It arrived Friday night and I'm overnighting it back tomorrow. It's been a marathon few days of editing, but it looks amazing.
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!
Linda Hicks says
Brava! That is baby number 5 in a way!
Rachel L. says
Wow! What a great peek into the process! The part that seems particularly daunting is the step by step photos and making samples to illustrate each step. Whew! I wonder, are there some of those designs that you never ever want to sew or see again?
I can’t wait for May, to see the final product!
Captain Crafty says
Wow, I am exhausted just reading all that! Congratulations on being on the home stretch!
After all that work, and knowing it has been checked and rechecked, I want my copy now! Oh, I know what, my birthday is in May. It is going on my list!
Congrats on making it this far – you must be so proud!
B. Grim says
Congratulations, Abby! You are such a dedicated and hard worker. Your book will be a great addition to the world of soft toy making books. Can’t wait to have my own copy.
I can’t wait to see it too. Well done! What a feat!
(and I can’t wait to share the project I made with the world. 🙂 )
Well, there was certainly frustration at times along the way, but honestly I really am still okay looking at it all! I think that's a good sign 🙂
It really is a huge project to do this. I think it's totally worth it if you believe strongly that the final product will add value to people's lives.
Oh, that's so great to hear, Caroline!
Having been there several times yourself, Kathreen, I'm sure you can relate!
Lyn Smith says
I’m so looking forward to this new book(what a prolonged process)as I love The Artful Bird. I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to see the end result on the bookstands, I know I will be.
Thank you so much, Lyn. I actually really love the process. It can feel like a lot and it can feel prolonged, but it's also really interesting and very fun. Thanks for your comment.
That seems like such a long time! I’m really excited for this book, but I still need to pick up a copy of The Artful Bird. That might tide me over until Spring 🙂
It is a long process, but so much goes into it and it's worked on by many hands, and improved each time, until it's really something special. I hope you love The Artful Bird!
Véronique / Verte Adélie says
It’s very interesting to read about the timeline and huge work involved in a book, bravo for surviving the process twice already! I look especially forward to seeing this one, as you can imagine :).
Thank you, Veronique! You were such an amazing and dedicated pattern tester. I am forever grateful! I hope you'll like the book when it is out!
I am desperately seeking information on designing soft toys. There is such a lack of information. I mean where does a professional learn? I can’t even find that out. Every google search links me back here. I am thrilled you have a book coming out about it and I can’t wait. The problem I have is that I am quite creative and artsy but not mathematical at all so the 3d side of things is very problematical for me. Fingers crossed that your book will be riding to the rescue.
Sara- You've hit the nail on the head. This is what motivated me to write this book! It'll be out May 7. I hope you'll find it useful!