Friday, September 28, 2018

Book Review: Design it, Promote it, Sell it

Design It, Promote It, Sell It: Online Marketing for Your Crochet and Knit Patterns by Marie Segares cover
When I think back to my earlier days of designing, I still shudder a bit. Those were what I fondly call the dark days, where there was no information available for independent designers about marketing and promoting.

We have come a long way, but it's still a bit of the wild west with credible information and information that is specifically geared to the challenges designers face. Thank you to the work of individuals like Marie for creating a resource of information that is truly applicable to designers and the fiber industry.

In the book Design it, promote it, sell it, Marie Segares, takes you step-by-step through the process of promoting and selling your designs. She starts out with a crash course in marketing to give you a bit of foundation, touching on important topics such as targeting your pattern towards a specific segment of your audience (I know that might sound like a lot, but Marie does a great job in breaking it down), branding, pricing, and so much more. So, even if you are a beginner to marketing, she got you covered!

Then Marie takes you into what I like to think of as the meat of the book, hitting on topics we all are anxious to master -
How to promote your patterns online. 
What I love about this book is that Marie touches on the major online avenues for marketing and promotion like, Instagram, Facebook, Ravelry, etc. But she doesn't just gloss over them or just give you high-level tactics. Rather, Marie deep dives into each platform so you can understand how to use one or more to create a plan.

Marie also includes at the end of the book some checklists and worksheets so that you can take that first step to make the book work for you. If you are a designer ready to take that next step to promote and sell your work, check out Design it, Promote it, Sell it here and learn more about Marie

Thank you, Marie, for reaching out for the opportunity to review Design it, Promote it, Sell it and to share it with fellow designers!

Until next time... Stitch on!

If you are an aspiring designer, I'd love to help you reach your goal as a designer. I have 2 resources you can check out to help you get started:

1) Unlock Your Inner Designer: How to start designing

2) Pattern Writing 101: Write - and publish - your first (and your next) knit and crochet pattern with confidence, everytime! 

We're starting to book designers for 2019, so if you are interested in designing for Yarn Crush, reach out with your Ravelry username.

Thank you for your continued support!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Knitwear and crochet design for third-party publication

Image may contain: laptop and screen

Another jam-packed day of tech editing and a bit of a rant

I’m not giving anything away here with this photo...this is just a quick shot of the pattern template for I Like Knitting and I Like Crochet magazine to illustrate a point.
Okay, so the point! 

Submitting and getting your designs accepted by a third party publication might be your goal. Yes, it’s great to see your name in print. That’s the goal, right? Or maybe just one of them. Heck, I’m still that nerd that goes to Barnes and Noble and flip through the magazines to see my name in the print. Dorky? Yes, I know. But that's the reality of a knit and crochet designer :)

But between the time a pattern is accepted for publication and the print magazine goes live, there is a lot of work that needs to be done by the designer and I’m afraid you, dear designer, is not be grasping all that, particularly the when it comes to the pattern writing portion.

This, the pattern writing part of the process, is crucial to the end product, i.e. the entire magazine.

So, you’ve self-published a few of your own patterns and now ready to design for your favorite publication. For your line of self-publish designs you’ve created your own layout and style guide, all pretty with flowers 🌺 and 🦄 shooting rainbows out its butt. But that doesn't fit when you're writing for a magazine. All that pretty is more work for the editors and tech editors to reformat to the publication's style guide.

Remember, when you're being published with a 3rd party publication, your pattern is only a part of the overall magazine or book. Your style, your voice, your aesthetic doesn’t matter that much if it’s not produced in a way to create a cohesive finish publication.

Essentially, use the style guide provided by the magazine.

How to fit your design into the publication? Study past issues to understand the sound and feel so that your pattern can be easily slotted into the next issue without too much wrangling.

Why is this important?

1) My time as the tech editor cost them money.
2) Most importantly if there are many tiny things to catch + fix, tech editors are humans and might miss something more vital to the pattern.
3) Knitters and crocheters need consistency within a magazine so they know that from pattern to pattern, issue to issue will have all the same information in all the same format. We/they need this consistency to build the trust of that magazine.

Imagine if you get Interweave Knits every month, and every month they have a different layout, completely different terminology or abbreviations?

How much would you trust they know what they are doing over there at F&W?

So, if you want to design for a publication, do your homework. Spend the extra 8 bucks each for a few back issues, heck, it’s a business write off. 
Do your due diligence!

Ready to write your next pattern but need a bit of help? Here are 3 ways to work with me:

1) Get my 4-week pattern writing e-course - Pattern Writing 101: Write - and publish - your first (and your next) knit and crochet pattern with confidence, every time! 
This is a self-study course where you get weekly lessons delivered to your email that you follow at your own pace. During the course, you can email me questions. Here's what you get with the course:

Weekly Lessons

Week One

Pattern anatomy.

Week Two

Layout and format.

Week Three

Craft your pattern.

Week Four

Get ready to publish.

2) Get a one-day one-on-one coaching and strategy session where help you through the pattern writing process. 

This is a one-time strategy session where I answer your questions and review your pattern. After the session, you finish the pattern and send me the final pattern for tech editing with 7 days of the strategy session. When we're done, you'll be ready to hit publish. Email me to schedule a day!

3) Get your pattern professionally tech edited. 

Want to hire me to tech edit your next knit and crochet design? Click here to Request a Pattern Tech Edit.

If I can help to answer any of your questions about designing, please feel free to reach out.

Until next time...Stitch on


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