What really sells a book?

Some might say the trickiest part is actually selling the book. Or writing it? Opinions differ. But what really sells a book? What marketing tool? What recipe to follow? Is there a recipe?

Well, let’s analyze one of my favorite novels, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, and hope that I’ll be able to offer some insight as to how people decide to buy a book. Continue reading

Do You Want to Be a Successful Artist?

“I put my heart and soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential painters of all time, but his work received no recognition during his lifetime. His paintings were often described as being too dark and lacking the bright liveliness of the Impressionist paintings of the time. He produced more than 900 works during his lifetime, but only sold one painting, Red Vineyard at Arles.

Paul Gaugain. El Greco. Claude Monet. Johannes Vermeer. Stendhal. Franz Kafka. Sylvia Plath.

What do all these artists have in common?

They only became famous after their deaths.

And the list goes on and on…

It’s almost as if that’s a rule, right? Some fundamental principle of the universe. Artists can aspire to barely make a living, if that.

Then how can one become a successful artist?

Well, there are three simple things to keep in mind. Continue reading

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Selling Your Art Online: What to Do

There’s no doubt about it: we have divided our lives into two different parts – offline and online. And the online world provides just as many opportunities, maybe even more, than the offline.

Well, then it should make sense to also sell your art online, right?

It is possible. But can it be done?

Yes, of course.

Selling art online is not only possible, but more and more opportunities are being presented every few months. Art collectors have become more confident towards buying art from online sources, purchasing works without having to see them in person.

It’s an exciting time to be selling art online, and with a bit of creativity and employing various guerrilla marketing techniques, you can do without investing a lot of money in advertising and such.

But before you even think about selling your art online, it’s important to cover a few of the basics.

Continue reading

Did The Muse Abandon You?

It happened again, didn’t it?

Another week or month has passed, and you’ve made zero progress on your writing.

Deep down you know your writing is important, but it seems impossible to take consistent action

What’s going on here?

The truth is, you don’t feel inspired.

You can’t help but marvel at other writers who seem to come up with one great idea after another.

How do you get there?

How do you find the inspiration you need in order to become the prolific, popular, and successful writer you have always dreamed of becoming?

It’s simple. This guide contains 99 ways to find inspiration.

Available on the e-store as an e-book download for only $4.99 $1.99.

You can download a sample and read it here.

Read here.

8 Bad Habits that Kill Your Creativity

“The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts the moment you get up and doesn’t stop until you get into the office.” – Robert Frost

We tend to put a lot of emphasis on intelligence. I.Q. tests are supposed to tell us what type of person we are, what jobs we’ll have, how successful we’ll be, or how much money we’ll make.

The truth is that when it comes to being highly successful, anything over an I.Q. of 120 is pretty much all the same. In some cases, having a genius level intelligence can even work against you.

That means that even if you’re no smarter than most people, you still have the potential to wield amazing creative powers.

So why are so few people highly creative?

Because there are certain bad habits that kill your creativity. And like all bad habits, they can be broken if you are willing to work at it.

Here are eight of the very worst bad habits that could be holding you back every day: Continue reading

The Artist’s Struggle

In an essay about Kafka, David Foster Wallace wrote the following words, “the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. […] our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home.”

Now, he was talking about Kafka’s works, but I think that phrase pretty much sums up what art is all about.

As a writer, as an artist, I’m interested in people. It’s not only about empathy, but also about understanding how things work. That’s something you can’t really learn. Or read about in a book. You either have it or you don’t.

Now, about this phrase. The journey, not the destination. Continue reading

Relationship Advice From 19th Century Novels

There’s no doubt about the fact that art influences the way we experience reality. In fact, art is so influential that it affects the way we understand reality. Literature, Hollywood flicks, advertising or pop songs change our perception of love and what to expect from our partners.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was famously meant to be a parody of sorts. “These violent delights…” It is a cautionary tale as to how dangerous can be for us to idealize a romantic partner, how perilous it is to give up on everything for them. Yet people find the pair’s death as “romantic.”

Another example? The Great Gatsby. People upload quotes from this novel everywhere, as if the love story between Daisy and Gatsby is romance at its finest. It’s not. Daisy does not love him as much as he does her. Also, this so called “love” corrupts Gatsby to the point that he is nothing without her. Everything he does, it’s because of her.

Is this what we’d truly want from love? Is this what we understand by love?

But all this pales in comparison to the manner in which “love” was defined by 19th century novels. Let’s take a look at some of these novels and the way in which they define relationships. Continue reading