Bob Baker's Artist Empowerment Blog

How to Promote Your Art, Books and More From Your Hands-On Web Site

Marilyn Scott-Waters describes her web site at as her "odd, little world of paper toys, holiday cards, valentines, sun boxes, baskets, bags, origami and ephemera ... all for you to make."

Scott-Waters is an illustrator who published a book called The Toymaker, a 20-page collection of folding paper toy designs that anyone can make. The cool thing about her site is that she makes her designs available as free downloads. Visitors can see pictures of each paper toy and download a PDF file that can be printed and folded into a use-it-now novelty item.

Pretty cool. But you may be thinking she's hurting book sales by giving away the store from her web site. Right?

Scott-Waters says, "I think I get most of my book sales off of my web site. It's like free advertising, only more fun."

Getting "hands-on" with her potential customers develops a relationship and makes a connection to the product. Why do you think car sales people want you to "take it for a spin" or department store clerks ask you to "try it on"? They know the more involved you are with the product, the better the chance you'll make a purchase.

But on the Internet, tactile interaction is practically nonexistent -- unless you're smart enough to give away your art like Scott-Waters.

And there's another benefit: "I also get a lot of illustration work and other work from the site," she says. "But most important, the site is a chance for me to be really creative."

For more info on Marilyn Scott-Waters and her illustration techniques, check out this interview.


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