Author Archives: EFritsch

AIGA Cincinnati Organizes a Fantastic Design Week Program

One joy of contributing to WCPO.com in Cincinnati is being able to observe the remarkable progress that has been made in revitalizing our urban core and attracting and retaining young creative professionals.  Not that long ago, young design-school graduates seemed to believe that the best career opportunities for creatives existed only in New York, Chicago, or LA. That has changed.

CAWDeignWeeklogoIn preparation for an assignment to preview  Cincinnati Design Week (July 21-26), I participated in an “Agency Crawl” on July 10. Many participants were students or recent grads looking for internships or job, But I enjoyed visiting the agencies because I had recently read reports such as: Adobe’s survey on “The New Creatives” and the SoDA Report on the outlook for digital marketing in 2014.

I was amazed to learn that a lot of pioneering work in digital marketing, mobile strategy, user-experience design, and motion graphics was happening right here in my hometown. These new digital agencies are experimenting with all sorts of new technologies to see how they can benefit their clients. Below is a quick overview of the four Cincinnati agencies we visited.

POSSIBLE: The Cincinnati office of Possible is one of 25 offices on five continents that is creating innovative ways to use new technology to bring measurable results to global brands. Many projects are designed to engage consumers and remind them that brands can help make our lives better. During the presentation, they talked about an app they developed for a P&G brand and a social-media campaign for Coca-Cola.

Hyperquake: The creative pros at this brand-evolution agency explained how they are  helping brands evolve, embrace change,  experiment, and stay relevant.

Openfield Creative: To cultivate connections between brands and people, the designers at this agency blend strategy, design, and technology.

Foster & Flux: The two young entrepreneurs behind this start-up animation studio are passionate about crafting storytelling videos that change the way people interact with brands. The creative partners focus on doing one thing very well: putting great design into motion.

When I wrote the Design Week preview for WCPO.com, I was impressed by the diversity of presentations that AIGA Cincinnati had pulled together, with support from the Contemporary Art Center, 21c Museum Hotel, TEDx Cincinnati, and Creative Mornings. Some presentations are being led by local creative professionals. But some keynoters include architect Jin Liu from the SO-IL architecture firm in New York and Debbie Millman, president and CMO at Sterling Brands in New York.

Barcelona-based designer Hector Ayusa has put together a full day of programming that brings artists and designers from around the world to share ideas and inspiration at OFFCincinnati.

Here’s the Design Week preview I wrote for WCPO.com

http://www.wcpo.com/entertainment/local-a-e/looking-for-inspiration-here-are-9-ways-to-spark-your-creativity-during-cincinnati-design-week

As a writer, I love being able to connect with people all over the world and do interviews via Skype from the comfort of my home office. But I also like getting out and meeting innovative people here in my own community. Their stories and insights give me a richer, deeper perspective when I work on technology-related assignments for national trade associations and other publishers. And the writing I do for my blogs and other publishers brings additional context to the stories I write for WCPO.com. It’s all fun!

 

Proud to Be a WCPO Insider

WCPOInsiderMonthlyCover-350pLast week, I attended a meeting at the headquarters of WCPO, a Cincinnati TV station that promotes itself as “9 on Your Side.”  WCPO is one of 19 television stations included in The E.W. Scripps Company’s portfolio of television, print, and digital media brands. Based in Cincinnati, Scripps also owns daily newspapers in 13 markets across the United States.

WCPO hosted the meeting for freelancers just a few days after WCPO.com released its first issue of “WCPO Insider Monthly.” The “Monthly” is a 30-page collection of some of the best articles posted for WCPO.com subscribers (“WCPO Insiders”) over the past month.

Laid out like magazine feature stories, the articles in “Insider Monthly” make it clear that WCPO is developing content for news junkies who want to learn more about what’s happening in the Tri-State region than they can get from tweets, headlines, sound bites, and news briefs.

I received the inaugural issue of WCPO Insider Monthly, because I not only subscribe to WCPO.com’s content, but also contribute to it. I am one of the 30+ journalists and community team members WCPO has added to its digital reporting team over the past year.

The articles I write for my weekly “Cincy is Creative” series are published on Sunday mornings as part of the growing volume of original, local stories that WCPO is producing on topics such as local crime and justice, politics, business, health, education, and the arts.

For my series, I interview local artists, photographers, authors, designers, and filmmakers who are fulfilling their dreams of doing work they love.

The Changing News Business

Readers of WCPO.com can still get free access to breaking news, public-safety information, weather, traffic, iTeam investigations, all newscast videos, photo galleries, and WCPO’s popular “Don’t Waste Your Money” consumer-news segment. But all items marked with “9” logo are for WCPO Insiders only.

While many local and national newspapers (including the Cincinnati Enquirer and the New York  Times) have started charging people  to access some content developed for their websites, WCPO.com was the first Scripps television station to erect a paywall on their online news site. It was a gutsy move, considering that the station didn’t have an existing base of subscribers, like a newspaper or magazine does.

People who sign up today can sample the WCPO Insider stories for $0.01 for four weeks. After that, they can opt to pay $7.99 per month or $79.99 for a yearly subscription.

Keeping Contributors Informed

At the meeting at WCPO last week, the editorial team that launched the WCPO Insider program talked more about their ideas for the next phases of implementation, and suggested how we could answer some of the questions we all have received since the subscription program launched February 12. 

As a writer who has adapted to many technology-driven changes to mass communications since I graduated from Ohio University’s journalism program, I am excited to be part of WCPO’s forward-thinking initiative.

WCPO is giving freelance contributors like me the flexibility to manage our workloads and the incentive to deliver stories that will help WCPO.com expand its base of “Insiders,”

I applaud the leaders at Scripps and WCPO for believing that good reporting and original content still matter. They pay freelancers more than the “content farms” that expect writers to churn out dozens of stories a week, simply by rewriting online content that others created. So I don’t mind at all if my articles are published behind the paywall. 

While the contributors work to uncover and report great stories, the publishing team is testing different ways to let potential subscribers see the stories we develop. For example,as a subscriber, I can download “WCPO Insider Monthly” in PDF form and share it with friends and neighbors who haven’t yet subscribed to WCPO.com.

If you think about it, charging online readers for access to additional content isn’t much different from selling newspapers and magazines at a newsstand. After people skim through the cover slugs, headlines, and table of contents, they willingly buy those publications that pique their interest in learning more. I believe that many WCPO.com readers will choose to do the same with the Insider content.

Every day we are all growing more accustomed to getting news on our mobile devices. Likewise, we’re also starting to realize the value of subscribing to sites that offer something extra.

In the not-too-distant future, few people will ever know (or care) whether the text, photos, and videos were gathered by journalists who began their careers writing for newspapers, magazines, or broadcast news. Soon, most journalists will be digital journalists.

As a long-time lover of magazines, I was impressed when WCPO introduced Insider Monthly. In the brave new converging world of online multimedia publishing, broadcasters must be prepared to compete not just with other broadcasters, but also with newspapers, blogs, content marketing, social media, online video, and magazines. 

LINKS

WCPO.com

Scripps Press Release: Cincinnati Television Station Ramps Up for Premium Web Content Subscription Service

Screen Printing Is Alive and Well

As a freelancer, I am never quite sure where my next writing assignment will lead me.

After being dazzled by the advances in digital printing technology displayed at the PRINT 13 show and SGIA Expo last fall, I spent November and December researching two articles on screen printing. Both articles were recently published and confirm that screen printing is still valued, both as an art and as a method of decorating garments.

SGIA Journal: Old School Screen Printing in the Digital Age

SGIAJournalOldSchoolScreenPrintinginDigitalAge-300pFor the Winter 2014 issue of the SGIA Journal, I wrote about “Old School Screen Printing in the Digital Age” and the resurgence of interest in hand-made screen prints for concert posters and T-shirts.

The article originated after I interviewed some young screen-printing enthusiasts here in Cincinnati.  They are part of the much larger maker movement that is evident at events such Flatstock Poster Shows and  Renegade Craft Fairs in cities throughout the U.S. and Europe.  (Both the Flatstock Poster Show and Renegade Craft Fair will be held March 13-15, 2014 in conjunction with the SXSW Music Festival in Austin.)

Erin Dollar of Renegade Craft Fairs told me, “Interest in buying beautiful, handmade items has grown in the past decade, Screen printing has always been a popular medium for artists because it’s an affordable production tool that offers opportunities to create multiples without investing in a lot of expensive equipment.”

For the SGIA article, I talked to: Aaron Kent of DIY Printing and Pat Jones and Ben Nunery of Powerhouse Factories in CIncinnati; Carolyn Hartmann of OpenStudio DC in Washington, DC; Bill Fick of Supergraphic in Durham, North Carolina; Carlos Hernandez of Burning Bones Press in Houston; and Andy MacDougall of Squeegeeville in Vancouver, British Columbia.

They shared insights about the many different ways art schools, community art centers, and co-op printmaking studios are serving the growing number of designers and artists who want to try their hand at screen printing. Andy MacDougall has even written a book, called “Screenprinting Today: The Basics.

Hartmann told me that the designers who attend her screen-printing workshops like getting a little messy after spending all day at a computer. Hernandez notes that digitally savvy designers who can build a website in a few nights seem to relish the challenge of learning a medium that takes some time to master.

Read the full article here: SGIA Journal: Old School Screen Printing in the Digital Age 

The SGIA Journal is published by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association, a trade association that originated as an association for screen printers.  The 2014 SGIA Expo will be held October 22-24 in Las Vegas. 

Wearables Magazine: Fast Screening

Fritsch-Wearables-FastScreening-300pFor the February, 2014 issue of Wearables magazine, I wrote about computer-to-screen (CTS) devices that merge the efficiencies of digital imaging with the cost advantages of high volume screen printing.  By inkjet-printing an image file directly onto an emulsion coated screen, a CTS system eliminates the need to make film positives.

Some of the newest CTS devices use industrial inkjet printheads to keep pace with the screenmaking demands of apparel-decorating companies that use one or more automatic screen-printing presses to produce higher volumes of decorated garments every day. If the automatic presses stand idle while employees make screens manually, companies can’t maximize the return on their high-speed presses.

For this article I talked to equipment manufacturers such as Lawson Screen & Digital Products, the M&R Companies, and Exile Technologies. I also spoke to employees of screen-printing companies who use the equipment.

Read the full article here: Screen-Printing Success: Fast Screening

Wearables magazine is published by the Advertising Specialty Institute for 25,000+ suppliers and distributors of promotional products such as T-shirts, tote bags, and other gifts imprinted with an advertiser’s logo or message. ASI studies show that promotional products such as custom-printed T-shirts, tote bags, and caps can be powerful advertising tools because recipients of these items keep them for months and wear them where the brand message can be seen by thousands of other people.  I wrote about the ASI study on my Creatives at Work blog: T-Shirts Can Complement Your Online Marketing.

 Screen Printing Magazine

Writing these two articles was a fun way to for me to learn how the screen printing process continues to be used.

Before I was named editor of The Big Picture magazine about large-format digital printing in the mid-1990s, I served as an assistant editor for Screen Printing magazine for a short time. In that role, I never became an expert on screen printing, but I did learn the basics. At that time, I spent a lot of my time studying how and why screen-printing studios might want to move certain types of projects to first-generation models of wide-format inkjet printers.

So, it has been astonishing to witness how rapidly inkjet printing has advanced from very slow, first-generation plotter-speed devices to fast, highly automated production-grade flatbed and superwide roll-to-roll presses that can handle a lot of the work formerly done on screen-printing presses. 

But screen printing technology has advanced, too. The process wouldn’t be attracting so many young artists and designers without the substantial progress that has been made in making the process more environmentally friendly.

Getting Connected with TEDxCincinnati

What’s your favorite TED Talk?  The TED Talks I like include:

While I haven’t spent a whole lot of time watching TED Talks, I do admire TED.com for successfully creating a whole new type of media platform for spreading their own brand of content. The 1500+ videos that have been posted on their website since 2007 have been viewed more than 1 billion times.

EFTEDScreenGrab

In a world in which so much information (and misinformation)  is spread by argumentative pundits, special-interest groups, negative political ads, and snarky tweets, TED gives speakers up to 18 minutes to present the best speech of their lives.

The speakers come from all walks of life. They don’t stand stiffly behind a podium, reading their notes. Nor do they repeatedly plug their books or websites. They simply present their ideas, experiences, and research in an informal, heartfelt, human way.

TED Talks cover everything from agriculture, art, business, economics and education to medicine, science, technology, violence, work, and youth.

One thing I love about TED Talks is that the speakers aren’t interrupted with “gotcha questions” by know-it-all, fame-seeking news anchors. Nor are their words filtered by reporters who have their own personal biases. Instead, TED organizers presume that the audience is intelligent enough to decide for themselves which messages ring true.  

In July, on an assignment for WCPO Digital, I met a woman who told me that watching TED Talks online isn’t nearly as exciting as attending a TED Conference live. Jami Edelheit has attended several TED events and tells me that a lot of the magic comes from interacting with the other attendees, and discussing some of the ideas that were presented.

Jami is so enthusiastic about the TED brand of content that she has organized TEDxCincinnati, which is producing its second Main Stage event, “Sound Ideas” on October 3. She has lined up an incredible program of speakers and performers. I look forward to being there.

Graphic design students at Cincinnati State created the "Sound Ideas" logo, postcard, other materials, and a 'Paint the Town TED' campaign for TEDxCincinnati.

Graphic design students at Cincinnati State created the “Sound Ideas” logo, postcard, other materials, and a ‘Paint the Town TED’ campaign for TEDxCincinnati.

One person I encouraged to attend “Sound Ideas” is Craig Beachler, a Cincinnati resident I met on another assignment for WCPO Digital. Craig was inspired to take action after watching this TED Talk about urban gardening that a friend had forwarded to him.

Ron Finley: A Guerilla Gardner in South Central LA

This week, I submitted a second TEDxCincinnati-related assignment to WCPO Digital. This story is about the talented team of graphic design students at Cincinnati State who develop a “Paint the Town TED”  branding campaign for TEDxCincinnati and promotional graphics for the “Sound Ideas” event on October 3.  Jami invited me to be in the audience when the students gave their final presentation of all the web and print graphics they had created for TEDxCincinnati.  The work the students came up with was fantastic, and the experience has prepared them well for the type of cross-media projects that employers need help with today. 

Getting connected to TEDxCincinnati through WCPO has been an eye-opening experience for me. It has made me aware of how many innovative thinkers, doers, and performers are making a difference right here in my own city.

If you like watching TED Talks, but can’t attend a TED conference live, I encourage you to support your local TEDx organizer. TED launched their TEDx program to to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences locally. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis. So far, more than 7,000 TEDx events have been held in more than 1890 cities worldwide.

LINKS

TEDxCincinnati

WCPO: TEDx Aims To Connect Tr-State Resident with Ideas Worth Spreading

WCPO: A Field of Dreams for Fido and Friends Blooms As a Community Garden in the Heart of Cinincinnati

WCPO: Cincinnati State Students Paint the Town TED

 

 

Why I Love Blogging

BlogTree300pixI have been blogging since 2006. Both my Great Output blog (on blogspot) and Creatives at Work (on WordPress) are personal projects.

Great Output started out as a way for me to post extra content that complemented the bi-monthly magazine I was editing for photography professionals. Great Output originally focused on helping photography pros learn how digital printing could help them grow their businesses. I have expanded the content to cover additional ideas for photographers who want to gain greater exposure, learn new skills, or increase their revenues.

Creatives at Work is designed to help artists, designers, photographers and writers recognize how technology is changing the markets for their work. As the demand for some types of creative services disappears, new options continue to emerge.

So far, I have published more than 750 posts on Great Output and 450 posts on Creatives at Work.

As a writer, blogging feels as natural as keeping a journal. It’s a fun way to expand my skills, knowledge, and contacts. Blogging lets me discover, evaluate, and promote new ideas.

Blogging keeps me abreast of fields I want to write about.
When I was a magazine editor and my inbox overflowed with news releases, it was easy to spot trends that merited feature stories. Today, when I visit online news release sites to find blog-post ideas, I also identify trends and expert sources for future magazine articles and book projects.

Blogging sharpens my editing skills.
Unfortunately, many online news releases don’t seem to be written for real people. The writing is stilted and awkward, as if a committee wrote the release and fed it through an SEO “best-practices” grinder. Sentence structures are convoluted, the quotes sound unnatural, and basic reader questions are unanswered.

I read news releases from the perspective of a “Generation Flux” creative professional who is seeking inspiration for the type of work I might want to try next.  When reviewing news releases, I ask six questions:

  • Why should readers care about this?
  • What problem does this idea help solve?
  • Can the writing be streamlined?
  • Do the ‘quotes’ sound human?
  • What insights or additional information can add value to this release?
  • Should I contact the source for clarification or more information?

Blogging helps me connect with new sources.
Blog publishing gives me a reason to reach out and interview people who are doing interesting things. It also attracts inquiries from bright, ambitious people with interesting stories to tell.

Blogging provides endless opportunities for continuous learning.
When I first started blogging in 2006, blogs were primarily regarded as tools for political expression and Blogger was the primary platform. Because blog readership was miniscule compared to that of print publications, many traditional publishers and corporations dismissed blogs as not worth the effort. As the readership and influence of blogs has grown, PR firms reach out to me like they reached out to me as a magazine editor. The transformation of publishing, marketing, and public relations has been fascinating to watch.

Publishing blogs on two different platforms has helped me learn about plug-ins, widgets, image editing, web hosting, graphic design, online advertising, SEO, embedding videos, affiliate marketing, and analytics. I haven’t yet used many of these capabilities to their full extent, but that’s OK.

Blogging lets me help others.
As a magazine editor, I loved seeing how reader-oriented publicity could benefit small, well-run companies with good products and ideas. As a blogger, I can freely publicize whatever companies and products intrigue me without any consideration as to whether they might advertise.

Helping deserving authors, artists, start-ups, and entrepreneurs get additional exposure and opportunities makes me happy. It’s also fun to be able to help friends and acquaintances who aren’t sure how to get started in self-publishing, blogging, photography or other creative fields.

Blogging comes naturally.
Blogging is the form of social media that feels most authentic to me. In addition to allowing me to share news that intrigues me, it adds a sense of routine to my day and immediate gratification. I express my thoughts more clearly in written form than orally.

My blogs are works in progress.
The SEO consultants who offer their services seem surprised that I’m not overly concerned with “getting found” or following a rigid set of “best practices.” Maybe someday I will hire an SEO expert. But for now, my blogs are more about knowledge-gathering, experimentation, and independent publishing.

Over time, blogging helps me make sense of the flood of information that is engulfing us all. When I get excited about certain topics I discover through blogging, I can pitch them as story ideas to professional publishers who have invested a lot of time and effort in SEO and are more serious than I am about “getting found” online. Plus, I am in the process of collecting some of my blog posts and converting the content into e-books.

According to some studies, organizations sometimes have trouble coming up with enough ideas to keep their blog updated. Actually, ideas are everywhere. If you need tips on how to keep the content flowing, I would be happy to help!

LINKS

Great Output

Creatives at Work

Creatives at Work: Generation Flux

 

The Joy of Local Reporting

Last fall, while researching news for my Creatives at Work blog, I discovered a news release for a job site called Ebyline. The site intrigued me because its business model recognizes that trained, experienced journalists have certain skills that newcomers to freelance writing might not yet have developed.

When a publishing company hires a freelance journalist through Ebyline, they can be confident that the writer understands interviewing, research, deadlines, stylesheets, ethics, fact checking, copyright law, and attribution. Journalists know how to put the reader’s interests first and understand the need to earn trust and credibility.

The Eblyine platform offers a win-win situation for publishers and writers. Publishing companies can find, hire, and pay multiple freelancers through a single site. As a writer, I can choose to apply for assignments posted by many different publishers. Or, I can easily pitch my own story ideas to selected publishers.

The pay rates for jobs posted on  Eblyline are more realistic than the ridiculously low rates offered to “article writers” on other freelance job sites. And, instead of submitting and tracking invoices to multiple publishers, my work is automatically invoiced as soon as the client purchases the articles I submit through Ebyline. All payments come through PayPal.

WCPO.com MobileMy first assignments were for a North Carolina company that was creating online education programs for clients in San Francisco. Then, I got my an assignment for WCPO Digital — the mobile/online news division of a local TV station. My first assignment was to write about a small, community theater that was using crowdfunding to make improvements to their seating. I had written about crowdfunding on my Creatives at Work blog, so I understood how the concept was being used nationally. It was delightful to talk face-to-face with the theatre leaders and ask why they had decided to give crowdfunding a try. By watching a performance, I learned for myself why new seating is needed.

FalconTheaterSetWhen I submitted my story, it was edited and published within three hours. Wow! Having spent most of my career working on print magazines, the speed from draft-submission to publication was breathtaking.  And, it was cool to see the story in the news feed on my iPhone!

Since that first story, I have written other articles for WCPO Digital that fit with my interest in the arts, technology, and the future. For example, I wrote about how the ArtWorks organization in Cincinnati is using the Power2Give crowdfunding platform for community arts projects. And, I have covered a speech given at a Creative Mornings event at Cincinnati’s new 21C Museum Hotel. Last week, I interviewed the enthusiastic organizer of TEDxCincinnati. She has attended a couple of TED events in Long Beach and was excited to introduce the spirit of TED to Cincinnati. I have also written about  journalism education programs and social-service projects in Cincinnati.

One of my first jobs out of college was in the public-affairs department for United Way Cincinnati.  That job was fun because our team worked with so many media organizations, community leaders, and non-profit agencies throughout the city. I lost touch with these local contacts after I accepted a very demanding job doing marketing communications and magazine editing for a national engineering association. Now, at this stage in my career, I am happy to work on a blend of local and national projects that are related to my interests in the arts, technology, and the future.

It has been particularly fun to discover how Cincinnati organizations are keeping up with trends in bigger cities. Cincinnatians often cringe at this quote that Mark Twain allegedly made: “If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati .Everything comes there 10 years later.”

That’s not the case any more, and I am proud to help spread the word!

LINKS

WCPO Digital: Falcoln Theatre Uses Crowdfunding

WCPO Digital: Findlay Market CEO at Creative Mornings/Cincinnati

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T-Shirt Mania: Celebrating 100 Years of T-Shirt History

BeatlesCutOut2Check out this Beatles T-shirt! Isn’t it a beauty?  It’s a perfect illustration of how much the T-shirt business has changed since the Navy made a plain, white undershirt part of a sailor’s regulation uniform in 1913. I pulled this shirt out of my drawer when I started working on an article about the 100-year history of the T-shirt business for the Garment Edition of the SGIA Journal.

I received this shirt when I worked as an assistant editor of Screen Printing magazine back in the 1990s. The magazine held an annual contest that encouraged screen-printing businesses to send in samples of their most amazing work. To the best of my recollection, the contest attracted 100s of entries.  At the end of the contest, most of the non-winning T-shirts were donated to charity.  But each magazine staff member who helped administer the contest got to keep one T-shirt.

As a Beatlemaniac pre-teen, one wall of my bedroom had been covered with Beatles wallpaper. So naturally, I gravitated toward this gorgeous shirt.  At the time, I didn’t fully appreciate what a magnificent example it represents of allover, screen-printed artwork.

But I always considered this shirt too nice to wear and kept it more as a memento than anything else. This shirt came to mind earlier this year when I wrote my first T-shirt related article for the SGIA Journal about the difficulties of screen-printing detailed designs over garment seams.

The draft article I just submitted to SGIA outlines how the growth of T-shirt business has not only been driven by advances in textiles, inks, and printing technology, but also by fashion trends, pop culture, and brand licensing.  For the article, I interviewed people who have been in the business for 40 and 50 years as well as entrepreneurs who have just gotten into the business, either as independent designers or leaders of the e-commerce, print-on-demand businesses.

I learned so much and talked to so many fascinating people that I was unable to pack all of the cool details into a single feature story.

So, I am in the process of pitching more focused variations of the epic overview feature story to other publications  On my Creatives at Work blog, I will be posting blog posts about some of the interesting T-shirt artists and entrepreneurs I met.

If you have an interesting stories to share about the T-shirt business, I would love to hear from you!

LINKS

What You Should Know About Printing Over Seams

SGIA Journal

 

Art Collecting 101 Article in American Airlines Magazine

AmerWayArtArticleFritschIf you will be flying American Airlines from now until the end of February, check out the February 15 issue of  American Way magazine in the seat pocket. I am proud to report that my article “Art Collecting 101” appears in the Culture section on page 36.

The idea for the article originated last summer, when I read a blog post written by interior designer Patty Schimberg of The Schimberg Group architecture firm in Sarasota. She talked about how gratifying it can be to see clients discover the joy of owning original art. Patty noted that you don’t have to go to a major urban center such as New York, Miami, Chicago or Miami to find talented artists: “Every community has an abundance of gifted painters, sculptors and craftsmen who are producing beautiful work.  Many of these artists may never have the opportunity to be represented by a gallery.”

Her observations meshed with other articles I have been reading online about how the Internet is making the art world much more democratic. Plus, as I gathered art-related news for my Creatives at Work blog, I couldn’t help but notice that more and more galleries (especially online galleries) seemed to be catering to new collectors.

Because so many travelers like buying art in the cities they visit, I thought an article aimed at new art collectors would be ideal for an airline magazine such as American Way.

Thanks to all of the sources who contributed insights to this article:

They all gave me so much good information that I will be publishing more of their comments on a new blog I am launching: Diary of a Novice Art Collector.

Plus, I am wrapping up work on an e-book to help people feel less intimidated about diving into the world of art. If you can recommend any resources that should be featured in my e-book or blog, please send them my way!

LINKS

Art Collecting 101 article from the February 15, 2013 issue of American Way magazine

Blog: Diary of a Novice Art Collector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BookBaby Guide: How to Make Money with Your eBook

BookbabyEbookTo make money from e-books, authors must learn to think more like marketers. And they should think about marketing even before they start writing an e-book.

Like many other freelance writers plugging away on e-books, I have heard this advice many times. But a helpful new guide from Bookbaby explains it in a concise and credible way.

Entitled “Making Money with Your eBook,” the guide was written by Steven Spatz, the chief marketing officer for BookBaby, a company that helps independent authors navigate the complexities of self publishing and book marketing. BookBaby services include editing services, cover design, manuscript conversion, ebook publishing and distribution, book printing, and author websites.

Spatz notes that the Internet is flooded with book-marketing information and advice: “Literally thousands of whitepapers, articles, and guides are available free—just like this one! The problem is: If you did everything suggested in these well-intentioned articles, you wouldn’t have any time to write your next book.”

He emphasizes that, “Successful promotion of your book will require some combination of time, effort, money, and luck (with extra helpings of the latter). But if you approach your book like a disciplined and focused marketer, you can’t help but increase the chance for your book to stand out and be discovered.”

Spatz acknowledges that most authors have difficulty thinking like marketers, because authors have trouble perceiving their books as products.  He writes, “You need to subtract emotion from the equation. Put away your subjective feelings. You need to think of your book like it’s a tube of toothpaste at CVS.”

Instead of behaving like an author trying to market your book, he suggests adopting a marketing mindset from the start of a project: “Many important elements of making money on your e-book happen before you write your first word.”

In nine easy-to-read pages, “Making Money with Your eBook” provides specific and practical tips for:

  • identifying the market for an e-book
  • crafting a unique selling proposition
  • developing an affiliate marketing network
  • using metadata to help your readers find you

The “Making Money with Your eBook” guide is one of several publishing guides that can be downloaded free from the BookBaby website.

BookBaby also publishes an excellent blog. Posts explain how to format e-books, produce and distribute audio-books, and use blogs, Pinterest and other social networks to promote self-published books.

LINKS

Making Money with Your eBook

Free Publishing Guides from BookBaby

About BookBaby

About This Blog

One joy of freelance writing is the opportunity to experiment with many types of writing — from short bursts of web copy to longer works of fiction or non-fiction. (There’s a part of me that wants to try it all!)

As my work is published in various formats in online and print publications, I will talk about each project and what I learned in the process. This blog will also include resources that can help anyone who wants to improve their writing — for business, pleasure, or introspection.

Your questions, comments, and assignments are always welcome!