Today I thought I would share with you the entire book process. Everyday Lace has been in the works for two long years! When I first announced that I was writing a book, people asked when it would be out; when I said two years, they were surprised and confused as to why it takes so long.
The process is a long journey, but it’s well worth the wait. –At least I think so, and I hope you do too! The following post is my experience, which may or may not be typical.
Before I got started on a formal proposal I sent a query letter to the acquisitions editor at Interweave.
Why did I pick Interweave? Two reasons. One, because I do a lot of work for their print magazines and have developed a pretty good relationship with them. Two, because they make beautiful books. I knew that I wouldn’t have to worry about the photography, layout, book design, or paper quality. They make superior, best-selling titles and I hoped my book would be one of them.
A query letter is like a mini proposal. I stated my idea, gave my thoughts on possible projects, and included a mood board of my past designs that fit the concept. My query letter was received favorably, and I was told to go ahead with a formal proposal.
The formal proposal is much longer. I swatched and sketched fifteen projects, wrote a sample introduction chapter, and detailed my proposed table of contents. This alone took some time, and was just a little bit stressful. Having never planned an entire collection before, preparing this many projects at once was overwhelming.
Here are a few of the proposal sketches:
My proposal was accepted. Notes were given and the contract was signed.
Picking yarn for twenty projects is HARD.
First, I developed an overall pallet and mood. Then I had to find yarn to match both the project and the pallet. Yarn weight, color, blend, hand, texture, all had to be considered. Yarn for a project would be set, but then colors had to be switched around because yarn for a different project didn’t have the color I wanted, and on, and on. There was much grumbling and rearranging. Spreadsheets became my best organizational friends.
Finally, I had all the yarn and projects picked out. Yarn was ordered and began arriving at my house. My husband was already starting to become wary of the process at this point. So. Much. Yarn.
The knitting phase took place over the next nine months. Twenty projects…in nine months. So much knitting. So much writing.
The key to not going insane was organization. I had everything separated by project. I had spreadsheets calculating what needed to be done by what time. Without these things I think I would have easily become overwhelmed with the project.
During that time I also decided to start a business, have major surgery, and design several things for magazines. Needless to say, things were a bit stressful in the Zoppetti house.
I considered having sample knitters help me. But something in me (a problem with releasing control) drove me to knit all the projects myself. The hardest obstacle, discipline. The deadline seamed so very far away. Forcing myself to complete things at intermediate deadlines was really the only way all the projects were completed in time.
After knitting, there was still a book to write! Writing patterns, tutorials, sidebars, this all happened quickly, writing is much faster than knitting. Once I finished, I handed everything over to my editor, the incomparable Ann Budd. At that point, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Without a book to work on, my days felt strangely empty and without purpose. So, I sent a proposal for a second…
Editing, Photos, and Layout
Over the course of the second year, I was consulted on edits to patterns and text. I got to approve all changes at every stage. First, everything was in Word documents, then I was able to look over everything again in final layout with photos.
Some designers choose not to go through the traditional publishing route because they don’t want to relinquish control over these things. Honestly, I was glad to pass it on to experts. I knew the folks at Interweave would do a great job, and they didn’t disappoint. Also, by having other people do these things for me, I was able to concentrate on my next book!
Today, my book can be found in yarn and book stores around the globe. It’s available on Interweave, Amazon, and at other major retailers and probably at your favorite local yarn store!
The whole process was an enjoyable journey and one that I was eager to take again. My second book will be released about this same time next year!