Creative Business: a review

Creative business: 10 lessons to help you build a business your way (Volante, 2010) by Tobias Nielsen, Dominic Power, and Margret Sigrun Sigurdardottir, is a tool designed to help creatives wise up on the business side of creativity.

As the authors say, ‘The reasoning here is that capital and money is a resource that is a crucial foundation for your business…After all, how long can anybody be creative without money to cover a little food and water?’

The main text consists of eleven chapters. Each chapter deals with one theme. For example, there’s on working with partners and another on cash flow.

The chapters are each about ten small-format pages long and typically contain an introduction followed by between one and three case studies of creative businesses.

Everything about this book is admirably straightforward. The style is plain, direct, and common sensical. There is a merciful lack of jargon.

The case studies cover a range of creative industries, including design, fashion, film, music, new media, and venue and event management. Publishing is represented by book publishing (Bjartur, from Iceland — a great story) and magazine publishing  (Bonnier Tidskrifter, from Sweden).

Much business publishing focuses on success stories and positive lessons. A welcome feature of this book is that its stories include twists and turns, with  failures as well as happy outcomes. An emphasis throughout is on learning from mistakes — your own and other people’s.

I have a friend currently at college — a natural creative who I think will end up running her own consultancy. This, the best introductory resource I know on this subject, is the resource I’ll be recommending to her.

As regular readers of this blog will know, on the page called Publishers’s Bookshelf I maintain a list of my personal top thirteen books on publishing (and related matters). I’ve just added the above to that list.


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