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Income Diversification for Authors: Selling Art and/or Crafts

Over the past couple of months we've talked about some of the most obvious ways writers can diversify their incomes: freelance writing and freelance editing. Today we're going to dive into something a little less obvious but almost as common: selling arts and crafts.

What types of arts and crafts am I talking about?

Whatever kinds of arts and crafts you want to make! People are always on the lookout for something new, unique and awesome, so anything you can imagine is something you can sell. The best strategy for selling crafts is creating art pieces related to your work. Doing this encourages fans of your art to check out your books—and vice versa.

You don't have to directly connect the artwork to your books. Even connecting the art to your genre like SM Carrière's fantasy art can be enough to draw the right fans to your work.

Your arts and crafts can also be a separate business from your writing. The only rule is you must enjoy it, because selling crafts is a tough way to make a steady income.

The pros and cons of selling arts and crafts

Like anything in life, selling your arts and crafts comes with benefits and problems. I've compiled the most important ones so you can decide whether this is the route you want to take.


  • It can make your current art and/or crafts financially self-sustainable

  • If your art and/or crafts are a business, you can expense the supplies during tax time

  • It encourages you to continue pursuing and mastering art forms other than writing

  • Selling art and/or crafts related to your genre can help you build a platform, even before you're published

  • If you get good enough at it you can eventually create your own merch for your books

  • Etsy and several other platforms make it easy to set up an international shop

  • You get to pick how much you create, what you create, and when you create it


  • There are at least as many artists as there are writers, making it difficult to get your art/crafts noticed

  • Selling your crafts can eventually make the art you loved feel like work, draining it of therapeutic value

  • Shipping art and crafts can be expensive, especially internationally

  • Art/craft supplies also tend to be expensive, so you can invest a significant amount of money before you see any return—which is why it's so important to choose an art/craft that you love

Is selling art and/or crafts the right path for you?

Selling your art and/or crafts is another way of being an artist; it comes with many of the same benefits and disadvantages that your author life does. If you're looking for a way to bring in a few extra dollars each month doing something you love, it's a great solution.

If you're looking for something that will give you a steady secondary income right away, selling your art and/or crafts is a path to certain disappointment. For something more stable, you're better off looking at the options discussed in previous articles.

More information on how to sell your art and/or crafts:

Dianna Gunn is the author of YA fantasy novella “Keeper of the Dawn” and a columnist at Writer's Corner. She also blogs about creativity, life and books at The Dabbler.


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Twitter: @Write_Plan

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