Best Resources for Selling Your Arts and Crafts

If you're reading this, you're obviously trying to find ways to make your arts and crafts business succeed or come by with some additional income from your creations. Lucky for you, this post was created to help you do just that. Here you will find a list of tips and resources to help your arts and crafts business to not only survive but also thrive. From informational guides to real stories of success, you'll find a wide array of sources to consult as you manage your own business. Obviously, their recorded successes will also guarantee their effectivity. I wrote this to provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you navigate your business.

I've listed various solutions and methods that you can apply such as viable outlets for your products and ways to attract business. You'll also learn about different angles that you can try and see which would suit you in particular. They can be as broad as joining the Amazon marketplace to more specialized outlets specific to your case. I've even included a few ways to maximize your exposure on the Internet. Ultimately, I hope that this list is equipped with all the information and resources you need to succeed.

7 Success Stories and Case Studies: How Artists Are Making It Big Selling Their Art

For a lot of people in the creative industry, it can be difficult to break out and gather a following. However, it's not impossible, as can be seen from the various people who have made it big. Read the stories below to gather insight on how these artists and crafters managed to make thousands to millions each year through selling their work online. From humble beginnings to success stories, much can be learned from these self-made entrepreneurs.

(Note: Although a majority of the stories are about Etsy, it does not mean Etsy is the only way to make money with your art. There are many online art marketplaces where you can sell your art.)

How One Woman Makes Almost $1 Million A Year On Etsy

Alicia Shaffer is making $80,000/month selling legwarmers, scarves, headbands and other handmade items at her shop ThreeBirdNest on Etsy. (Update: In November 2011, Shaffer decided to leave Etsy and started selling products on their own site.)

Crafty Goodness Turned Into A Five Star Etsy Shop

Megan Owdom-Weitz built her store Megan Lee Designs into a five star shop on Etsy.

Stay at Home Mom Explains How She Makes a Living on Etsy

Mollie Flately is the founder of Nora Jane, a handmade rubber stamp company. She was the 8th highest gross selling handmade artisan on Etsy as of August 2014.

3 top Etsy sellers share their secrets for making big money online

Erin True (Urban Wood Goods), Nate McPherson (Spexton Jewelry) and Emily McDowell (Emily McDowell Studio) stand out from the thousands of artisans on Etsy. Here are their secrets of how they did it.

This Artist Makes a Living 'Flash-Selling' His Work on Instagram

Every day, Chris Austin from Toronto holds flash sales for his art to his 8,000 followers on Instagram.

How I’ve Profited $100K Online in Just 5 Months This Year

Benny Hsu from Get Busy Living shares how he made $100K in 5 months selling funny T-shirts.

Self-taught Lampshade Designer Miranda Law became a self-sufficient single mother with her Swee Mei lampshades.

18 Best Books on Selling Your Arts and Crafts

Get comprehensive guides on building your own arts and crafts business with these highly rated books. Though a lot of them focus on Etsy, a lot of these lessons can still be applied on different platforms.

1. 2016 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market

By Mary Burzlaff Bostic

Build a Successful Art Career

Do you want to establish or expand a career for yourself in fine art, illustration or design? 2016 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market is the must-have reference guide for you. Thousands of successful artists have relied on this to help develop their careers and navigate the changing business landscape. The 2016 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market introduces a whole host of new features and guarantees the most up-to-date, individually verified market contacts possible.

Grow your art business with these resources:

  • A FREE 1-year subscription to, where you can find industry contacts, track your submissions, get the latest art and design news, and much more (free subscription comes with print version only)

  • Complete, up-to-date contact information for more than 1,700 art market resources, including galleries, magazines, book publishers, greeting card companies, ad agencies, syndicates, art fairs, and more

  • Articles on the business of freelancing--from basic copyright information to tips on promoting your work

  • Information on grants, residencies, organizations, publications, and websites that offer support and direction for visual artists of all types

  • NEW! Informative articles on the art of business, online social networking, and the benefits of slowing down to create better work

  • Special features on selling without begging, obtaining micro funding, beginning a Kickstarter campaign, and methods for accepting payment

  • Inspiring and informative interviews with successful professionals including children's book author-illustrators David Macaulay and Melissa Sweet, fine artist Richard McLaughlin, manga author-illustrator Mark Crilley and editorial illustrator Rami Niem.


2. 15 Handpicked Unique Suppliers for Handmade Businesses 2015 - 2016: An Exclusive Guide To Fuel Etsy Selling Success and the Handmade Entrepreneur

By Renae Christine

Stop buying your materials for your handmade products at local craft stores. This book will show you where to find the best materials from the best suppliers to fuel your Etsy selling success.

After getting more than 1 million views on YouTube with over 100,000 follow up questions answered for handmade businesses since 2012, Renae Christine has learned that 90% of handmade businesses fail within the first 5 years due to lack of proper suppliers or the know-how to find those suppliers of the best materials.

You will learn:

  • Why every Etsy seller and handmade business owner needs a supplier.

  • Why you should avoid your local craft store's clearance section like the plague.

  • Common mistakes that you could be making.

  • How much money you need to place an initial order, which might surprise you.

  • Where to find tens of thousands of proper material suppliers.

  • The questions to ask before taking on a supplier and placing an order so you don't waste your money.

  • 15 of Renae Christine's favorite suppliers from a convention she scoured just for handmade businesses.

  • Additional bonus suppliers listed from different handmade industries.


3. The Handmade Entrepreneur-How to Sell on Etsy, or Anywhere Else (2016 Updated): Easy Steps for Building a Real Business Around Your Crafts

By Dani Marie

There are now millions of people with handmade products and they are all eager to build a sustainable income. The Handmade Entrepreneur uses precise methods based on proven marketing techniques to set you above the competition. What you can expect to learn from this book:

  • How to take DIY pictures that get clicks and sales

  • How to set up a shop that turns visitors into buyers in under two seconds

  • How to price your items

  • How to write titles and descriptions

  • How to brand your business with DIY techniques

  • How to rank your pages

  • How to find targeted audiences

  • How to build up your list of followers

  • Where to promote your listings

  • How to sell without selling

  • How to form relationships with people who can send you extra sales

  • How to start a "buzz" about your products

  • Which tools to incorporate into your business


4. "Starving" to Successful: The Fine Artist's Guide to Getting Into Galleries and Selling More Art

By J. Jason Horejs

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to show your work in galleries? Have you felt frustrated because you are unsure how to best approach galleries for representation? Do you know what you need to do to prepare your work, your portfolio, and yourself to make an effective approach?

Starving to Successful | The Fine Artist's Guide to Getting into Galleries and Selling More Art will answer these questions and many more as you prepare to increase your presence in the gallery market. Written by J. Jason Horejs, owner of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ, Starving to Successful will give you pragmatic advice and concrete, actionable steps you can begin implementing immediately to become more successful in marketing your work to galleries.

  • Gain insight into what a gallery owner is thinking as he or she reviews your portfolio.

  • Understand why the most common approaches artists make to galleries are largely ineffective.

  • Learn what most artists fail to do in preparing their work for sale.

Starving to Successful will change the way you look at the artist/gallery relationship, and will set your art career on a new path.


5. Etsy Empire: Proven Tactics for Your Etsy Business Success, Including Etsy SEO, Etsy Shop Building, Social Media for Etsy and Etsy Pricing Tips (Almost Free Money) (Volume 7)

By Eric Michael

Etsy Empire offers a unique combination of the most important Etsy tips for building your business.

  • Build your brand. This is the most important task for Etsy sellers.

  • Determine demand for your potential business for free.

  • Learn how to double or triple traffic to your shop and sales items with Etsy SEO and Google SEO

  • Use Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter to sell more items and engage your shop's fans - Social Media for Etsy

  • Learn how to sell crafts and vintage collectibles on Etsy

  • Etsy tips for packaging and shipping

  • Learn valuable tips for improving Etsy photography and how to make your item descriptions convert into sales

  • Etsy 101 - learn how to start your business from scratch and build into a successful online business

  • Learn how to network with other successful Etsy shop owners

  • How to design a great Etsy shop - create a professional shop banner, shop name and avatar


6. Etsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Business

By Jason Malinak

Turn your handmade hobby into a thriving business.

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.


7. Etsy: School The Complete Etsy Business Startup Guide

By Sarah Moore

Etsy has successfully brought craft fairs to the people of the online world, and they have shaken the image of handmade items from "that will do" items to hot ticket best-selling and hugely desirable products. Just because this platform exists though, doesn't mean that getting to the top of it is as easy as having a great product and putting it into a search engine. With this book, you will be told how to set yourself up on Etsy for success and how to create a growing income from your boutique items. You'll learn:

  • Exact steps how to build your own Etsy store

  • Everything you need to do before you open your Etsy store

  • Mistakes you can make and how to avoid them

  • How to select the perfect Etsy store name

  • How to list your products properly so they sell the fastest

  • Discover how to find out what is trending in the handmade and vintage world and how you can be a part of that

  • Find out the best way to optimize your Etsy page so that it will come up at the top of a search engine and people will click on your product over another

  • The secrets to getting to the front page and how best to use forums and teams to create a lasting brand that will keep customers coming back again and again

  • Promote yourself for free with several social media platforms that are especially catered to Etsy users

When it comes to selling well on Etsy, there is a lot of competition. There are many other people with exciting and creative products that may even be able to match your own. However, competition is only a problem if it can compete with you.


8. Selling Art Online: The Creative Guide to Turning Your Artistic Work into Cash

By Dave Conrey

Selling Art Online shows you several ways you can take your art, make money, be happy, and beat back all the doubt and criticism.

This could be the most eye-opening book you read about being a creative entrepreneur. Whether you’re an illustrator, artist, designer, photographer or any variety of visual creator, this book could change your point of view on how you sell your work.