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Using artistic integrity in business - help or hindrance?

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ChrisV

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I wanted your guys opinion on Artistic Integrity. Is it a help, or a hindrance in business. The reason I’m asking is I’m working on a book. In this niche, I notice a lot of hype. Outlandish, wild claims. But there are also more reserved, relaxed claims making money.

See, the problem is that hype works. When Tim Ferris was testing titles for his book, in a soft launch he noticed that “The 4 Hour Workweek” was the title that tested best. It’s a get-rich-quicky type title, but it sold. But the reason I say ‘artistic integrity’ is that it’s more subdued and honest.

So I’m wondering if I should take a hyped out National Inquirer approach, or a National Geographic approach..... or is there room for both approaches.

What do you guys think.
 

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I hadn't heard of Artistic Integrity, so I looked it up, and what I found was essentially, "Making art for free."

So I'm not entirely sure what you're asking. Are you asking if providing free value can be good for a business?

It sounds like something that would be fairly simple to split-test and see what resonates more.
 

ChrisV

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That can be one form or Artistic integrity but not specifically what I mean.

Let’s put it this way... I think National Geographic is a respectable publication. I think Smithsonian is a respectable publication. Time. Scientific American.

Publications that aren’t respectable? National Inquirer. Also InfoWars. They take a bombastic sensationalistic tone and use hype and controversy to sell products. They use tagline like “Shocking Stories!” “Royal Scandals!”.... Turn to page 15 to find out more about this titalating tale!

Now I’m writing a book, and I see people selling books with the hype approach. I’d rather not take it, but also at the same time it doesn’t matter what I personally like. It’s a matter of what sells. And I’m trying to play in my head if the hype is going to help sell, or if I should take a more serious tone that I respect more. In other words, I want to write like Scientific American, but I’m wondering if that approach is limiting me. If I should stay true to respectable writing, or sell out to possibly sell copies.
 

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I think it depends on what your ideal customer base is. Do you want a customer base who is deeply engaged with your content, or who flips through in the grocery line? Are you trying to cater to a more intellectual crowd?

Both approaches are valid - as evidenced by the multiple examples of successful publications that use each approach. It comes down to what you're better at and what your specific target audience wants (or which audience you want to target).
 

ChrisV

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Are you trying to cater to a more intellectual crowd?
I honestly thought a little about this, and I really want to build a personal brand. Like I want to gain the reputation of a legitimate author, not some sensationalist. In other words, I don’t think I feel comfortable

In the niche I’m writing about I looked up the best selling books in the category, and indeed both approaches sell copies. Serious books sold copies, and outlandish books did as well. So I might as well respect my name and not sell out.

Thanks for the input.
 

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