Just a little recap of the process of writing a craft book. I pitched this book to publishers in February of 2011 and it was acquired by Lark in March. It took a month or two to get a contract to sign and get assigned an editor. My editor, Thom O'Hearn, is fantastic. I feel so incredibly lucky.
Then there was a month or so of back and forth between me and Thom and the art department at Lark as I took sample photos on different backdrops, with different lighting (and bought a light kit and a tripod and a photography lesson) until I learned to take really good step-by-step photos myself.
We also worked quite a bit on tightening my table of contents and figuring out how the book would be formatted. Whew! By then I think it was June of 2011.
From June to March of 2012 (so let's see, 9 months) I made the whole book. There really is very little contact during those months between the author and the editor. I created 16 projects, wrote all of text, and took all of the step-by-step photos (often these include illustrating concepts like designing a muzzle that require sewing a whole slew of samples showing different variations). I did a ton of research on soft toy design, tried a lot of new materials and stretched my design skills further than they had ever been stretched. I gave the patterns to Twitter friends to test and incorporated their changes. Everything was mailed out mid-March.
The photographer is in California (I'm in Massachusetts and Lark is in North Carolina). She received all of the finished samples and took all the beauty shots this summer. Over the summer the text went to a freelance sewing book editor (Thom doesn't sew) and to a proofreader. Then it came back to me digitally to review the edits. This summer we also settled on a title, a cover design, and a layout. Thom hired an outside graphic design company to create the design for the book. And someone was hired to digitize all the pattern templates.
Then all the text and images were flowed into the designed pages, the whole thing was printed out, and overnighted to me on Friday. I'm sure there are steps I'm skipping, things that went on with the text, design, and photos at Lark that I didn't see.
Thom and I have a call tomorrow to go over all of my new edits and then it's in his hands for double and triple checking before it goes to China to be printed. I should get some advance copies in early spring (yep, that's two full years after the book was acquired) and it should be available everywhere in early May.
In order to write a book you have to be in love. The big idea behind the book has to be something that drives you forward, that compels you to create. This one is my baby and it's nearly ready to face the world. I can't wait for you to see it!