Thursday, November 6, 2014

So You Want to Write a Quilt Book? Part 2

Sadly, I haven't spent much quality time with my computer for a while (as you can see by how long it's been since I last blogged), but on a happy note that means I've been sewing like a crazy woman. 

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a week end quilt retreat and "officially" started making projects for my new book -- the modern one -- with Kansas City Star.  Of course the book won't come out until 2016 but time flies so I know that it's really right around the corner.  I can proudly say that I have one top completed and two more in the works out of the 14+ projects.  Not a bad start.  Of course, ow that we're headed into the holiday season, I probably won't have much time to work on it until after CHristmas, but at least I can say that I have started.

I wanted to talk more about how this new book project is so very different from the first two book experiences.  So grab a cup of coffee and keep reading!

After my book proposal was accepted this time, I began brainstorming how I could get this book out into the world more when it was published.  At the same time I was thinking about how expensive it is to put a book together and decided that I wanted to try to defray some of the costs associated with writing a book (you know like fabric, batting, backing, notions -- did I mention fabric?). 

Over the past four years, I've met a lot of people in the industry and I've developed some important contacts.  One of my best contacts was a magazine editor who'd been in the business a long time so she knew lots of people so I contacted her to see if I could pick her brain for contacts for my book.  She was very gracious and gave me several names to get me started.  In the past, she had helped me make connections with Connecting Threads and Fairfield.  Not only did she give me some of her contacts, she also made suggestions as to other companies to contact.

If you actually knew me, you would find the thought of me actually asking for stuff from companies to be a very odd notion, because I'm not usually so forward.  But in the last four years, I have learned something very important that I am going to share with you:


Basically what I mean by this is that you shouldn't be afraid to try something because worst case scenario is that what you're asking just won't happen.  You aren't losing anything by trying, and you just might get what you want. 

When it comes to the quilt industry, I've learned that most people are kind and respectful.  They are not going to call you names or ridicule you, so go ahead and ask.  Of course, you have to remember that these kind and respectful people are also busy, overworked, and stressed so it may take several tries to get their attention.  Also keep in mind that right before, during, and right after Quilt Market is not the time to make any requests or inquiries because pretty much everything grinds to a halt as companies prepare for, do, and then recover from Quilt Market.  But beyond that, go ahead and try, you might be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is.'re designing a quilt to submit to a magazine and you want to use a specific fabric collection -- well, go ahead and contact the company and see if they'd be interested in supplying the fabric to you.  Doing a blog giveaway?  Contact some companies to see if they'd be interested in donating items for the blog giveaway.

I know this sounds pretty incredible, but it happens.  AND IT HAPPENS A LOT IN THE QUILT WORLD.  Why?  you want to know.  It's simple, really.  Let's say a fabric company gives you fabric to make a quilt for a magazine.  You make the quilt and include the company's name in your instructions as providing XYZ collection.  Once the magazine comes out and 50,000 quilters see the company's name in your instructions as well as the finished product, then a certain number of those quilters are going to either want the fabric for another project or else they want to make your quilt design exactly as you have.  So you got free fabric and the company gets great advertising.

For my current book project, the companies that have generously provided supplies for the book will get their names in the book and I will of course promote them on my blog, Facebook, etc.  And when the book comes out in 2016, I hope that the companies will promote the book to their customers because their products were used in the book.

Stay tuned for the next blog in this mini-series to see the goodies that I've received for my book so far.  :)