good reads for blogging & business

Yesterday I participated in an advice series with Maggie from Gussy Sews (view posts here & here) which really got me thinking about how much advice and how many resources are out there!  In the posts, we asked some savvy lady friends to chime in with advice on what works for them and how they manage to - or try to- do it all.  For even more business advice check my IndieBiz section that I try to keep full of useful info for you.

Today I want to share reading resources with you, which I have done before, but just wanted to remind you again of whats out there and add in a couple extras for you literate loves.  The internet is a never-ending-source-of-overwhelming-information, so sometimes its nice to close all that down and just sit down with a nice book.  

Blog Inc. by Joy Cho of Oh Joy! isn't available until Sept 19th 
(pre-order here

With roughly 95,000 blogs launched worldwide every 24 hours (BlogPulse), making a fledgling site stand out isn't easy. This authoritative handbook gives creative hopefuls a leg up. Joy Cho, of the award-winning Oh Joy!, offers expert advice on starting and growing a blog, from design and finance to overcoming blogger's block, attracting readers, and more. With a foreword from Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge plus expert interviews, this book will fine-tune what the next generation of bloggers shares with the world.

Blogging for Creatives by Robin Houghton 

Covers everything creatives need to know about how to design a beautiful, interesting blog that people will want to return to again and again--such as how to design, publish and host a blog, as well as keeping it fresh, staying motivated and forging connections with others in the field. Professional advice is highly illustrated with examples of successful blogs, broken down into succinct types that work, helping the reader to identify and develop the style of blog they want.

Creative Inc. By Meg Ilasco & Joy Cho 

As the hipster classic Craft, Inc. did for crafters, this book will teach all types of creatives illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, animators, and more how to build a successful business doing what they love. Freelancing pros Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho explain everything from creating a standout portfolio to navigating the legal issues of starting a business. Accessible, spunky, and packed with practical advice, Creative, Inc. is an essential for anyone ready to strike out on their own.

This action-oriented take-along planner is packed with advice and worksheets that guide creative entrepreneurs in their hot pursuit of profit. From big picture goals (writing a mission statement, developing marketing campaigns, launching a new line) to immediate to-dos (getting a business license, pricing products, packing for trade shows), this essential guide brims with how-to tips from industry experts. Roomy pockets catch important business cards, while tear-off notepad pages offer space to jot thoughts on the go. The lay-flat portfolio packaging makes this planner both easy to tote and durable enough to withstand all that the bumpy road to success may bring.

The Handmade Marketplace breaks down and makes sense of the global possibilities for marketing and selling crafts. First, determine the right price for every item — not too expensive and definitely not too cheap. Whether the product is beaded jewelry or felted slippers, illustrations or tote bags, author Kari Chapin helps crafters determine cost of goods, market competition, and the pros and cons of wholesale and retail sales. If the price is right, customers will buy. Then it's on to selling. The boom in indie craft fairs and sites such as Etsy ("Your place to buy & sell all things handmade") is providing artisans with an ever-expanding marketplace for handcrafted items. Chapin demystifies every venue. She explains the guidelines that craft fairs impose on exhibitors, the typical yearly calendar of shows, and how to start a new craft fair.

Are you ready to make a living from your craft? Applying her trademark "you-can-do-it" coaching style to the nuts and bolts of business planning, Kari Chapin covers all of the issues involved in turning your creative hobby into a successful business--from mapping out a business plan to expanding production and distribution, finding funding, and addressing legal matters. With this definitive guide, you'll discover how to grow your business beyond the dining room table and finally quit your day job.

Handmade to Sell by Kelly Rand

• Developing successful product lines
• Copyrights and trademarks
• Taking perfect product shots
• Using analytics to boost your online sales
• Selling at fairs, shows, and other retail outlets
• Diversifying income through licensing and teaching
• Hiring and outsourcing
   And more...
EtsyPreneurship by Jason Malinak

Most Etsy sellers are confident in their crafting and artistic capabilities. However, many need guidance on the business-related intricacies of starting and maintaining a successful Etsy business.Etsy-preneurship helps existing and potential Etsy sellers understand the business fundamentals needed to become a small business owner on Etsy, including taxes, bookkeeping, marketing, finances, administrative tasks, daily operations, legal requirements, business plans, and improving your business skills. This book will help you make the jump from enjoying your handmade/craft/art hobby to running a profitable business.

The Craft Business Handbook by Alison McNicol

Wish you could turn your talent for making lovely things into cash? Bored of the 9 to 5 and dreaming of starting your own crafty business, but not sure where to start?  From setting up as a proper business, producing and pricing your goods for maximum sales and profit, to the various options for selling online, at craft fairs, trade shows and getting your products into retailers, right through to gaining magazine coverage, promoting your business online and managing your business as it grows, this is THE essential guide for any would-be crafty entrepreneur!

Digital Art Wonderland by Angi Sullins & Silas Toball

Creative techniques for inspirational journaling and beautiful blogging.

what are you reading??

Have any of these made it onto your list? Let me know how you like them..
or tell me some of your favorites!

*all book desciptions via amazon.


  1. katie kruse24 August, 2012

    this is awesome i bookmarked it and that link to your biz links too! i have so much reading to do thank you!

  2. That Blog Inc book totally caught my attention, buying it now, thanks for the recommendations. I have a couple and I still love Handmade Marketplace.

  3. Thank you, this post has been really helpful



  4. Thanks so much for this post!!
    If I had to buy only 2 of these books (let's say one on blogging because I have a blog & one on crafty entrepreneurship because I have 2 Etsy shops) which one would you suggest? which one would you recommend the best? ;)
    Thanks again!

  5. Great post! Thanks so much for putting this list together and for sharing all these great resources! I'm excited to start checking them out for myself!
    Happy Day!

  6. I'm going to order Blog Inc. What a great post. Thank you for all of the suggestions.

  7. Thanks so much for all this helpful information. I am a newer blogger and have a lot to learn! :]

    ♥ Em

  8. Definitely need some of these! Thanks for sharing, pretty lady!
    xo Heather

  9. A bunch of these are already on my to-read list.

    I have read The Handmade Market Place by Kari Chapin already though... and it's awesome. I totally recommend it too!

  10. Thank you so much for compiling all of these! I can't wait until I get a few extra minutes to really dig in!

  11. I'm reading a few books right now - a few of them are: Quitter by Jon Acuff and Created to be Creative by Arlene Jennings (her 3 daughters are friends of mine). Of the books you listed, Creative, Inc. really stood out to me. I think it will be on my list of books to read next :-)

  12. LOVE this post. SO excited for blog inc