After spending some time creating handmade gift guides for the past few years, we've compiled a few pointers for artists and makers wanting to be included in a gift guide.
Tip 1: If you have stockists, list them on your website.
Several of our assignments have been to create a *local* gift guide and we’re looking for artists in our immediate area. If your studio isn’t nearby, then we can’t feature your work. BUT if you sell your work in a gallery nearby, that counts. Put that information on your site so people know all the places they can find you.
This is also helpful if the writer needs to track down your work to take a photo. Including your stockists makes it easier for them to get their hands on your pieces.
Tip 2: Give writers something to work with.
While a lot of (new, mostly) makers have great Instagram accounts, their websites or shops can be very outdated, or even on vacation. It may seem early, but if you want to be included in Holiday Guides, writers can start looking for people to feature as early as July (for printed guides at least).
Be sure you are clear about what items you sell, why they're unique, and how much they are. If something you make is only on Instagram, go ahead and post the price with your photo. An empty shop or impossible-to-find price creates extra work and you may get passed up in favor of someone else who has that information readily available.
Tip 3: Tell US where to find your work!!!
This was surprising, but some of the makers we wanted to feature only had portfolio-type sites or Instagram accounts. Those are great, but you have to let people know how they can buy your work. If you only sell on Instagram, state that somewhere. Do you have an online shop? Is your work in a gallery? Can I send people to your studio?
Gift guides are meant to encourage sales, and we can't recommend your piece without including a way for someone to purchase it.
Lastly, if you’ve been included in a gift guide before, you may not be eligible for that same gift guide again. Publications are looking for variety and NEW content, so look around for other similar publications or websites. Chances are, they're looking for you too!