The Art Biz ep. 37: Publishing a How To Book for Artists with Carol McIntyre

Do you think you might have a book in you?

Why not do it?!

Writing a book could increase your credibility, contribute to your legacy, and impact many lives.

Painting by artist and how-to book author Carol McIntyre
©Carol McIntyre, Silent Truths. Acrylic on board, 24 x 30 x 1.5 inches. Used with permission.

A lot of people think that writing a book is the hard part of getting your book published. Not to take anything away from the difficult work that goes into the writing, but it is only a small portion of the entire book publishing process.

I learned about the process when the first edition of my book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio, was published in 2008 and was reminded of the long book-publishing journey when the 4th edition was released earlier this year. There are so many moving parts and, like many businesses today, book publishing is a fast-moving industry.

Those moving parts come, of course, with an expense line in your budget, which means it’s very helpful to know what you’re getting into before you start down the book production path.

You really want to know 1) that you will be able to pay for the cost to publish and 2) at what point you’ll begin to make a profit. In order to accomplish that second thing (the profit thing), you also need a marketing plan specifically for your book.

Artist Carol McIntyre published her own how-to book, I Just Want to Paint!
This week's podcast guest, Carol McIntyre holding her book, I Just Want to Paint! in front of one her paintings at her book launch party.

I confess I didn't talk to enough people.

My guest for this episode of the Art Biz Podcast is artist Carol McIntyre, the author of I Just Want to Paint: Mixing the Colors You Want. In the book, Carol teaches a step-by-step color mixing method for frustrated painters of all media who want to stop making mud and start mixing the colors they want with ease.

Listen now to hear Carol's process and advice so you can avoid the sticker shock of publishing your own book.

Music by Wildermiss


You will hear Carol and I talk about the following.

  • Where the idea for the book came from and how she got encouragement to make it happen.
  • How the book fits into Carol’s vision for her art business.
  • The difference between print-on-demand books and self-publishing larger quantities.
  • The must-have book specs that led Carol to work with a Chinese printing company.
  • An account of all of the people Carol hired to help her in the publishing process, and the role of each person.
  • What it costs to publish a book.
  • What Carol’s profit is per book depending on whether she sells at a local bookstore, from her website, or on Amazon. Spoiler: Support an artist and buy direct from her!
  • What Carol wishes she had known in advance.
  • When and how Carol began pre-selling the book and the brilliant thing she did to keep early buyers happy when the book was delayed.
  • The additional marketing she is doing to promote the book.
  • Why it’s critical to have people around who support you during the long process.
  • Carol’s very honest disclosure of experiencing burnout and how she got back on track.


About My Guest

Carol A. McIntyre’s first run-in with the “color police” happened when she was in kindergarten. Her teacher asked the class to choose two favorite colors that went well together. Carol spoke up. “Red and orange,” she said, whereupon the teacher declared, “No, these two colors don’t go together!” She grew up and proved her teacher wrong.

Early in her painting career, she was surprised by the lack of easy-to-understand color theory classes. This motivated her to develop a simpler way to mix color which, in turn, would empower artists.

Carol has helped over 3,500 painters see and mix color differently. She is an award-winning artist who is a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America and holds associate memberships with the Oil Painters of America and the American Women Artists.

Follow Carol on Instagram.

Music by Wildermiss

This episode is sponsored my signature business-building program, the Art Career Success System, a program I have perfected for more than 17 years working with artists.

All of the lessons you learn in the Art Career Success System are tasks you will do over and over again throughout your art business and career. That’s why it’s a SYSTEM.

In the ACSS you will build a strong foundation using my video and audio lessons, worksheets, and transcripts. And you will be part of a community of artists who are forward-thinking and forward-moving.

Join us now and get your business in shape.

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16 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 37: Publishing a How To Book for Artists with Carol McIntyre”

  1. I really enjoyed this podcast. I usually click off well before the end of any podcasts, but you and Carol kept me interested till the end.
    Having been a CR ROM publisher at some point in my career, it was really interesting to hear someone struggle through this venture by themselves . WOW! Hats of to Carol and hats off to you Alyson for bringing her to this podcast. Thank you both for sharing.

  2. Having this much information from a fellow artist helps me to realize that I’d like to and feel ready to publish my 3rd book! Each trial equals more confidence! Thanks Carol! Thanks Alyson!

  3. Hi Alyson,

    Great podcast! The reality of what it takes to publish a book is something that not a lot of people speak about, and you and Carol did it in a way that was honest and encouraging.

    I’ve been in the publishing industry helping authors get their books out since 1982 (gasp) . . . and wanted to share a few resources I think are helpful in case anyone is interested in creating a book:

    1. Independent Book Publishers Association – great group of people, discounts on lots of things an author needs for publishing – like ISBN’s, printing services, see their website for membership benefits.

    2. For book marketing and all booky things, John Kremer is king. His website is loaded with excellent and free info on book marketing and his programs are outstanding.

    3. Publicity – I like Joan Stewart. She works with lots of authors, and has a good free newsletter with PR Tips –

    1. Lyn: Thank you for sharing those resources, all of which I’ve used. In Colorado, we are lucky to have CIPA (linked above) for independent publishing. Our own local chapter where we can meet face-to-face.

    2. Thank you Lyn and congrats on helping writers with book publishing! I am a huge fan of Joan Stewart and know of Kremer but never really checked him out, though I have heard him on webinar.

  4. Hi Alyson,
    Such a fun and inspiring podcast. Writing a book has been on my list
    For years.
    I’m glad that I’ve met you. You bring
    A fountain of knowledge to the artist..
    It’s time for me to ‘Get ‘Er Done! ‘

    1. Vicki: I’m glad you’re here, too. If I may be so bold to ask … What’s the book about?


    What a wonderful podcast about self publishing. Yes, I know Carol and her efforts well, but her ability to share clearly and caringly about the challenges of getting a book to market and the “then what” if extraordinary. A must listen for all wanna-be authors.

  6. Wow. I always listen to all of your podcasts through and through…and though I did some writing in college, I was not thinking about wrtitng a book…until listening to Carol! As always Alsyon, your questions were targeted and researched, and Carol, your ansewwers were incredibly clear and specific. I suddenly found myself furiously taking detailed notes, and listiening to certain parts more than once. Not sure I will ever tackle such a thing, but the podcast sure got ideas percolating.
    Alyson, I appreciate as always, your support of artists and our work and your incredible generosity in providing so much information and informative interviews.
    I took a picture of all my notes but don;t think I can add here so you’ll have to take my wors for it!
    Wishing a happy, healthy, joy and peace filled holiday to all.

  7. Hello! I just listened to this straight through again. I took even more notes. I have been interested in publishing a book of a specific series of mine. It’s a different type of book…not a how to book but I need to be aware of all the steps and costs to be expected. I’m looking into doing a small edition on special paper and then a good quality but less expensive, more accessible price point one. Have so much research to do and appreciate all the suggestions and resources provided. Thank you! 😊😊

    1. Christine: Glad you found this helpful (AGAIN). I am going to do another book interview coming up later in the fall. I also want to do one about catalogues.

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Your Artist Mailing List: Rethinking + Assessing

Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

Where can we send it? 

To ensure delivery, please triple check your email address.

You’ll also receive my regular news for your art business.

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