Insight Spotlight: Expert advice from Mary Ann Hall from Quarry Books

Welcome to our new column ‘Insight Spotlight’, where we share insights from industry experts in some of the hottest markets out there. This week we are pleased to offer expert advice from Mary Ann Hall from Quarry Books


Primary Market: The illustrated book market.


How can this market be lucrative for an artist?

Doing regular freelance work as a designer or illustrator, or if you are a really accomplished artist, perhaps you can author a book.

What is going to be hot in your market in 2015 such as subject matter, colors, products?

Beautiful art and creativity books that offer something really unique.

What kinds of products/offerings are a growth sector for your company?

Illustration practice and technique books have been our strongest category.

What do you look for when buying new art?

A unique vision, total beauty, accessibility for a wide market.

Is there any rhyme or reason to why some products sell well and why others don’t?

Not always. I am sometimes surprised!

What is the one thing you wish artists would do differently when pitching art to you? Or what do you love that they do when they pitch to you?

I like a concise message–and a clear pitch–an overview that really gives the pitch at a glance, with enough supporting material that I see that the artist has done their homework. And tell me WHY it will sell, and how your network will support that.

What one piece of advice do you have for artists trying to sell their first piece of art in that market?

Don’t give up!

About Mary Ann

Mary Ann Hall


Mary Ann is an experienced publishing professional specializing in innovative, illustrated art and technique books. For 12 years, she led the art and crafts publishing program for Quarry Books and is currently editorial director for Quarry Books and Rockport Publishers developing books on art, crafts, design, artisan food and lifestyle topics.

Currently based in Shaker Heights, Ohio, she is a Midwesterner who has lived the largest part of her life elsewhere and an urbanite who loves to hang out in woods. As a serial enthusiast, she enjoys many creative pursuits, including Burmese cooking, zydeco dancing, hiking, hot yoga, painting, reading, and having adventures with her children.

Mary Ann is one of the esteemed judges on the Global Talent Search judging panel.

Find out more at Qbookshop


Want to learn more about making more commercially viable art whilst staying true to yourself? Join our acclaimed online course ‘Make Art That Sells‘, led by top agent Lilla Rogers. Next class starts March 2 – find out more and register here!



  • Thanks Mary Ann for the valuable insight, and thanks to Lilla and Team for this series. I’m soaking it up!

    January 28, 2015
  • It is always lovely to see the face behind the scenes. I love that term serial enthusiast – I very much relate to that!

    January 30, 2015

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