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Old 05-04-2010, 01:52 PM   #1
RuthieinMaryland
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A peeve and a question...
Hi!

I'm finally coming down the home stretch in designing the pieces for the book I'm writing about how to design your own cotton knits (see below on the signature line).

There's still a LOT of work to do to finish up the instructional text, take the demonstration photos and make sure the patterns are written out correctly.

My peeve with many knitting books is finding incorrect patterns, or even how-to steps that somehow migrate to the wrong picture in the illustration! Geesh! What happened to proof-reading?

Another more minor peeve is that I sometimes find a book that has one or two patterns that I LOVE which requires I buy the book even though I won't use most of it.

For my book I've included 24 designs, 8 with very basic techniques for design, 8 with more complex designs and 8 with somewhat more advanced methods. Nothing in it, I think, is outside the range of any dedicated knitter. If a new kid on the knitting block likes something in the more advanced section it's my hope that I've given that knitter enough data and detail that he or she will be able to git 'er done!

Here's my question - If you were browsing through a shelf of knitting books and found one with 24 original patterns as described above, plus lots of instructional data on how to design your own,

a. what price range would prompt you to buy it?
( $16-20, $21-25, $25+, other)

b. how many patterns that you absolutely love and want to
make would have to be in it to insure you took the book home?

Is there any other opinion or comment you'd like to add? Please do.

I don't have all the publication facts yet since I'm just getting it ready to send out to publishers, so whether it gets published or I self-publish will determine the final cost of the book. But your answers to the above will definitely help me structure something that will benefit all of us. And it's only fun if everybody wins!

Thanks for your help,

Ruthie
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:01 PM   #2
JLonier
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My 2 cents for whatever it is or isn't worth
With the availability of patterns on line for free I've never had a need to buy a book of patterns. The books I've bought have been collections of stitches like the Barbara Walker books in order to design my own patterns. Or how to books for things like correcting errors. Again the internet makes even those almost completely unnecessary with sites like this one out there and the availability of just about anything you can imagine on youtube.

Good luck with your book though! Takes a lot of courage to do what you are!
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:06 PM   #3
Sunshine's Mom
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I think your book sounds like it's for a very specific knitting niche: those who want to learn to design. However, having said that:

a) Of course, the less expensive the better, but I'd say around $20.00 would be my limit to pay for a book.

b) There would have to be at least 5 patterns that I would like to make.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:19 PM   #4
Jan in CA
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A. Generally about $20
B. 2 or 3 patterns and if there is clear instruction for modifying that makes it extra attractive and I'd be willing to spend more money!

It sounds like you're offering a book with basics for modification which is fantastic. Good luck!
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
My peeve with many knitting books is finding incorrect patterns, or even how-to steps that somehow migrate to the wrong picture in the illustration! Geesh! What happened to proof-reading?
I just wanted to comment on this comment....

This is from the publishers, not the designer, they've usually proofed and test knit the patterns. Even when they proofread the text and illustrations, there's usually several people at the publishing house that can get in the way of sending a perfect manuscript to the printers. The wrong copy is used, corrections aren't transferred to the final proof, etc... So if you have some control over that, good luck to you.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:04 PM   #6
RuthieinMaryland
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Originally Posted by Jan in CA View Post
A. Generally about $20
B. 2 or 3 patterns and if there is clear instruction for modifying that makes it extra attractive and I'd be willing to spend more money!

It sounds like you're offering a book with basics for modification which is fantastic. Good luck!
Hi, Jan!

Each pattern in the book will illustrate a particular technique with data on how you can use it to design your own. Hopefully, at the end of the day, the reader/knitter will have a variety of new insights and techniques to work with in creating his or her own original designs.

If the reader doesn't want to design, then the patterns will hopefully be fun and appealing enough to stand on their own.

Also, the section on "Design Elements" gives basic data that can be used to design just about anything, even though I've applied them to cotton kitchen cloths and accessories in this book.

I can tell you for sure it's been an education for me in writing it! And there's still more to learn!

Thanks, Jan, and thanks to everyone else. Your opinions and comments are invaluable, especially in this stage of evolution!

Happy knittiing,
Ruthie
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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Accuracy...
Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
I just wanted to comment on this comment....

This is from the publishers, not the designer, they've usually proofed and test knit the patterns. Even when they proofread the text and illustrations, there's usually several people at the publishing house that can get in the way of sending a perfect manuscript to the printers. The wrong copy is used, corrections aren't transferred to the final proof, etc... So if you have some control over that, good luck to you.
Hi, Suzeeq!

I know just what you mean about the designer getting sidelined in the final run-through. I'm very firm about proofing it in it's final layout to make sure it's accurate and will work toward that arrangement with whoever wants to publish it.

If I go the route of self-publishing then it's a different story. The author fine-tunes the manuscript and submits it to the printer in it's final form. The printer burns the plates for the final run and then does a "proof" from those final plates called a "blue line" (because it's done in blue lines on a cream background). This is the absolute ultimate last check before the presses roll.

Although it's most economical to have everything as you want it BEFORE the plates are made and the blue line is rendered, sometimes you do pick up an error or two on the blue line. If it's minor it can usually be fixed on the printing plates, but anything major means paying for new printing plates for that segment, something you do NOT want to have to do, especially with color printing!

So now that the really fun part (the knitting) is mostly done I know I'll be mired in the mechanics of putting it all together. But that's OK if I can produce the type of book I want. And am I looking forward to writing in to the forum when "It's DONE!!!".

Thanks again!

Ruthie
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:28 AM   #8
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I would say about $25 is typically my limit on these kinds of books.

They usually have to have at least 4 or 5 things that I would actually be willing to make.

I have a huge pet peeve about "advanced" knitting books having instructions on how to knit and purl. I know that a lot of people want the all-in-one book, but I do not. I like books to be specific to what they tell me they are going to be. I have probably 5 books that all show me how to knit and purl, just becuase there were more advanced techniques in them that I wanted to learn. If you're doing a book for designing, I would imagine that people already know how to knit and purl. Don't waste time and shelf space to add the basics.

And I would definately echo your frustration on instructional information that does not show the appropriate pictures. I hate reading an instruction and then looking at the picture for clarification and going, "Well that doesn't make any sense."
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:46 AM   #9
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I would pay between $20-$30 for the book, depending on how well the instructions were explained and illustrated or photographed. I'm very sensitive to clearly shown/explained directions. The young student I am mentoring has shown me some horrible examples in books she's checked out or been given by her grandmother (who is delighted I am teaching her grand-daughter. I got an exquisite doiley from her).

I will be honest, when describing how to do a stitch, the author really needs to describe how the yarn is oriented around the needle. Even some videos are extremely confusing. At least in your book there are photos, but even those can be confusing.

I'll gladly pay for your book when it comes out. I'm all in for new patterns and it will make an excellent gift.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by trvvn5 View Post
I would say about $25 is typically my limit on these kinds of books.<snip> If you're doing a book for designing, I would imagine that people already know how to knit and purl. Don't waste time and shelf space to add the basics.
I agree with the above.

On the other hand, I bought "Gathering of Lace" because of two paragraphs; one giving the formulae for a pi shawl and the other expalining filet knitting

Haven't knit a thing from it.
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