Making a living in lutherie: from amateur to professional
A practical guide to running your own shop, a guide to dealing with some of the common pitfalls that beset luthiers.
“There is a lot of information available about how to build an instrument but not much available about how to make a living doing it. Nigel addresses topics and gives advice that every craftsman can benefit from. I wish this information had been available when I took the plunge from amateur to full time luthier.”
Robert O’Brien, luthier, teacher.
It’s for those who are interested in making their living from working with stringed musical instruments.
Perhaps you make or repair instruments as a hobby and are wondering how to take things “to the next level.”
You’ve been doing this a while, but you’re not making much of a living and spending too much time in the workshop?
Or maybe you’re not making much of a living and not spending enough time in the workshop?
Maybe you’re doing fine but you’d like the business to grow, without it causing you too much stress.
It could be you’re snowed under with work and struggling to cope.
Or maybe you’re doing fine, but you’re just interested to see if there is anything in here that could help you or your customers.
There are many reasons to read this book.
What’s in the ebook pdf?
Here are the chapter headings to give you an idea of what to expect:
Artist or businessman?
Making a living from lutherie
What this book can help you with
What it can’t do for you
What you can do yourself
What to do first
Skills this book will help you develop
Where are things now? Finances
Where are things now? Time
Weekly timekeeping diary
Timekeeping diary results
So now what?
Reclaim your time
How to reclaim your time
Why mornings are important to your business
Breaks and errands
How to cut down on distractions: The web
How to manage web time: “The list”
How to use email sensibly
How to ruin your day: Forums
Smartphones make you stupid
How to waste your life: Social media
How to use the internet and email for your business effectively
The benefits of a web free day
How to cut down distractions: Work environment…mess
How to tidy the workshop (for those who’ve forgotten or never learned)
“But this might come in useful one day”
You only get one set of lungs
How they do it in Japan
Start again, start again, start again
How to work less hard and get more done
What to do when it all goes wrong
What to do when it really all goes wrong
Being realistic and setting achievable goals
Remember the options
“But the mess is part of who I am…”
How to cut down on distractions: People
How to deal with customers
The #1 pitfall: “Guitar talk”
How to deal with difficult situations
The ideal repairer pickup/drop off routine
More energy sinks
Who gets “mates rates”?
Sometimes it’s wise to say “no”
When it turns into a bigger job than you thought: six common scenarios
How to learn from your mistakes
Conclusion: Gradual change
This ebook is about getting a little order in your workshop practices to help make lutherie a nice way to make a decent living and to help prevent it being a frustrating way to make a poor living.
It’s about that small amount of direction needed to keep the business side of things going to give us the freedom to maintain our artistic side.
For me it was about finding a middle ground between the art of lutherie and “all that other stuff…”
Much of what I’m sharing in this book is based on my observation; observation of what works and what does not, and the pitfalls that trap many a good craftsman.
There is so much stuff out there to read about business, but making the effort to wade through it is…well, rather daunting. I’ve tried to save you a lot of work by splitting “making a living from lutherie” into sections. This is the first of the series, and if it’s well received, the next ebook will be about marketing, pricing and selling for luthiers – understanding your worth, how you’re perceived and how to ensure funds keep coming in, letting people know you exist, getting people interested and doing so without much of a budget.
This ebook is about workshop practices – about ways of making your time in the workshop less stressful and more satisfying. This is NOT a book about making instruments or woodwork, but running your business so it doesn’t run you.
Regardless of whether your interest is in making or repairing, the ideas in this book can be of benefit.
So there you go – 154 pdf pages of information for £10 (plus VAT if applicable) if you have a PayPal account you can buy your copy right now and the PayPal checkout will convert the currency for you.