Pre-selling “Show Your Work”

I’m an Austin Kleon fan. Do you remember Steal Like an Artist and found poetry collection Newspaper Blackout? He has a new book scheduled to be released on March 6th called Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered. 

The “300 Second” version of pre-selling this title is to look at your database to see who purchased Kleon’s previous titles and give those customers a call.


If you have more time, share the trailer on Facebook or on your website. I captured the code from We’ve pre-coded the code to make it ease to share. Click here to get the code to copy and paste and share on your website.

I think Show Your Work is just begging for an authorless event. Kleon doesn’t discriminate when it comes to artistic medium, so you may reach out to a wide range of groups: graphic designers, poets, painters, sculptors, novelists, bloggers, etc.

Several potential ideas come to mind:

  • Organize a #ShowYourWork meet-up and promote through social media. Encourage creative people to attend a casual meet-up for a friendly exchange of ideas and to discover like-minded individuals.
  • On page 77 of Show Your Work, Kleon mentions that before people share their work with the world, they should share their tastes in the work of others. He then offers 19 questions for the reader to ask oneself: “Where do you get your inspiration?” or “Who’s done work that your admire?” Post some of these questions on Facebook and encourage customers to reply and to use the hashtag… #ShowYourWork. Here’s an example: “Show Your Work author Austin Kleon asks, “Who do you steal ideas from?” Go ahead and share… we won’t tell. #ShowYourWork”
  • Graphic Design: Group Critique. Bring together agency art directors and students for an individual critique/advice session. What’s in it for them? Agencies can identify promising designers and students receive constructive criticism. What’s in it for you? Customers in the store and book sales. Reach out to your local chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Artists, local agencies, and area colleges/universities.
  • Host a guerrilla art exhibit. A pop-up exhibit can consist of a one-night bring-your-own-easel event. Or it can be more organized, like a display with an empty frame, the contents of which change overnight… 30 days/30 artists. If you opt for a one-night event, consider timing it with other art events in your area.
  • Host a Brown Bag Concert Series. If your space is conducive to host musical groups.

The potential event ideas are limitless. Find something that interests you and #ShowYourWork.

Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon | Paperback / softback, 224 pages  (also available in Electronic book text ) | ISBN: 9780761178972 (076117897X) | Workman Publishing | $11.95

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay