Inspired? Disappointed?

I guess it’s true that you can’t have the good without the bad.

Last week I got an amazing letter from an artist who was inspired by my From the Editor in the 2008 AGDM. He shared some information about his journey as an artist, and said he’s “very happy to own a copy of this magnificent book.” It totally made my day. Actually, it made my whole week, and I bragged about it to my friends and family all weekend.

Then I got another letter yesterday…

This one wasn’t so encouraging:

Dear Artist’s Market:
   I bought my 2008 edition yesterday. Upon paging through it this morning I was quite disappointed. What is your rationale for putting Gallery listings in alphabetical order, instead of by state which is much more helpful for us?
   I also noticed that there appear to be about 60% of the listings compared to last year. What’s up?

For a moment I was slightly heartbroken, but then I told myself that not everyone is going to like the changes I’ve made to the book, and that’s okay.

I would like to explain (as I did here) that the reason the Gallery listings are no longer arranged by state, is because I’ve added a new GEOGRAPHIC INDEX, which allows you to look up ALL markets by state. Galleries are not the only places artists can sell work, and an artist doesn’t have to live in a particular state in order to show work at a gallery in that state.

Does this make sense? Or is it really “much more helpful” to have the galleries sorted by state? I’d love to get more feedback, so please leave a comment if you have an opinion about this.

Also, the reason there are fewer total listings in the 2008 edition can be explained in 3 words: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. Many of the listings in the 2007 edition were approved without the information actually being verified by the markets. Consequently, I received a lot of complaints about inaccurate information, and I was instructed to focus on getting as many quality listings as possible instead of worrying so much about the quantity of listings.

I also added lots of resources (and the new geographic index), with no way of knowing how the page count would turn out in the end. It was my first time doing a Market Book on my own, and all I can say is I did the best I could.

The 2008 edition is done and out of my control, and now it’s time to think about the 2009 edition. So please send me your feedback — good or bad.

I need to know what works and what doesn’t. If the book is missing something you think should be there, tell me. I want to give you what you need to be successful!

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