2 Mar 2011

Artist Marketing: Have You Ever Been Featured in an Art Book?

Posted by Moshe Mikanovsky

This article was published on FineArtViews blog on February 24, 2011

Artist Marketing: Have You Ever Been Featured in an Art Book?

by Moshe Mikanovsky

This article  is by Moshe Mikanovsky, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews.  An emerging artist searching his way in the art world, he loves to share what he learns.  With over 20 years of technology experience, Moshe combines his technological background and his passion for the arts with the goal of “working his dream”.  You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

Getting unsolicited emails comes with the territory once you establish some type of online presence out there. You have your email address on your site, you send and receive emails from people you know, and you sign up for different newsletters. Subsequently, in the past year, I have received several offers to participate in art books.

Since they were all unsolicited, or what we usually call “spam”, I didn’t know what their value might be. I am usually quite suspicious when getting emails from sources I didn’t sign up with. In addition, when looking at the details, most of the times there is a sum of money involved, usually around $500 for a page in the book. Some of these books are marketed as a catalog for art galleries, art dealers and collectors, and, therefore, should be part of the artist’s marketing efforts to get into the doors of these decision-makers of the art world. Other books are actually produced by publishers and are sold throughout the traditional book outlets – brick and mortar book stores, as well as online stores.

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine, potter Irit Lepkin, was excited to share some good news with me. One of her Raku ceramic sculptures was juried into a new book, named “500 Raku – Bold Explorations of a Dynamic Ceramics Technique” (by Lark Crafts). Because I’m such a book-geek, especially any art book I can put my hands on, the idea of being published in such a book, especially after all my earlier hesitations about such an undertaking, intrigued my curiosity immediately.

Other than finding a great topic to write about in my blog and here (did I already talk in the past about What To Write About In An Art Blog?), I started thinking what would the benefits be for artists to participate in and contribute to such a book. Here are a few I can think of:

  • Great exposure – the book is sold worldwide and today, via the online stores, you can literally buy such books anywhere around the globe. Whether the customers will be art collectors, galleries, art schools, other artists or libraries, your artwork can be exposed to an amazing number of people all over the world. Who knows what can happen with such exposure…
  • Permanent art show – Isn’t a printed book is like a permanent art show? The books are usually juried, just like other art shows, and the artwork is printed and displayed in the best possible way. Once the book has been printed, it will never be erased or destroyed. Copies are distributed, sold and kept in many locations, making it more permanent than a short-time show.
  • Acceptance – your artwork was selected, among many other entries, to be featured in a beautiful book. If this is not a success story for your acceptance as an artist, then what is?
  • Build your résumé – again, once your art is juried into the book.  Add it as another achievement to your ever-growing resume.
  • Cheaper than self publishing your own book – many artists get to a point in their career that a book of their own work is due. For the emerging artists, self publishing is now, more than ever, a great option but still can be costly. Maybe one step before that is participating in a collective group of artists, publishing together, and therefore splitting the costs involved in such a project.

I am not sure yet what my opinion is about the marketing-books, especially those that are still quite costly to be part of. I would actually love to hear from you.

Have you ever participated in such a book?

What are other benefits, or on the other hand, caveats, of such undertaking?

Do you have stories about “being found” after publishing in such a book?



PS If you are interested in reading about the book my friend is participating in, check out “Art Book Recommendation – 500 Raku”. If you love pottery, you will sure love this one!

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2 Responses to “Artist Marketing: Have You Ever Been Featured in an Art Book?”

  1. I quite agree- i was very lucky to be included too – i cant quite believe my luck. In the UK its hard to break into the art world- so I was shocked to be included in this series. I think in the US they’re a bit more open to giving people a chance to show their work to a wide public.

    Ive been making work for about 12 years, lots of ups and a lot of “downs!” So all i can say is persevere, and have faith in what you do. Celebrate your achievements!


    shaun hall

  2. Hi Shaun,
    I am hearing the same thing from artists in North America. I have started only about 1.5 years ago, and still have way to go… learning a lot on the way :-)

    Your raku work is beautiful!!!



    Moshe Mikanovsky

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