
This first post is meant to help you get a bit organized by making a big decision. There are a few major decisions that need to be made when you start to sell your books. Even if you're a long time seller, and haven't yet made these decisions, making them now can help your business.  This post covers the first big decision and next week I'll cover decisions two and three, which, even if you're already established, are important things to think about and do.
Big Decision #1
What level of involvement are you at currently, and what level would you like to be on when it comes to selling your books?
There are three levels of involvement:

Hobby Level - You love making books and want to continue but materials can sometimes be pricey. At the hobby level, you really just want to make back enough money to cover costs and help pay for future materials for more books. All your money goes directly back into the books and your creative ventures.
Side Income Level - Since you're in need of a bit of extra income and you really don't want to sacrifice making books to get a second job, you've turned to selling your handmade books in hopes that you can do what you love and still contribute money to the monthly cash inflow.
Full Time Level - You love making books and want to make it your full time job. Part of your sales income will go back to materials for books, with most of the income going toward your spending budget to pay off bills and living costs.

Once you've decided which level you are currently on and which level you would like to be on, you'll have an idea of where you're going. This is the first step in making any goal a reality.
If you want to take a step up to the next level, there are many things to be done. Over the next few months I'll be sharing ideas, resources and opportunities for you to create goals and sell your handmade books on the level you want to be on.
Already know where you're at and what you want from your business? If you'd like to get ahead on next week's big decisions, go ahead and calculate the time it takes you to make a book, list a book, package a book and mail it. Do it for a few books and keep the numbers on hand as you read next week's post. I'll be talking about time, pricing and inventory.
I look forward to providing you with motivation and the know how to making your business work for you! 
(ooh, that sounded so big-conference-motivational-speechy)
~Karleigh Jae


KarleighJae said...

It says I posted this on Wednesday, but I promise, it's still Tuesday here :) I'll make sure to schedule my future posts so they publish in the wee hours of Tuesday mornings from now on ;)

K said...

Definitely hobby level - I love my day job. Also at least partially connected with books, I'm a translator :)

B├╝chertiger said...

Thanks for this post - already looking forward to reading more from you - even if it should come up on Wednesday ;-)

Lizzie said...

Thank you, Karleigh-Jae! I think this will be a really useful series of posts. Tuesday will be a day to look forward to!

Lee said...

oh, I am so looking forward to this! Thanks!!

Julie Boyles said...

This is a great subject KarleighJae, and perfect timing for me. I've been thinking a lot lately about "scale-ability" and how to achieve my goals. I look forward to reading your thoughts and ideas!

Tiim/Papersmith Paper Co. said...

As a new seller, I'm very excited to learn from the more seasoned members of the team. Thanks for this series ... looking forward to it.

Badon Hill said...

Sounds like this will be a great series and I am excited to follow it! :)

lori vliegen said...

very well written....and i'm already looking forward to next week's post!!! thanks so much, karleighJae!! :))

PrairiePeasant said...

Great start to what promises to be an informative read each week! Thanks KarleighJae for this.

CJ said...

Loved your post! I'll have to start reading it. I've posted a few handmade books on Etsy, just to see how they would sell. (I actually didn't expect any of them to sell, but Yay me! One did so far. I look forward to reading more! :)