For the past two weeks I have done a lot of interviewing and talking to people with creative minds. I love talking to business owners because of their unique perspective, but when I speak to creative people who have written books, sew, paint or knit, I’m in awe of how they discuss their craft.
Business owners are passionate about business. Artists are passionate about fictional worlds, fictional characters, their work in progress or the project they just completed. Artists also talk about their team.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. To get books published an author might have an agent, a publisher, editors, publicists and readers - a variety of people to help them. Artists have galleries and perhaps students they teach to.
Teamwork is so important. Even at The Windham Eagle, I like to think I can do it all on my own, but there is no way. I have awesome reporters, a publisher who is tolerant and eager to help, Melissa, who lays out the paper every Wednesday and sells ads to help local businesses and to fund the newspaper.
When speaking with knitters recently, we talked about giving handmade gifts and how they weren’t always well received. She mentioned spending upwards of $50 for yarn, countless hours to create the sweater or scarf or mittens, only to give it to someone who doesn’t understand what went into the project and tosses it aside for the next shiny object to come along. I’ve seen this happen first hand and know how devastating it can be to the giver of the gift.
With books it’s a little different. Books are written for the masses and we know we can’t make everyone happy. But also think about the book that should sell for $7, but is discounted to $.99 or free. What is that saying to the author or to the reader? Is the book not worth the $7 or is the author giving it away because it’s no good? Most likely it’s a marketing and business decision that for good or bad, the author is making. Sometimes it’s best to leave business to business people. Next time you’re at a craft fair or someone gives you a gift, think about the time and effort that went into the creation of it. Imagine the person sitting at their computer or easel and realize that they did the work for you. It puts a whole new spin on the gift.