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Woolly Wormhead's New Book

Here are some tantalising glimpses of some new hats that Ruth Paisley has been working on. Did I say that she is currently writing a book? Well, she is, and the projects are looking good. My preview is that although these projects are all distinctively Wormhead's style, they have a wide enough range of colour and technique for you not to think each one is just another hat. There is something for everybody here. There will be an emphasis on something a little different as well that you won't be expecting and I am not going to say what that is in case someone is searching for a story and want's to use it. Wait and see, you won't be disappointed!

I'm not allowed to talk about my own 'special project', confidentiality agreements and all that, but Ruth is allowed to talk about her 'special project' as she is self publishing hers with a production team she has selected herself. At least it means I finally get to stick a bit of knitting on the blog.

I would rather be self publishing in some ways, some advantages of which are:

  • Setting your own deadlines, generally handling your timetable without a mad rush
  • Choosing your own yarns, designs, shades and sizes
  • Knowing which designs are going to be used well in advance
  • Being a party to every agreement and attending every meeting where important decisions are made about your book
  • Having total control over the content, and knowing the story is yours to write
  • Choosing the design layout including the cover
  • Not having to pander to other markets outside the UK
  • Choosing the models, handling the photography, choosing pics
  • Feeling totally proud that the publication represents you
But some of the advantages of having a publishing deal are
  • Knowing that when the knit, pattern, copy and sketch are done your part is finished
  • Getting honest feedback
  • Someone giving right amount of encouragement to get things done and setting the deadlines
  • Dealing with someone who really knows the business
  • Getting yarn donations from the more difficult yarn companies
  • Receiving advice on the commercial value of each project
  • Having an outline of a book and a good story supplied where necessary
  • Production handled up to the highest quality
  • Having a photographer, an editor, production designer and a support team with years of experience and getting good PR and a good launch
  • Having a commercial pattern checker, sometimes a grader (for those pesky size variations)
  • Protection of copyright and support regarding legal claims
  • Distribution deals throughout other territories, especially the US market
  • Handling your distribution and collecting royalties
  • Having a well known publisher on a CV to secure further deals

I am happy at the moment that my work is done by the end of the actual project, any more than that and I would frazzle. I can just hand mine over and get them photographed and published and at the moment that suits me.

However, for all those lists of ideas for pattern collections or other books that I don't have a publisher for, that might be very specialised, that don't appeal to a wider audience, and for which I absolutely must have creative control, then perhaps self publishing is the way to go. One drawback of doing that of course, is that you are never going to know if your work is truly rubbish as it might not sell just because you know nothing of commerce. Asking people face to face whether they like your work does not always get a totally honest answer whereas a publisher, will not print something they think is not right and might have more of a commercial interest in your work.

It is all just speculation and opinions though. Once the book is published, the only way to measure its commercial success is the sales against the distribution.
Having said that, most of us want to have a publication we are truly proud of and only a few of us really want to judge our work by it's commercial success alone .

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