Selling Your Creative Projects Online

handmademarketplaceTurn your favorite hobby or craft into a way to earn some extra cash — or even start your own online store — with these guides available from the JMRL catalog:

The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin – Presents advice on turning a creative interest into a profitable craft business, covering basic business start-up practices, marketing, networking, advertising and publicity, blogging, participating in craft fairs, and online selling.

Crafter’s Market 2016 edited by Kerry Bogert – Whether you’re looking to expand your online presence or you’re just beginning to think about how to turn your weekend hobby into a side business, this comprehensive guide is the complete resource for crafting professionals.

Handmade to Sell: Hello Craft’s Guide to Owning, Running, and Growing Your Crafty Biz by Kelly Rand – An all-encompassing guide to starting and running a successful craft business provides authoritative coverage of everything from developing successful product lines and preparing taxes to forming LLCs.

How to Make Money Using Etsy by Tim Adam – Presents advice on selling handmade items using the web site, describing how to create a well-designed shop, create photographs that enhance sales, optimize search options, and use social media to increase customer contacts.

How to Sell Your Crafts Online by Derrick Sutton – This step-by-step guide to successful sales on Etsy and beyond will show you how to stand out, attract more customers, and expand your online presence. Continue reading

2017 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Each year, the Pulitzer Prize Board recognizes the best and brightest in writing, drama, and music. The winners of the 101st Pulitzer Prize were officially announced last week.

You can check out any of this year’s prize-winning titles from the JMRL collection:

Fiction: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – After Cora, a slave in pre-Civil War Georgia, escapes with another slave, Caesar, they seek the help of the Underground Railroad as they flee from state to state and try to evade a slave catcher, Ridgeway, who is determined to return them to the South.

History: Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson – The first definitive telling of the Attica prison uprising, the state’s violent response, and the victims’ decades-long quest for justice, in time for the forty-fifth anniversary of the events.

Biography: The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar – The author relates the story of his journey home to his native Libya in search of answers to the disappearance of his father, a political dissident who was kidnapped in Cairo by the Libyan government.

Nonfiction: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond – A Harvard sociologist examines the challenge of eviction as a formidable cause of poverty in America, revealing how millions of people are wrongly forced from their homes and reduced to cycles of extreme disadvantage that are reinforced by dysfunctional legal systems.

Poetry: Olio by Tyehimba Jess – With ambitious manipulations of poetic forms, Jess presents the sweat and story behind America’s blues, worksongs and church hymns.

small books


The warm weather is calling us outdoors!  Whether we’re gardening or jogging or strolling the Downtown Mall, we’re happy to enjoy the onset of Spring.  So this weekend, I’ll offer a few small books, books you might read over the weekend and still have time to play outside.

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

A father and his two sons are grieving the sudden loss of their wife and mother.  Who shows up to help them?  Crow – trickster, instigator, babysitter and therapist –  who “finds humans dull except in grief” and threatens to stay until they no longer need him.  This unusual story is told from the three voices – Dad, the Boys, and Crow – as months go by and this little family moves through its sadness and begins to recover.  With poetry woven throughout, this is quite an extraordinary little book!

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

One of my favorites and not just because it involves a bookmobile!   Following her corgis from the garden, Queen Elizabeth is led to the bookmobile parked by the palace kitchen doors.  Always polite, she steps aboard to apologize for the dogs’ behavior and, for the first time in her life, is offered the opportunity to read something for pleasure.  This act changes all her relationships: with her staff, other heads of state, the British people, and herself.   This small book will cause you to reflect, laugh, and examine the power of the written word.

Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast by Bill Richardson

A sweet little book, this one is for lovers of literature everywhere.   Bachelor twins Hector and Virgil consider their B&B a refuge for gentle, bookish people like themselves.   Guests may bring their own books or peruse the brothers’ considerable library.  So whether one is looking for some quiet time to finally make it through War and Peace or happily re-reading Beatrix Potter yet again, all are welcomed by these delightful brothers.

BookShots series by James Patterson

James Patterson has a theory that some folks today aren’t willing, or able, to commit to reading an entire novel.  To address this issue, last year he started publishing “BookShots” – small paperback novels, complete at 150 pages or less, that sell for $4.95.  Some of these stories include his regular characters (e.g. Michael Bennett and Alex Cross) and some introduce new protagonists.  I’m not sure whether they’re such a success because of their size or because of Patterson’s popularity, but they have been a hit.  JMRL has quite a few in our catalogue which are searchable under “keyword: book shots.”  Check them out!