Skip to content

The Handmade Marketplace: Book Review

I was thrilled when author Kari Chapin asked me to be a contributor in her book, The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line and now that it’s sitting here before me on my desk I’m even more honored to have been asked! Thank you Kari! This informative book, which is the decor8 book of the week, is packed with advice from many contributors who have made a successful business from the ground floor up which makes the book so exciting because everyone included grew their business based on passion, determination, talent and in an organic way — which is usually how the most successful businesses are developed — over time.

The Handmade Marketplace

Included in this book, in addition to my own contributions on pages 125-127 (I wrote about how a business can attract attention from their favorite blogs) , you can find words of wisdom from Ashley Goldberg, Elizabeth MacCrellish, Emily Martin (who also did most of the illustrations found throughout the book), Jenny Ryan, Jennifer Judd-McGee, Leah Kramer, Liz Smith, Mati Rose McDonough, Matt Stinchcomb (VP of Community at Etsy), Megan Reardon and Yvonne Eijkenduijn. Kari helps readers who are looking to launch their crafting business in many areas from how to determine cost of goods to market competition, the pros and cons of wholesale versus retail sales, tips on styling and propping crafts for photographs, technical explanations of how the most popular online marketplaces work, how to approach bloggers to get your work featured (the section where I stepped in with my own ideas), how to approach shopkeepers and build strong relationships, record keeping, showing your work at craft fairs and more – 218 pages of current concrete advice from Kari and her 30 contributors.

The Handmade Marketplace

The Handmade Marketplace

I highly suggest picking this book up if any of these topics interest you — there is so much to learn inside of The Handmade Marketplace that you’ll enjoy, it’s one of my favorite new small business/crafty guides because it’s the best $10 you’ll ever spend on your business (and it’s a tax write off!).

Kari did a beautiful job organizing a myriad of topics from so many voices and making it an easy to follow small business book that is not in the least bit boring (most business books can be a real snooze-a-thon) or overly techincal (yawn) – it’s smart, fresh and easy to digest and most of all, gives small business owners the tips and tools that they need to either get started or to keep going strong and forward with their business. Yay, indie crafters!

Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted by decor8 in Books + Magazines on April 27, 2010

Your comments...

  1. michelle commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:34am

    This sounds like an invaluable resource for someone hoping to start their handmade business online. I’m not at all surprised that you were taped to contribute since you are such a trailblazer in this field. There must be countless small handmade businesses that got a huge boost from having their work recognized on Decor8.
    .-= michelle´s last blog ..Update =-.

  2. Liam commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:35am

    Looks like a fantastic book and I am sure invaluable to anybody starting out. Fabulous.

  3. luisa commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:37am

    Guten Tag Holly,

    I love this book. You once mentioned here that you contributed a part and I directly pre-ordered it at Amazon. Since I have it it gave me so much valuable advice and info and lead me to so many talented artists it’s a pleasure to read it and to check out all of the mentioned artists inside.
    I recommend everyone who wants to open a tiny (or big) craft business.

    Thank you for the review. Your images are eye-candy.

    Have a fabulous day.
    .-= luisa´s last blog ..postcard =-.

  4. Saima commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:42am

    I’ve started reading this lately – it’s inspiring and makes me want to start a handmade business :)
    .-= Saima´s last blog ..Designers Guild Discount =-.

  5. Francesca commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:42am

    I’m reading it right now, almost finished! And I totally agree with you Holly (see how I’m following your advice :), it’s an invaluable book for small or wannabe craft businesses. As a non-English speaking person, I found it very easy to read and understand too. Talking about your participation, this sentence is what impressed me the most: “remember your portfolio is only as strong as your weakest photo”. True! Congratulations,
    .-= Francesca´s last blog ..mosaic monday =-.

  6. jacqueline commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:43am

    I bought this book and loving every bit of it! So gald to seee it here. :) Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!
    .-= jacqueline´s last blog ..a new flip-flop for zee Mister =-.

  7. monica from hola!design commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:52am

    Holly, it looks wonderful!!! I love the cover, it’s awesome!
    I found all this very interesting because I’m looking to re-open my etsy shop, selling prints and home accessories. I’ll go buy it right now!
    .-= monica from hola!design´s last blog ..New York through my lens =-.

  8. Sarah Fox commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:04am

    I love this book. As someone who is looking to set up a store selling other artisans work I am finding it really insightful. Your piece was really good for me as I write my blog as a preemptive marketting tool to my future dream. Thanks for the review!
    .-= Sarah Fox´s last blog ..DAILY REMEDY FOR… Fierce!! =-.

  9. juliette commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:14am

    Congrats – I’ve been seeing good reviews of this book around the web and have been encouraging a friend of mine to pick a copy up to help her better develop her Etsy business!
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Sewing a tunic: gathering inspiration =-.

  10. alicia bock commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:14am

    You have me excited about this… off to order right now.
    Cheers!- A.
    .-= alicia bock´s last blog .. =-.

  11. Rose commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:29am

    Thanks. It sounds like I will be making a book purchase soon! ;)

  12. Rose commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:29am

    Thanks.. Will be purchasing it soon!

  13. Melanie commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:32am

    Great book! Tons of good information. Really made me think about improving my branding, etc.
    Must read for anyone in the crafting/art biz.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Custom Vintage Map Pencil Can =-.

  14. Liz Smith (madeinlowell) commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:33am

    Like you I was thrilled to be asked to contribute, then super pleased with the results of Kari’s hard work! PS Love your beautiful photos :)
    .-= Liz Smith (madeinlowell)´s last blog ..The Handmade Marketplace Book Giveaway! =-.

  15. frauheuberg commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:41am

    yes, i bought it, too…and love all the information inside…and i´m glad to have it now, too…your pictures are lovley…have a sucessful week with your book project…;)…cheers and hugs…
    .-= frauheuberg´s last blog ..Saturdays in the "Endstation" =-.

  16. Down and Out Chic commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:44am

    I’ve read this book and will continue to go back to it for helpful hints and whenever I need a spurt of motivation. I especially enjoyed your quote about blogging! I actually know Emily from college so seeing her fantastic illustrations and words come to life in print was an extra special treat.
    .-= Down and Out Chic´s last blog ..Navy + White Nautical Tops Under $70 =-.

  17. Elle Sees commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 10:28am

    Forget the book–I love the colors surrounding the book. Love the set up. But congrats for you!
    .-= Elle Sees´s last blog ..Tangled Headphones =-.

  18. Jeni commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 10:47am

    This looks like a fantastic book! I put it on hold at the library a few weeks ago and I’m just waiting for it to come in, I can’t wait!

    I love to be able to ‘preview’ books through the library before deciding to buy them. :)
    .-= Jeni´s last blog ..Toasted Coconut Biscotti =-.

  19. Moriah Perez (utiledulci) commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 11:36am

    Hello Holly,

    I was so excited to see this lovely post, I positively gobbled this book up. I’ve tried reading various crafting/small business books. They either resulted in…ZZZzzzzz…or they drained every drop of creativity from my body. This book on the other hand, was so refreshing- it made me want to run to my studio and get cracking! I know it’s going to help me improve market and expand my etsy shop. Thanks for your helpful advice:)

  20. Ana commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 11:38am

    I pre-ordered this the minute you talked about it some time ago and I don’t regret it! It’s so great! Though written by somebody based in the US, it’s packed with tips and advice that are valid to everybody around the world.
    .-= Ana´s last blog ..Sunday Snack =-.

  21. gina commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 12:59pm

    Just made my purchase~ cant wait to read it!
    .-= gina´s last blog ..the Searched and Found Blog =-.

  22. Kate commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 1:17pm

    I just ordered the book! I can’t wait to read it cover to cover!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Lovely Colors from DC… =-.

  23. Courtney commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 1:38pm

    Just bought my copy! Can’t wait to read it!
    .-= Courtney´s last blog ..Moodboards. =-.

  24. Orit commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 2:11pm

    Just ordered from Thanks!

  25. Flavia commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 3:32pm

    It looks like a great book, I have to check it out!
    I’m also loving your photos in this post! Such beautiful colors.
    .-= Flavia´s last blog ..Color Inspiration for Bedroom =-.

  26. Nat commented
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:33pm

    I read my copy in one evening and I refer back to it all the time. It gives you a good overview of each area of business without weighing you down with too much information. Oh and the illustrations are really sweet.

  27. Renee commented
    April 28th, 2010 at 6:40am

    I just order the book! Can’t wait to pour over all the wonderful details – thanks Holly.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..A List and A Latte – Creative Business Essentials =-.

  28. jen jafarzadeh commented
    April 28th, 2010 at 7:36am

    I absolutely loved this book. I think it’s one of the best out there on creating a craft business. It’s packaged really well, and the interviews with experts are truly helpful (loved your contribution, Holly!). It’s packaged really well from the way it’s broken down into sections to the adorable illustrations.
    .-= jen jafarzadeh´s last blog ..styling makeover: part 2 =-.

  29. Travelingmama commented
    April 28th, 2010 at 12:03pm

    I’m sold! I clicked on your link to order my copy so hopefully it will help you out! Thanks for letting us know!
    .-= Travelingmama´s last blog ..{crafty} girl =-.

  30. decor8 commented
    April 28th, 2010 at 12:58pm

    Travelingmama – Oh you’re cute. Ha, I get like .50 on every book that sells or something, the affiliate program just allows me to buy a few books each month in the end (at no cost) but nothing fancy or too exciting. :)

  31. Susanna commented
    April 28th, 2010 at 2:06pm

    Hi! This book is amazing! I bought it immediately, because I had just quit my awful job and needed a helping hand with my crafty pursuits. This has helped a lot and your advices were and are very helpful too! And thank you for your lovely lovely blog. It’s a true inspiration!

  32. Victoria commented
    April 29th, 2010 at 2:14am

    Just bought it, thanks!:)

  33. Stacey commented
    April 29th, 2010 at 4:52pm

    Hands down the best entrepreneurial book I’ve ever read – I couldn’t put it down, and finished it in a day!
    .-= Stacey´s last blog ..Sometimes money buys happiness =-.

  34. Etincelle commented
    April 29th, 2010 at 9:38pm

    Yet another book I need to read right now!!! I don’t think I can resist longer (I did overnight after reading your post last evening). The book is actually quite cheap, but the shipping fees will kill me I am sure :(
    and if I can support you (a tiny bit) by buying it online through Amazon, why should I stop myself? 2 good reasons to do it right now!
    .-= Etincelle´s last blog ..Happy Mothers Day – Enchanting Matryoshka Doll – Mini Me – Dina =-.

  35. brigid commented
    April 30th, 2010 at 9:50am

    this lovely book has made all the difference for me! being up in NH made me cautious and hesitant about even attempting to go ahead and try to build a business. but, this book and your words gave me some serious confidence and knowledge about how to forge ahead! thanks for sharing your expertise with us!
    .-= brigid´s last blog ..Teal Neck Warmer With Ruffle =-.

  36. Manette commented
    November 5th, 2010 at 2:15am

    wow, looks like a great book – ordering it today.
    Manette´s last blog post ..Ocean Treasures Sea Glass and Sterling Silver Antique Pocket Watch Locket

  37. Amber commented
    June 20th, 2011 at 8:28pm

    I am so glad you let us know about this book. I am in the process of making my own blog look more professional and opening a second Etsy shop, and could use every ounce of advice I can get. I will definitely be purchasing this book.

Leave a comment

CommentLuv badge


Some of my books

Co-editions are also available in many languages, learn more


Next dates

Blogging Your Way
e-courses, 2015
Visit our e-course website to learn more about our inspirational e-courses by bloggers, for bloggers.