How To Write and Publish a Craft Book Title Part Three

I am so, so, so excited to finally be able to share my new book cover with you! Insert trumpet flourish here...Bead Chic is now available for pre-order on Amazon! The book debuts this summer and it's a fresh approach to jewelry design for the novice. There are 36 core designs each with a variation for a total of 72 designs! I have a wonderful roster of celebrity guest designers who created variations of many of the projects and I think you're really going to love this book. Each chapter shows you another way to approach designing and changing various elements of a design to surprising effect. I really wanted to help bead stringers become jewelry designers and stop copying other people's work and instead dialog with them through design. Also I've been hoping to help people get over the need to have 'that one bead'...because that is often impossible with the millions of beads on the planet and ever changing inventories to find the exactly same bead.

I have a few things to share today. Firstly it is crucial that your cover reflect the inside of your book. I had one cover that really didn't serve the book inside and it was sad to see the book not sell as well as I think it could have with the right cover. It took us several versions of this cover to find one we all could get behind. I loved having models in the book because it's a fresh approach to a jewelry title, but I wasn't loving the full shot of a model on the cover because the jewelry was getting lost in the shuffle. I love the way this cover looks. It's fresh and compelling and makes you want to pick it up.

There is one small nit-picky thing that bothers me with one of the memory wire segments on the necklace, but by the time I noticed it there was no time to Photoshop that error out. C'est la vie. I'm going to have to be okay with it. Ergh. Memory wire, why must you resist turning with such...resistance?

When you sell your book and you get your contract, try to insert a clause that allows you cover and design approval. I think many people don't realize that authors of craft books have very little input into the book design process. We often don't have a clue what the book is going to look like until we get our galleys for final review. Everything is done by committee and if you've not asked for design approval, you're not on the committee. I've often felt that a committee is the worst way to do anything, because everyone has a different agenda and a different POV. That being said, it is what it is and unless you're ready to write the book, create the projects, take the photographs, layout the images and text, edit the book, contact retail outlets, sell the book, pay for printing, store the books, ship the books, deal with book returns and consignments...if you're not ready to do all of that, you're going to need a publisher. You're also going to have to find a publisher you trust and trust that they want your book to sell as well as you do. So that means shopping around, asking questions, digging deep to find out what the 411 is about working with a particular publisher.

If you can find a publisher that you trust who will get behind you and support you, they'll most likely respect your vision and try to support it with a lovely design. They want to sell the book too. I think a lot of authors sort of forget that they are also responsible for how the book turns out and how it sells. That means being sure your contract affords you the ability to have input. It means promoting the book. Which I will start doing in a few months when we get closer to the publishing date. Artists sometimes aren't so great at the business side of things, but that's a matter of focus. If you want your book to do well, you can't work your arse off making it and then sit back and wait for people to find it.

Like most things in life, you get out of them what you put in.

I have shipped off my samples for the next book proposal. The acquisitions editor is working on a pitch and I should know if I have a hit or a strike out by the end of this month. Stay tuned...



TesoriTrovati said...

Can't wait. It looks great. And I appreciate the idea of multiple variations. That is a springboard to inserting your own creativity. And I really appreciate the tips on the behind the scenes to publishing. I am happy to learn from a Master. Enjoy the day! Erin

CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [16 Apr 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Georgia Peachez said...

I'm very excited about your new book. Sounds fabulous :-> xo, suzy

whiteshark0121 said...

Great article, I always keep myself looking for new tips and ways on how to improve my writing and one of my favorite mentor on learning how to write a children's book is Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul.