‘Sell Your Soul: How to Build Your Creative Career’ - Book Review

One of the hardest things to do when you are a creative person is to sell your own work, especially when our society is stuck on this notion that all artists/writers/creators must starve and suffer for their art.  Well, Russell Nohelty is here to tell you that it’s a load of crap in Sell Your Soul: How to Build Your Creative Career, and I agree with him. Luckily, he’s also written a handy-dandy guide to walk you through the emotional and practical aspects of selling your work.

Mr. Nohelty has done a great job of breaking down the basics of selling. It can be a bit intimidating to the beginner, so I strongly suggest that you implement his suggestions in stages.  I have personally found many of his selling techniques to be very effective, but I would add that you should tailor your own selling practices to fit your personality, otherwise they could come across as forced or desperate. My favorite section in that part was "Buying Triggers."  I found it to be accurate and very concise. Part 4 was spot on with its discussion of how to make money on live events.  I would add a caveat to the "Splitting Tables" section, as I have found as my own inventory has grown that I like to have my own table for branding purposes. I wholeheartedly agree that splitting a table is a very good idea when you are first starting out. (I did that my first two years exhibiting.)  And thank you for adding a chapter on budgeting. I know many people who just don’t get how important that is.

I do have a couple of minor nitpicks. It would have been nice to have a paragraph or two discussing getting a DBA (Doing Business As) or incorporating.  There's no need to get into any legal aspects, but simply making creators aware that having one or the other is necessary for getting a business account at a bank or for tax purposes. I’m also not sure why Nohelty devotes two chapters about not launching your dream project first other than he finds this point to be really important.  I completely agree with him, but the first chapter on it pretty much covers this topic. A nod to it in the Afterword would have been sufficient in my opinion.

This book is packed with fabulous information, so I would recommend reading it over a few sittings or breaking it up into sections so you aren’t overwhelmed. As a creator myself and a veteran of many cons, I know just how hard it is to create, and then turn around and sell.  It definitely would have been nice to have had this book when I first started out.

Madeleine Holly-Rosing received an ARC of this book for an honest review.  For full disclosure, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon provided a proofread of this book.

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