Friday, November 14, 2014

The Artist’s Dilemma

In the 1989 fantasy film Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner hears a voice that says, “If you build it, he will come.” Costner, a farmer, interprets this as an instruction to build a baseball diamond in his corn fields. Costner builds it and now his family struggles financially due to diminished revenue from Costner having plowed his crops. Costner maintains faith in the message, refusing to tear down his baseball diamond and instead going on a journey to find the source and meaning of the voice he heard.

Too bad Field of Dreams was full of shit when you apply “If you build it, he will come” philosophy in the marketplace. If you create a work of art and just put it out there, nobody will know it exists. You must understand your target markets, approach them with unique selling points that show the power of your art, and price your art in their preferred range or zone of indifference. You must promote your work frequently and on many platforms which spreads your risk of failure, because you will fail over and over though really each failure is a success because now you have learned one more way that does not work.

I began writing and speaking ten and four years ago, respectively. I also began marketing my first book when it published in October 2010. Twice was one of my greatest personal accomplishments. I dedicated myself to making it a hit, and even considered quitting my job and moving back home so I could work on marketing 90 hours a week with fewer financial burdens. Sometimes real success doesn’t correlate with commercial success.

My new book published a month ago. I face the artist’s dilemma: reaching sustained income in those passions that currently pay very little, while continuing to succeed at my full-time position until the former ever happens.

In Brad Pitt’s latest movie, Fury, the crewmen in an M4 Sherman tank share that their war duty is the “best job I ever had.” Trying to make Secrets a hit is the best job I ever had. All I can do is give my all within the delicate balance of work, hobbies, health and happiness. So long as I put my heart into it, Secrets will be a success to me even if I never push through the artist’s dilemma.

If you want to stay updated on everything Secrets, such as book spotlights and events, then like me on Facebook so that my posts make it to your News Feed. And if you are in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, then come join us for our great Win the Fight by Eating Right event next Sunday, November 23, from 1-4 p.m. at The Spa @ Westgate. We didn't build the spa though we hope you come!

Author Benjamin Rubenstein book event at Spa at Westgate in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, November 23, 2014