Thoughts on how not to be a starving artist

This is a response to this blog post that got long and rambly.

Well, we’re kind of past the point where it’s easy to just charge a fair price for the artist and actually get people to pay for it. We’re living in a time where artists have to be savvy enough to figure out what will make them the artist people will pay, rather one more whose work gets pirated endlessly but who still has to keep their day job to make ends meet.

Personally, I think a large part of today’s success relies on selling yourself, rather than your work. It’s very easy to download an album or an e-book without caring whether you’ve paid for it or not if the focus is solely on whether or not you want it. But, if a person has connected with the artist, especially if it’s to the point where they obsessively read blog posts, look to see what’s coming next, and, most of all, feel like they would be, or are, friends with the artist, it’s harder to make the decision to pirate spur of the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that this is incredibly hard to do, especially for fiction writers. I am just aware of my own thought process when two musicians who I listen to published large, full-colour books priced upwards of $50. The first one, I didn’t have strong feelings about at all, and ignored all of her plugs for it. The second one, who I feel has had similar experiences, resulted in me thinking “somehow I am getting the money for this book.” I re-read this book every few months now.

Before(and after too, really) achieving popularity and reaching the people who are willing to pay for what you do, I think it’s very important to think of an extra nice thing people can get by purchasing the book. This should be something not easily replicated, or it won’t make much of a difference. The nice thing will of course vary based off the artist and the work it’s for. There is no universal nice thing that will work for everything.

And now my rambling brain has just stopped and I didn’t time this so I can’t just finish with the minutes like I normally do. So have a picture of one of the kitties who lives with me.

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Picture by Alison Morrow

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