Innovating Through Artistry

Posts Tagged ‘Build a BLue BIke’

…and what do you think?

In Creative Support, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Leadership, Marketing, Money, Music, Risk, Writing on December 2, 2008 at 12:41 am

This last week or so I have been hiding. Under the festivities of the holiday. Under the weight of my thoughts. Behind the screen of my computer– uncertain of what to do next.

I am again at a turning point on the journey with my book-or is it now books? And again, I feel a bit lost at sea and uncertain as to what is the best thing to do next. (Oh the joys of being a sensitive, intuitive entrepreneur in the arts. At times all this intuition I have can leave me feeling a bit like I am short circuiting.)

My book, Build a Blue Bike has not sold. The economy is in the tanks (in case you had not noticed) and publishers are merging, folding and buying only those books that seem like sure-fire slam-dunks. After all, Build a Blue Bike is a book that is an entreprenuerial risk. The artist as entrepreneur? Huh? Do artists even care about how to evolve into this blend of artist and entrepreneur?

So one of the strategies I created to help demonstrate the value of this book and its worthiness was to build The Entrepreneurial Artists Resource Guide as proof that there are a lot of people, programs, products and interest in this seemingly esoteric topic. The guide offers great information and also proves to publishers that there are a growing number of artists out there marketing to other artists on how to become more entrepreneurial, quite successfully.

So the issue now lies in the long journey I have been on with my agent Susan Schulman. Agents sell books to publishers. That is their job. Susan has told me that she sells everything she takes- eventually. It has been a year, almost to the day and we have had lots of positive rejections from big houses- but only ten in total. (A positive rejection means that the editors who buy books for these publishing houses thought the material was worthy, interesting and valuable but that it was not a fit for them in the end.) Other agents who I have queried about my situation have told me that “it can be 30 or 40 responses before a book gets sold, so toughen up!”

The latest thought is to combine Build a Blue Bike with The Entrepreneurial Artists Resource Guide, which Susan thinks will sell. To do this means re-writing a very lengthy book proposal to resend to publishers. Of course there is always the option to simply self publish. There are some incredibly successful self published authors. A couple I personally know are Peggy McColl and Bob Baker.

As a true entrepreneur part of me says to hell with waiting around for a publisher to recognize the value of my material– if an agent like Susan Schulman did, that is proof enough and I should just move along and self publish. And another part of me says, I need the credibility of a named publisher, if I can get it, to help me shape the future of the arts in universities and corporations. Certainly part of the problem has been the economy in getting my material sold.

What do you think? Should I wait and see if I can get it picked up by a big publisher under this new format? Or should I go ahead and self publish? Sometimes publishers come back to you after you self- publish and ask to publish the book. Tama Kieves book, This Time I Dance, was picked up by Tarcher/Penguin-Putnam in exactly this way.

Entrepreneurship and artistry are a complicated blend of business like actions, intuition and creativity. Intuition is the lever that brings both together and at the moment mine feels a bit overloaded with too much information.

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Ride, Trust and Play

In Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Writing on January 25, 2008 at 5:02 am

It has been more than eight weeks since my book, Build a Blue Bike, was sent out by my literary agent Susan Schulman to publishers. Today Susan forwarded me the first rejection letters.

On a positive note my book was described as “charming and interesting”, but, a “little too soft”. Another described it as “unique and thought-provoking”, but for this publisher business books were out of their realm.

Build a Blue Bike was sent to eleven major publishing houses. We now wait to hear from nine.

Build a Blue Bike is a book with a mission on a journey. How it came into being, and what I have witnessed it do, to help so many artists understand what they uniquely need to flourish, for me, has been an amazing ride filled with good karma, enlightenment, purpose, passion and riddled with coincidence and irony.

I would never have come this far to not reach my destination as the first book on the business shelf for artists.

They say that the last train you need to catch, to carry you home, is the hardest to wait for.

As I wait at this station, in darkness and alone, the hands of time, illuminated brightly, stand still and motionless.

I gaze at their hands, again and again and again, hoping with each new glance that they will wave the seconds, minutes and hours quickly by me– but instead they offer another opportunity.

While I wait on the platform, I think I will skip rope, play hopscotch and get an ice cream cone. The night air is still and the stars are bright.

Build a Blue Bike

In Emotional Intelligence on June 30, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Imagine yourself on a stage with thousands of eyes watching your every move. In front of you is a box. On the box is a label that reads – Blue Bicycle. With the audience staring, you have been asked to put the blue bicycle together. At first you are not sure what to do; should you try and put it together or not? After all, you have never put a blue bicycle together before.

You decide to try, so you dump the blue bicycle parts out onto the floor of the stage without any idea where to begin. As all the moving parts of the blue bicycle surround you, you seek reassurance and look out into the eyes of the audience starring right back at you. You feel a twinge of panic, but you decide to proceed building the blue bicycle.

It takes you longer than you imagine to find, amongst all those parts, the most obvious- the handles. You quickly attach to the frame, but you make mistakes assembling the gears and feel like you are spinning your wheels, getting nowhere fast. When the chain won’t properly engage the gear, you wonder if you will ever have a bike to ride. Thank God the wheels go on easiest, and the lug nuts attach without a problem. But then, in your haste, whenyou put the seat on backwards, the audience laughs, and you feel really foolish. Oh and the pedals, you almost forgot to attach them entirely, but you do.

In the end, you step back. Before your eyes and the eyes of of those watching you, you have built the blue bicycle, which you are now free to ride anywhere you wish to go.

Build A Blue Bike
Ride Your Artistic Blues To Creative and Financial Freedom

This is my new “agent approved” title for my book, and the above passage was taken from it. I am on my own blue bike building adventure right now, and you can be too. It’s fun to build something that you can ride.