Writing a Craft Book

Craftypod had an excellent podcast a couple weeks ago about publishing your craft book. Ever since I listened to it the other day, I have been thinking a lot about the process of publishing a book, and I happened to come across this ancient thread at the old Glitter boards (remember those old Glitter days, craftistas? It seems like so long ago… we were all so young and naive!) in which I asked some of the glitterati who had also become published authors a little about the process.

I took the liberty of unearthing the thread for you to read, because I’m pretty sure few people are looking at the old Glitter archives these days.

Topic Writing a book Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By yardenxanthe On 03/24/04
I know several Glitter Gals have written crafty books, and I was just wondering how that came about. I know CraftyChicaAZ writes a column for her newspaper, so the book thing seems like a natural progression.

Anyone care to share on this topic?

By CraftyChicaAZ On 03/25/04
hi! my first book venture didnt really come from the column as much as an editor coming across my art web site and then my crafty chica site. i got asked to contribute a project to a book she was producing, and then it kinda took off from there to other things…there are all different kinds of ways to find an “in”, but having a web site is a good start because i know a lot of editors find authors that way…hope that helps!

By yardenxanthe On 03/25/04
Thanks for the info! By the way, I was reading a crafty book at Costco the other day and got all excited when I saw your name in it!

By CraftyChicaAZ On 03/25/04
Oh how cool! Which book was it? Thanks for sharing!

By yardenxanthe On 03/25/04
It was “Memory Keepsakes: 43 Projects for Creating and Saving Cherished Memories”.

By CraftyChicaAZ On 03/28/04
oh cool, i didnt know that one was at costco!!

yesterday i just signed on for my fourth book! it’s a follow up to my tween craft book that comes out next month. the response has been so fab from booksellers that the publishers signed me on to make it a series before its even been released! very exciting, indeed!

the trouble is, i dont know how i can do all this stuff and work 40 hours at my day job too (and kids and make/sell art). i’m still waiting for word from other pub for two other titles. i would just *die* if they all got approved at the same time. long shot of that happening, but wierder things have happened. i LOVE my day job, but i love making a small dent in the crafty world too. i’m so torn!

By papergirl On 03/28/04
congrats craftychica! Just think that it is a wonderful problem to have :)

By SublimeStitcher On 03/28/04
Congrats Chica! That’s so great. I hope to have the same problems.

My book deal started nearly three years ago when a publishing house in London contacted me about developing a project, based solely on seeing my website. They asked me to write up a proposal, which I did. 33 pages long. I figured, ‘hey, I’ve got this proposal, I might as well shop it around’. So I did, but when I let them know that, they dropped dealing with me. That was fine, Chronicle Books got a hold of it and called one day. I got a literary agent (which is much easier if you have a project in hand -I was collecting rejection letters), and I started working on negotiating a contract.

It’s all a very long, arduous but exciting task. The thing is, once you get past the first project, it’s much easier to get the next one going. I’m working on a follow-up proposal right now.

Uhhhh….let’s see. There’s an excellent book called “How to Write a Book Proposal” by Michael Larsen. I couldn’t have done it without that resource.

Just bear in mind how long it took for me to get all those things hammered out…it will seem to others like “Bam! I have a book coming out…” but a looooot of time, no thank-you’s, and work work work goes into it.

By CraftyChicaAZ On 03/28/04
Great point! I should have mentioned that too – those proposals are BITCH to put together and they have to be “right on” in order to even get noticed. it takes a lot of hours on research, brainstorming, writing, editing, samples, outline, etc.

I’ve actually had two other book proposals rejected last year that were very cool ideas that i KNOW would have been great on the market, but they both got rejected. I’m still hanging on to them and plan to refresh them soon and send them to new editors, because you never know – that’s what happened with La Casa Loca.

The bottom line is if you really want to do this, keep plugging away until one hits. It’s worth the effort!!

By yardenxanthe On 03/30/04
Thanks for the good info, girls.

By ndaye On 04/02/04
My two cents:

sometimes things get rejected because publishers don’t “see” a market for them. In other words, they have no idea how the title will make money and if it can make money. Don’t forget publishers are business people and not necesarily in the business of taking risks, but rather the business of making money.

To cringe and quote a Kevin Costner movie:
If you build it, they will come.

In this day and age, self-publishing isn’t as bad an idea as it used to be. In fact, some friends of mine self-published a little booklet on how to be an artist about a year ago and it’s already been picked by a publisher.

>http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0740733168/104-8493285-9969512

so you don’t always have to use the middle men. What you do have to have is a good editor, a well written title and lots of energy to publish and promote. If you were going through a publisher you’d still have to promote your ass off, sometimes it’s better to do things yourself.

2 Responses

  1. pink acer aspire one Says:

    I’ve never given this a try, but I think it’s about time I do.

  2. --ginger. Says:

    This is super helpful. Totally great stuff.