Making the sale is the hardest part

I’m still adding craft fair leftovers to Etsy. I also whipped up a couple of crochet cuffs last night because I wanted to play with the bright green yarn I bought a few months ago.

I’ve been thinking about how easy it is to make things, relative to how hard it can be to sell them (even when people seem interested–“I like this” has a much lower threshold than “I want to spend $5 on this”). We still haven’t reached the break-even point with the first issue of Yog’s Notebook, for example. So now I’m in the tough position of deciding whether to print fewer copies for issue 2, because that’s how many we can sell, even if it means that we won’t be able to sell enough to recoup costs. There are probably things I could do to help sales (like actually update the blog every week, or be more aggressive about getting reviews) but I think there’s only so much to do in the short term. Building a market takes time, and there are more people who want to have their stories published than people who want to buy the publications.

With crafts it’s even worse, because each individual item, even if it’s created in batches, requires more time and effort. That’s what makes it a craft. And the process of making things is, on the whole, more enjoyable than the process of attempting to sell them.

I’m not really complaining. I know this is how things work. I’m just pondering whether Tara is right about the boutique economy, and what that means for creators and standing out from the competition, when everyone has something unique, one of a kind, and personal to offer.

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