Prostitution, Art Books and Marketing.
The other night I was walking my dog when we passed by a prostitute who offered me her services. I declined -it would have been a hassle with the dog-, but it made me think about the similarities between her job and mine (making artist books). Today I wrote down some tips for people who want to get into either of businesses.
Every man that walks by is a possible client. Look him directly in the eyes to see if he will bite the hook. Look at a hundred guys and maybe one or two will bite. Look at none and nobody will bite.
Get your book seen. In stores, on blogs, in fairs, on social media: If a hundred people will see it, maybe one or two will buy.
You don't need to be the prettiest Jenny on the block. Just present well what you're offering. A nice short skirt, some make-up and clean hair may already do the trick and will favor your odds.
Your clients will choose the packaging, most of the time, instead of even the real product, or service.
So if you don't have the best photographs or other graphic content, a strong design and added value through production will favor your odds. Opinions on the actual work or fuck will be formed later.
Never think there isn't any market for your product. Never think nobody will buy your book.
Remember those girls with the bad skin, missing teeth and meth addiction: Even they make a few bucks every day.
The excitement and foreplay are important factors in the client's experience. Making preparations like choosing the type of girl or hotel and how to approach her are all part of an experience. Whether you're a blond or a brunette doesn't matter, because eventually you will fit into a client's experience.
Do you remember that time when you went to a bookstore and found that really great book? Then you took it home and read it on your couch, with a cup of coffee or a beer? Wasn't that a nice afternoon?
Keep in mind that your clients want to take part in the illusion you created. They want to play along in this fantasy where you are the experienced, coveted, 19 year old photo model they can posess for a while.
Someone who buys your book can own that experience and feel this reality you created. Your customer may want to be entertained, inspired or be part in another way, of this world-on-a-page.
In a bookstore many publishers fight for the attention of the public. Some buyers will always come back for the same familiar faces and experience while others look for something new and fresh.
In the brothel the Madam can help the client to find what he looks for and in the bookstore the owner or seller can make or break your sales. Stay on good terms with the store owners and Madams.
If you are afraid of any risks in the business, you may want to start with trying massage, phone-sex or webcam streaming. There are plenty of -digital- alternatives to make a book, such as Blurb or Lulu.
Be sure to get paid first.
And don't spend all your hard-earned money on drugs.
Don't let negative feedback get to you. Most of the time it's your client's frustration with his own performance that makes him say bad things about your services -or book.
Besides the fixed price for the standard package you offer, you can consider special treatments for a higher price. Editions including prints and clamshell boxes can increase revenue.
Signatures and numbers will make your customer feel special for which he will pay extra.
Nudity sells. The more you are willing to show, the more traffic you will drive to your business.
Some rich clients may pay for long-term contracts. Although there are not that many book collectors, the ones out there may provide you with some sort of steady income, as long as you keep the quality standards high enough.
A hype may be created around a newbie in the business. Hypes can drive up prices to extraordinary heights or lead to more sales.
There are even girls who have auctioned their virginity.
Entering competions for book dummies also can be a helpfull way to place yourself in the market.
Some clients prefer to save their money and spend it all at once during a two week trip to Thailand or Brazil.
As a publisher you should attend a few book fairs every year to tap into the segment of clients that prefer to save their money and spend it all at once during a two day fair in Paris or New York.
As an alternative for self-publishing and doing all the work yourself, you can also approach a professional publisher who, for a fee, will manage the business part of the art.
A pimp may offer protection, advertising services and transport for a part of your earnings.
Safety comes first. People will propose you to do all sorts of things, but be careful not to do anything you're not comfortable with.
Always use protection.
Do you remember the movie Pretty Woman? Well, that is a typical example of Hollywood Illusion.
Publishing books will not get you to marry Richard Gere.
(suggested further reading: Costs and Production)