If you’re a good writer, selling ebooks can be a great way to earn some extra money as an artist, especially if you already have a popular blog or art/craft related website.
Unlike print books, ebooks are inexpensive to make and deliver, so the profit margin is much higher. Selling is simpler too: many ebook writers sell them as PDF downloads from their own website, and on third-party sites such as Amazon.
Here are five ideas for art & craft-related ebooks that you may want to consider:
1. Art tutorials & DIY art instruction
This is perhaps the most obvious choice for artists and crafters, and a great opportunity to make some money selling a low-cost product to your fans and followers.
All you need to do is create simple, easy-to-follow instructions for craft projects a person could create at home. Take photographs of your crafting process, and add some great shots of the finished product. You could group a few projects together into a collection, or simply sell each project separately.
Don’t think that giving away simple craft tutorials takes away from your own work. The people who purchase DIY tutorials were unlikely to ever purchase your work in the first place, and your collectors are also unlikely to want your DIY tutorials.
2. An art history ebook
If you create art in a certain style or inspired by a particular movement, your collectors may be very interested in learning more about that movement, particularly if they are able to read the opinions of an artist (as opposed to an academic). Be sure to include some vibrant visuals and lots of links to more information.
3. A collection of art essays
If you’ve produced a collection around a specific theme, a book of essays or poetry centered on that theme could make an interesting addition to your offerings. Make sure the layout is beautiful and you’ve included lots of lush detail and images from your collection interspersed between the text.
4. Coloring ebooks
Believe it or not, many graphic artists and illustrators are making coloring books popular again—just in digital form.
A digital coloring book is a series of downloadable black/white images that the buyer can print off and color with paints, pastels or felt pens, or load into Photoshop and color digitally. Tech-savvy artists may even include a series of Photoshop filters.
Coloring books by popular graphic artists are becoming extremely collectible, and this could be a great little side-project for an artist with the right style.
5. An ebook of art advice for new artists
If you’ve been relatively successful in a certain aspect of your art career, you will have a wealth of knowledge to share with those artists who are just starting out or struggling to establish themselves. You could create an ebook offering advice and tips to sell to fellow artists.
There are quite a few art advice books on the market. To differentiate yourself, choose a very specific subject. Instead of writing “Everything you need to know to succeed as an artist” try “How to sell your art on Facebook” or “Marketing Tips for Sculptors.”
You could even create a series of shorter ebooks on a variety of topics—the more books you have for sale, the more you sell.
Writing and selling ebooks isn’t for every artist, but for some (especially those of you already blogging) it can be a great side business.
If you already have a strong following, if you’re comfortable writing, and if you think you’d enjoy the challenge of creating a downloadable ebook, then by all means, give it a try! There’s a very good chance you’ll discover an entirely new way to earn some income from your art.