1. Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin
Kari Chapin is author of The Handmade Marketplace which I have heard lots of good things about, however, it was geared up to 'starting' a business so I didn't think that was very relevant. Instead I decided to give this one a go. The downside to this is that the author is American so some of the information is a bit vague, it also tried to cram a lot into one small book so it can feel a bit overwhelming. On the positive side, it is laid out fairly simply and the text is broken down into bite-sized chunks, there are no picture but a few graphics so it makes it less stuffy than some business books. The actual content is very professional and is a really good oversight into the internal workings of a successful small business. Personally, I would rate it 4/10 for inspiration but 7/10 for content and 6/10 for ease of use.
2. The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos by Heidi Adnum
Most crafter's will say that getting good photos is one of the things they struggle with the most and I'll agree! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see what tips this book had. It is a very attractive book, broken up into easy sections and with lots of great photos (of course). It runs through everything from start to finish and it doesn't assume that you have a super fancy camera or equipment set up. There are chapters for each catagory within the craft industry so you can find inspiration straight away but it is work looking at other catagories too to gain a real insight. The only negative about this book is the text is a little small in some places so if your eyesight isn;t the best, I'd dig out the reading glasses. Overall I would rate it 9/10 for content and 7/10 for ease of use. This would be a great investment for your business!
3. How to Style your Brand by Fiona Humberstone
Everyone I have spoken to about this book have fallen completely in love with it. It really is very beautiful and inspiring. Fiona Humberstone is a brand stylish, basically she makes your business look amazing. Branding is not just about a pretty logo, it is so much more and this book takes you on a process to discover exactly what your brand is. It is very interactive and you can follow the prompts throughout the book and learn so much. Obviously the photography is amazing too and the content is superb. I highly recommend this for any small business, even if you think your branding is complete.
Rated 9/10 for inspiration, 8/10 for ease of use and 8/10 for content.
4. Online Marketing for your Craft Business by Hilary Pullen
Out of the 4 books, this is probably my least favourite. Content-wise it is very good but I found it a bit stuffy to read and the red and green text was a bit offensive on the eyes. I think the information could have been laid out in a more appealing way as it does go quite in depth and gives some really vital information in the world of online marketing. The only issue I see is that is may become outdated quite soon as the online world moves so quick so I would suggest getting the most recent edition of it if possible. I rate it 8/10 for content but only 4/10 for ease of use.
I hope these reviews have been useful to you and your business, please remember they are only my opinions and everyone is different. The best thing to do is visit your local bookshop and have a browse, it is much easier to get a feel for a book as you flick through the pages. However, I will say that books are one of the best investments to your business as knowledge is invaluable.