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Writing Literature

Hey guys,

This is more of an artist question rather than a beware.

I read recently that the sales for books IRL are down because of e-Books and I find that completely understandable.

However, I have had my own 'how-to-draw- book project planned for a while and have my own concerns about it. My original customer base that I'll aim for is furry/anime artists and convention artists but I want to cover more than just drawing...

Would you be interested in a HTD book/series if it included additional information like
  • Selling/Marketing your Artwork and Expanding your customer base (Selling online, printing services vs. printing at home, how to price your work, etc)
  • Convention Tips and Tricks (Typical convention AA, setup and selling techniques, etc)
  • DIY Art Products you can make (buttons, charms, jewelry, etc)
  • General Species Study Chapters (Differences in species, reference study techniques, a 'scientific' approach at mythological creatures, etc)
I'll likely plan on selling the books as e-books, books on CD and have a few physical copies printed through Lulu or something.

I'd have a few lessons published online for free and then have most of the material for sale.
What sorts of other art-related info could people want?
And would you even be interested in this sort of thing?

x-posted to fulltimefurs

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 2nd, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
Dunno, I guess if you want a broader base you can pull out the limiting furry and anime ideas. You may garner more interest from people who say 'lol furry garbage'.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
Yeah, but then you run the risk of losing your original target market. There are already a billion non-furry art books out there. And furry is a big enough market to be worth catering too, at least on this kind of individual artist scale.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
I think there are a lot of books on species studies and how to draw fantasy creatures... I suppose if you specifically dealt with furries (anthros) and maybe how ears and muzzles, etc characteristically vary between the major species, that might be something that'd stand out.
Also I haven't heard of many books / tutorials on convention tricks.

... I'm probably not your target though, I don't really buy "how to" books.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
I think your ideas are great =)

For me it would depend on the price. I love how-to books and buy a lot of them so I'd probably be in your target market, but I draw a line at $15, unless it's something super-special. There's just too many books out there and I don't have the money to pay tons for each one.

I'd suggest, to keep it cheaper to do separate books, one for drawing anthros, another for anime and another for conventions, because otherwise you may push the price too high. It also needs to be said that in order to be useful AT a con the book has to be light. I do take how-to books with me when I do conventions, but only ones that I can easily carry with my art supplies. Some of my best ones have to stay home simply due to size =( That said, I am unlikely to buy an e-book though I would buy a print one. I'm still not into the whole e-book thing, thought that may change as I gain familiarity with my laptop. I may consider the CD though.

Edited at 2010-12-02 01:33 am (UTC)
Dec. 2nd, 2010 09:05 am (UTC)
Good point!

I might be interested in a "how to draw furries" book paying attention to species differences, but not anime style, and stuff about American Furry Conventions seems rather pointless for a European non-furry.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
Honestly if I were buying a how to draw book, the only one of those I'd be interested in is the species study because anatomy differences in such are awesome. I wouldn't be interested in reading about marketing or cons, and jewelry seems something random there.

Obviously not to deter you, but of course the point is to ask about what people would want to see. Just giving you my opinion :)
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Dec. 2nd, 2010 02:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 2nd, 2010 09:08 am (UTC)
those with ereaders are actually, on average, buying MORE hard copy books than your average individual.

Makes sense. Anyone willing to shill out the money for an electronic device that (on the extreme end) does nothing but displaying books must really love reading.

Thanks for the post; that's some interesting info. :)
Dec. 2nd, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)

I actually have a very large library of art books. But I would not buy a book with all that crammed into it.

I'd buy:

A book focused on Selling/Marketing your Artwork and Expanding your customer base (Selling online, printing services vs. printing at home, how to price your work, etc)
A book focused on Convention Tips and Tricks (Typical convention AA, setup and selling techniques, etc)
(or perhaps the two in one book)

A book on General Species Study Chapters (Differences in species, reference study techniques, a 'scientific' approach at mythological creatures, etc) but only if it included unusual species and a lot of detail, my shelves already have more than enough standard and common creature anatomy encyclopedia type books.

I wouldn't buy a book focused on DIY Art Products you can make (buttons, charms, jewelry, etc) because the market is already saturated, those books are a dime a dozen and there's thousands of online tutorials, if I really want to make something specific craft wise? I'll look it up online rather than buying a book.

In short? There is such a thing as too many topics for a book.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
I agree with this ^^^

That's way too much to fit into one book, you won't be able to give each topic the time & space it deserves. If you try to teach everything, you'll generally end up teaching nothing.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 04:13 am (UTC)
I would buy a book that has specific references for furry species, but probably only one that had pages of different muzzle shapes, different eye shapes, markings, and the like... rather than a book just filled with examples of specific characters to draw.

I've got the convention thing pretty well down, so I probably wouldn't buy a book about that, but I guess I'm unique in that I would buy a book with a bunch of crafty ideas for things to make for conventions. I love getting new ideas, whether it's from a book, the internet, or just by walking around artists alleys and seeing what everyone else is doing. ;)

Though, I'd probably only buy a print book. I do have an ebook reader, but I don't like it for reference books. It doesn't render pictures very well at all. :P
Dec. 2nd, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
I'm going to agree with a lot of what is said. I'm very, very picky on my 'how to' books and they really have to strike me with something I really feel I can learn from.

While I see where you are going with all of that into one, I agree it does seem like a bit of a jumble. Not only that, but with that much information prices are sure to be up, and less likely to attract attention. A book just on tips on marketing/exposure/cons would be great, that's a WHOLE lot of audience there from all types of artistic backgrounds.

The furry art book... eh. I agree if it's more science based on REAL anatomy and how to tweak that, then that may pique interest. I've seen so many dragon, fantasy, and even another furry how to book that were the type you picked up, flipped through, and sat back down.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 05:20 am (UTC)
I'd look into using blurb or something like that to get started. I like the idea of the separate cheaper books, but you might be able to offer a combo edition or something like that.

I might spilt it up into two parts though, one on the anthro stuff and one on conventions, badges, etc, depending on how long they are after you figure out how much content will be in there.

As for me, I'm unlikely to buy, but I'm a poor college student.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 05:38 am (UTC)
Well the only furry drawing book I've ever seen is "Freaks: How To Draw Fantastic Fantasy Creatures" by Steve Miller


It's a good one, though. I own it. But I think the direction you're going with it would be very interesting indeed. The extra marketing tips and such would also be a nice twist to put into an art book.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
To be honest, as someone who does Anime and Furry cons...I wouldn't mix the two genre's. Pick one, stick with it, market to that specific group, but don't alienate one or the other by cramming all that into it.

A book on its own about JUST sales basics is enough for a single volume, I'd whittle your ideas down to a few strong points then make the filler to go along with it first.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
I would buy a book based on different species. I do have lots of animal reference books and whatnot, but to see how-to for different, unusual species, fur tutorials (which you are good at), expressions (THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)- that kind of stuff I'd buy.

As for the other topics, not so much. I also agree that anime and furry should be kept separate.

I really wish someone would publish a damn book about expressions and breaking it down so an idiot like me can even do it... but I want the example book to actually contain GOOD ART (and yours is. Think about it! I'd buy it.)! Arg.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
I own this one which is invaluable, it covers EVERYTHING to do with expression, down to the muscular structure:

What I like about that book is it covers the subtle aspects of expression, whereas others only cover the extremes, or exaggerated ones.

That said, I'd love to see it applied to anthro faces.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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