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Pros & Cons of Working with an Art Publisher

Pros & Cons of Working with an Art Publisher

Carolyn Edlund | ArtsyShark

Speaking of going on your own this is a perfect time to segue into the world of self publishing. Let’s begin with another list:

Advantages of Self-Publishing

1. Your own boss
2. Own direction
3. Own schedule
4. You get the whole royalty
5. Print on demand. You don’t have to keep inventory

Disadvantages of Self-Publishing

1. Getting the clients
2. Working alone
3. You are in charge of all bookkeeping
4. You have to do all the promoting and marketing
5. You are responsible for having to pay all imaging costs such as scanning

If you decide to self publish the weight of everything falls squarely on your shoulders. That may be a good thing if you have business acumen and a realistic outlook. If you have stars in your eyes about becoming famous then you might not be ready or mature enough to take this on yourself. If you have had some measure of success in marketing your original art then maybe you can seriously consider self publishing.

Because of internet access to printers and on-line galleries that world of self publishing has opened up. Years ago…it was nearly impossible to get a large print made. You either needed to order 1000 at a time or pay an arm and a leg. Not anymore. Many sites offer resources for you to upload high res files and order the print yourself or drop ship to a customer. And you do not have to hold inventory. When your customer order is placed then you send the files to your printer. This is referred to as Print-On-Demand.

The time is right for self publishing. The major disadvantage you will find in this is that you do not have the marketing advantage that publishers have. They have the money to exhibit at trade shows and have connections to major retail sources. You are free to exhibit at trade shows and if you have the financial backing it’s an excellent way to get your art in front of potential buyers.

In later chapters we will talk more about social networking. This is key to marketing your art.

Self-publishing can be lonely. Join on-line art groups and connect with other artisans. If you live in a community with artists groups it might be a good time to join. Visit open studios to see what everyone else is up to. Listen and learn.


Jan Weiss, an art publishing industry insider and veteran of 15 years, has written a new ebook to help artists understand the world of publishing. Should you choose to license your work to an art publisher? What about self-publishing?

Jan is getting accolades already from other professionals in the field with her complete and easy-to-understand guide, “The Coexistence of Art and Money”. She has given us a sneak preview in the form of an excerpt from the book. Visit Jan’s site at The Heart Planet for more information and to order your copy!

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