Video: Discussing Tara Swiger's book, Market Yourself

12 Jun 2012

Here's another chapter in our ongoing discussion about craft book reviews and how they can evolve to be more engaging. Since I'm a big fan of Tara Swiger and her new book about marketing for small creative businesses, I thought I'd try using Google Hangout to create a three-way discussion video about the book.

Tara's joining me here, and also Elizabeth Drouillard, who has a small creative business and is thinking through her best options for growing and marketing. Elizabeth graciously served as a case study, and we applied the ideas in Tara's book to Elizabeth's business.

This is meaty stuff, and the video's about 30 minutes long. Pack a snack and grab a craft project, and we hope you enjoy! Do let me know in comments what you think of this format, OK?


Links related to this video:

• You can get a copy of Market Yourself through Tara's website, Cooperative Press, or Amazon.

• If you want to learn more about the book, check out the reviews on Rope Knits, Rock+Purl and Amazon.

• You can also get in touch with Tara through her website, Twitter and Facebook.

• You'll find Elizabeth at her blog, Things Bright, as well as on Twitter and Flickr.

• We've been discussing Elizabeth's two creative businesses in this video: Things Bright and Things Bright Vintage.



This was really great! I found it so helpful to see Tara and you help a specific business owner. I have Tara's book, too, so it was cool to see it in action!

And, um, I really want some new tea towels now, so you guys know what you are doing with the marketing! lol

Thank you so much, Christie! I agree - Tara and Elizabeth's preparation for the Hangout made such a big difference. They're both such awesome women!

Hi Diane, Just finished watching the video and thought it was great. The format worked well especially since all 3 of you were so well prepared for it. Nice that Elizabeth had already done a bunch of homework so that the discussion was less about her figuring out sort of basic answers and more about how to apply Tara's ideas to her plan. You and Tara were a great team - the input from both of you was very useful. I'm planning on listening to it again just to cement what I heard. Thanks for alllll your great ideas, interviews and that cheerful way you package everything :).

I watched the whole video and here is what I think. It's a cool idea to show the author of a book like this actually putting the content of the book into practice with a client live on video. That's innovative and I really like the idea.

Coming away from the video I am more aware that Tara wrote a book and that the book is about helping handmade business people run their businesses better. What I don't get is any real glimpse of what's in the book. I think it would be good for Tara to show worksheet pages from the book, go through them with the client, and then determine the end result and future path with the client that way instead of off the cuff.

This video might be good marketing for Tara's consulting services, but in order for it to be about the book she wrote I think I need to see the book in action.

This is a good point Abby - and I have to say, I wonder whether getting so formal with showing the worksheets and all would really have served the spontaneous nature of the conversation. You bring up a really important factor in this whole discussion about alternate forms of book coverage - not every format does every job of book coverage equally well. A straight review can't present engaging stories, but it can go into great detail about the book. A story post can engage, but some details of the book must then be left out, lest the coverage grow overlong.

...So, as we're collectively discussing this idea, maybe another thread is to decode what styles of book coverage are best for what kinds of coverage, and make sure a book can get a mix of them.

Others have reviewed Tara's book in a straight-review style, so I'll add some links to those reviews to my post here. Many thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Wow, wow, wow. This hangout was great ladies! So informative, so interesting. When the video started I was thinking, "Tea towels...okay. Not quite my bag but definitely interesting." What swung me was the idea of art for your kitchen. Before i knew it, I was envisioning lovely decor with the tea towel as a focal point. I can't wait to get my hands on Tara's book and I think this kind of book review is so inspired.

Thank you so much, Elise! I'm glad you found this interesting. Enjoy the book!

I really loved this video! It might be hard for me to look at this objectively because I own Tara's book, but I really enjoyed this type of review. There are SO many people out there who call themselves business coaches, but don't actually have the ability to back up the information they put out there. I think this video emphasizes Tara's credibility and talent as a business coach. I understand the point Abby is making, but I much prefer to see the author putting her words into practice rather than a traditional book review with no involvement from the author.

Thank you, Ana! I'm eager now to do this kind of video treatment with a craft-project book, so we can explore how to address Abby's comment with that type of book. I think Market Yourself really is about Tara's unique way of working with small businesses, and since it's a workbook, it's harder to get visuals to provide engaging glimpses into the book. But with a more traditional craft book, that would be wholly possible.

Really interesting video-review-slash-hangout Diane. What I like about this review format is precisely that it is informal, comfortable, and un-booklike. Don't get me wrong, I love books. But especially with a book that is trying to teach me business skills, I think it's super helpful to see the author right there in action. She's actually real and has a real business herself. Seeing that gives her (and her book) credibility and warmth.