Nikolas Allen Interviewed by AuthorRise

interview with author nikolas allen

The business of being an author is tough and AuthorRise is here to help. They offer a set of tools for authors that connects social marketing outreach to results and uses data to help determine what sells books and what doesn’t.

I was interviewed for their blog and they asked seven great questions about writing, reading, marketing and self-publishing. Here’s how the conversation went: Continue reading

A Lesson in Transparency from the Red Hot Chili Peppers


Did you watch the 2014 Super Bowl? I did. Not because I’m a huge football fan. In fact, I didn’t watch any of the games leading up the the Big Event. I watched because I’m an Ad Geek.

I’ve enjoyed a 20-year career in advertising, a field in which it’s practically mandatory to keep tabs on which agencies are concocting the best creative concepts and which brands are willing to shell out $4 million to land a 30-second spot during the game. Continue reading

6 E-commerce Solutions to Supercharge Your Online Sales

Super Charged Ecommerce

If you have not yet embraced online selling for your art business, analyzing recent holiday-spending trends will demonstrate the importance of e-commerce. The 2013 shopping season officially kicked off with the one-two punch of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday (I’m omitting the maniacal, stampeding-crowd chaos of Black Friday on purpose), and in 2013 online spending reached a record high.

“This year, Cyber Monday marked a shift in shopping preferences,” reported USA Today, “as smartphones and tablets drove nearly a third of the overall traffic.” Continue reading

Art Marketing Book Inspires Artist to Leave Co-Op

Nikolas Allen with Janet Curti Haines

Back on September 27, I had a book signing for my new art marketing book, Death To The Starving Artist, during Mt. Shasta’s 4th Friday Art Walk.

One of the artists who purchased my book was Janet Curti-Haines (above right), a wonderful abstract artist who creates unique and texturally exciting creations using unusual found items such as discarded roofing tarpaper, and thick layers of paint that have peeled away from a popular grafitti-covered bridge. Continue reading

Overcoming Your Fear of the Mind Monster

Monster Under Bed by John Stiles

You’ve probably heard about the blockbusting book Fifty Shades of Grey. It was propelled into the stratosphere of popular culture last year when a billion bored housewives realized they were being underserved in the pedestrian, soft-core, mommy-porn-lit market.

Naturally, some Big Brain Hollywood execs thought, “This would make a great movie! Like ‘Twilight’ for Soccer Moms. Only less sun-sparkles and more bondage!” And, just like that, they fired up the Movie Machine and set out for Cash Cow Adaptation Land. Continue reading

Stocking Local Venues with Art Marketing Books

"Death to the Starving Artist" by author Nikolas Allen Mt. Shasta, CAHot Off The Press: “Death To The Starving Artist” by author Nikolas Allen

A fresh batch of art marketing books arrived on my doorstep last week, and I immediately concocted a list of nearby venues that would be interested in carrying books by local authors.

Since my book, Death To The Starving Artist – Art Marketing Strategies For A Killer Creative Career is written specifically for artists rather than general readers, I wanted to target alternative venues such as art spaces, galleries and gift stores in addition to traditional bookstores. Continue reading

Communicating Is Caring

Vintage Typewriter

It’s not easy for me to find a good hair stylist. While most guys aren’t too picky about who cuts their hair, I demand a super-hip razor-shag cut befitting of a rock star. That’s just the way I roll.

Now, in a big city, I could walk into any salon and find a stylist who gives good rock star, but I’m in a small town where salons and mad hipster steelo are mutually exclusive. Just about two years ago, I did manage to find a stylist who knew her way around a razor and, while her cuts were inconsistent, they were more than acceptable. Continue reading

4 Lessons Learned from a Failed Business Venture

Lessons Learned from Failure

Several years ago, I attempted to launch a line of graphic apparel that never quite took off. I was trying to reach a national audience, so I put all my eggs in the online marketing basket. When things stalled out, I ended up revamping my concept.

After several more tweaks, more time and more learning, I ended up with a business concept that finally felt solid. To my surprise, it was completely different than the idea I started out with. It’s a different offering aimed at a different audience for a different purpose. Continue reading