How to Publish Your Knitting Patterns
If you design knitting patterns or teach knitting techniques and would like to publish
your work, read on to discover the different ways you can publish, the advantages and
disadvantages of each option, and essential advice about copyrights and how to use them.
Being a published designer or author is great for your credibility, will give you
publicity and allow your work to be seen by a much wider audience. But before you rush in
and write your book, you should first do some research and find out more about your market
and whether your product or ideas will actually sell.
First of all, you need to think about who your target market is. Will it be a broad
range of knitters or crocheters? Or is it a small niche group? Are they beginners or
advanced? Is the content of your book in fashion at the moment?
Broad appeal knitting books are usually about knitting basics, how to knit, how to
solve problems, and common knitting or crochet patterns. Even though they are aimed at a
broad market, the most popular of these books still have something unique about them, or
some kind of spin to make them interesting. Books aimed at niche markets are great because
they have the potential to come into fashion and sell very well.
To research the market, look on the big book-selling sites like Amazon, where you can
see what the most popular books are in your category. Some of the best-selling pattern
books at the moment are books about sock patterns, knitted or crocheted decorations, warm
weather knitting and solutions for knitting problems. By looking through these lists, you
may also be able to find gaps in the market that you can fill.
When you have decided on your topic and created your content, you have three main
choices for how to publish, advertise and sell your work:
One option is to use a publishing company to publish your book. There are obviously a
huge number of publishers around the world, some very large with wide distribution
networks, others smaller and perhaps more suitable for niche publications. The advantage
of using a publishing company is that they will copyright, edit, print and distribute your
book for you. Some publishing companies specialize in craft books, which means they will
have more experience with your style of book. They will have experienced editors to give
feedback and ideas for improvement.
If you use a large publishing company, your knitting book will be more widely
distributed, much quicker than you could do yourself. It will be advertised in catalogs,
and most publishers have reps that will promote and sell your book to stores. The downside
is that you will lose much of your control over the book, as well as the profits.
Another option is to self-publish your knitting or crochet book using an online
publishing service like lulu.com. By publishing your book in this way, you will retain
more control over how your knitting book is presented and printed, where it is sold and
how it is promoted, as well as the copyrights.
There are new copyrights called "Creative Commons" that are not as restrictive and
allow people to share your patterns more freely, use them to inspire other work, or in
knitting classes. This free use will encourage your designs to be distributed more widely
and get your name as a designer more commonly known.