Friday, April 8, 2011

Bad Words, BnR Beauty, some Etsy love, and Small Press Librarian!

So, I've gotten involved in something new: BnRs. Yeah, I had to look up what that meant, too. Just in case.... you know?

See, in junior high, I was going around saying a rather nasty expression that sounded funny in phonic terms, but whose definition I did not know. When I happened to use it to punctuate a sentence, as I was standing within earshot of my Dad's office manager, he said: "Savannah, do you know what that word means?" I admitted I didn't, and asked him for an explanation. He turned bright red and declined to tell me, suggesting I go ask my father.

Um, yeah. I stopped saying that word immediately around polite company. I won't tell you what that word is now, only because this a family friendly blog. (Really, it is!) Let's just say it's not a word that sounds anything like what it is intended to allude to. So....long story short, I had to Google what "BnR" meant....'cause little Savannah is not taking any more chances, especially now that I'm nearly 37, and gaffes like the one from junior high are no longer cute or endearing. Right! Perhaps they never were. Anyway....

BnR stands for "Buy and Replace," and while I initially thought it sounded suspiciously like a pyramid scheme, I've found that it's actually pretty excellent. The concept is this: you buy something from an open Etsy BnR Treasury, list the transaction number among the comments, add your shop to the list of purchases, and you're automatically in the next Treasury. Of course, one must operate with caution. There is no guarantee of a sale for your own shop, and as yet, I haven't made one in my art store, although I'm in two BnR Treasuries (both pictured here as screen shots). Still, with revenue I made from my Suite 101 articles, I bought into two more. 

 Now, really, I'm not in it for the sales, necessarily. There are other perks. As of this morning, one Treasury is on the first page of Etsy's Treasury listings, since it's gotten so many clicks and comments. And precisely because my painting "Rocket Bees" is one of the first four items in the Treasury itself, its little avatar appears on that first Treasury page. I call that some awesome exposure. Maybe even more importantly, I've met some really excellent people, who have amazing shops. In this sense, Etsy is a fantastic online community and resource. Lately, I spend much more time there than I do on Facebook because it's become a great place to connect with other craftspeople.

Thanks, Etsy founders, for democratizing the art and craft world. No gallery is necessary now for an artist to promote his or her own work. No bricks and mortar shops, rents, untilities or staffing costs are necessary to put work out into the wider world. And while there are certainly factors beyond the artist's control that impact how often a person's shop surfaces in search results, it is much easier now than ever to turn one's creative inclinations into profit...profit which Etsy and Paypal only take a little of--unlike galleries that take a large percentage. I hope Etsy stays as cool and accessible as it is now, although I know success might encourage the eventual change of fee structures. But, we'll see. Things are in a good place now. I plan to enjoy it. :-)

In other excellent news, Poet and Typewriter Girls Founder Margaret Bashaar currently has a review of Stefanie Wielkopolan's poetry collection, Border Theory, live at Writer Karen Lillis' blog, Small Press Librarian. Margaret makes some incisive observations on the book, and it's a really interesting read. Check it out here!

I'm headed into the city today to lunch with Karen at Red Oak Cafe, where we'll be planning a Seasonal Shorts reading for the summer (very likely July). Stay tuned for details! Over and out....for now. Happy Friday, all!

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