UCU- What advice do you have for crafters that are trying to survive these economic times?MG- Hobnob your brains out on communities like Craftster, GetCrafty, and Biznik. Your fellow crafters are your best source of tips, resources, and moral support. Don’t just network online though; look for ways to meet crafters face to face. (If you can’t find a group in your neck of the woods, start one of your own.) There’s strength in numbers. So rather than organize a solo open house or web promotion, team up with a handful of like-minded crafters. Finally, look for ways to parlay your craft skills and knowledge into supplemental income. Maybe you can offer classes to newbie crafters, pick up some bookkeeping work for other small businesses, or design blogs or web portfolios for writers (trust me, we desperately need help with this). Anything you find yourself repeatedly explaining to others or doing for your own business is a skill you can sell. UCU- What are you looking forward to the most at Urban Craft Uprising? MG- Shopping! I bought such a fabulous purse and skirt at the last UCU. I’d intended to buy holiday presents for everyone on my list, but, well, you know how that goes. It’s impossible to not splurge on yourself at a craftastic event like UCU. I’m especially looking forward to buying myself a new necklace and pair of earrings. So many pretty pieces to choose from.
UCU- Do you have any advice for someone that wants to publish a book?MG- Tons. I’ve taught entire classes on that topic. For nonfiction books, it’s essential to build a platform so that agents and editors know you already have a built-in following. Blogging, tweeting, writing articles, posting YouTube videos, teaching classes, and sitting on panels are some ways you can cultivate a fan base and hone your expertise in a particular subject area. Publishers want proof that you can garner an audience for your book -- before they sign you. And since authors have to do a majority of their book’s promotion themselves, it’s in your best interest to build up some buzz long before your book hits shelves. Besides, writing an article or teaching a class is a great way to test out material you’re thinking of turning into a book and see how well it’s received. UCU- Got any new year’s resolutions you would want to share with us? MG- I wish I could say something significant, like save the polar bears, fix the economy, or develop a car that runs on compost. But my resolutions are more mundane: Take the dog to the beach more. Make a new soup or stew once a week. Sleep at least eight hours a night. Watch less TV and rent more movies. Go on a two- to four-week writing retreat. Write some really funny stuff.