A peeve and a question

Hi! :waving:

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? :gah:

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! :slight_smile:

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 :hug:

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!

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.

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!

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.

Hi, Jan! :waving:

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, :muah:

Hi, Suzeeq! :waving:

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! :doh:

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!!!”.:woohoo:

Thanks again!

Ruthie :hug:

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.”

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.

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.

Have to agree with the rest…$20-$25 is a good limit to set.

And like everyone else too, it would have to have at least 2 or more patterns in it to catch my fancy!

I would spend around $25.00 for a book like that and would have to have several patterns in it that I would like to make. As described your book sounds interesting enough that I will be glad to buy it when it comes out!

Hi! :waving:

You guys are so cool! Thanks for your responses, they’re so helpful!

Trvvn, I TOTALLY AGREE with you about the “how to knit/purl” instructions in so many books! When you’re a raw recruit it’s helpful but once you learn it’s just filler. Although I understand why publishers might include it, I won’t be going that far. Although I’ve geared this book for knitters at all skill levels I do note in the introduction that this book will be useful to beginners if they can cast on, cast off, knit and purl.

I do go as far as to clarify certain other stitches that many of us know, for instance the different way of doing yarn overs if your next stitch is purl, or between purls, or… like that. I also did a little write up on the difference between picking up stitches and “pick up and knit”. But I didn’t devote a whole section to those things, just put in little side boxes to clarify for less experienced knitters.

Angela, I understand your need for clear instructions and illustrations. I’ve been writing, re-writing and re-re-writing to make sure this book is clear, correct and useful to the reader. (and, I confess, FUN as well!)

Thanks for your pre-publication offer to buy it! :slight_smile: That’s so encouraging! And when the book’s finished and you place your order, I’ll make sure to send you a signed copy. (And yes, KH buddies, you get yours signed, too!) :hug:

MMario, I’ve done the same thing - found one or two things in a book that I HAD TO HAVE and leaped to the checkout with it! And I’ve got the full bookshelf to prove it, too!

Some of them have never been used and some are so loved they are tattered with use. I really want mine to become one of those that are so useful they become ragged and rumpled. Kind of the “Raggedy Ann” of knitting books. It doesn’t stay on a shelf like a fancy lady doll, but gets hugged and dragged around by the foot, a real member of the family! :slight_smile:

Thanks again to you all. I’m looking forward to any other comments, opinions ideas or suggestions you might have!

Ruthie :muah:

Hi, Crycket!

Thanks, I think the $20-$25 range is sensible and would make it workable to self publish if need be. And hopefully we can get you more than two likeable patterns! :yay:

Thanks, Sweetie! Your response helps!

Ruthie :hug:

Hi, Jannette! :waving:

The price you suggested seems to be in the most popular range and I think you’re right. The final determination will be made once I figure out if someone else is publishing it or if I’m publishing it myself.

And thanks for your offer to be a customer!!! I’ll make sure there’s a signed copy with your name on it when they roll off the presses!

Happy knitting! :knitting:

Ruthie :hug:

I love this “Raggedy Ann” analogy. Priceless. Put that in the front of the book!

Ruthie - I should probably begin by saying that I’m a book buyer and the amount it costs me to move reflects it. I just bought a knitting book with 20+ patterns for about $20 plus shipping. I thought, given the patterns and knowing I could and would wear them for years, it was worth the money. The patterns were my style and timeless - and that made it worth the money. I probably wouldn’t have spent $40 for the book, though.

Hi! :waving:

Now that you mention it, I’m sure I will include it right up front. It really does describe how I’d like to see the book owned!

Ruthie :hug:

Hi! :waving:

Thanks for this. I’m a book-a-holic who is NOT looking for a half-way house! :clink:

I really get it about the cost of moving vans (plural) rolling down the highway filled with cartons of books and 1 coffee maker, 1 can opener, 5 socks, a toothbrush and a small grocery bag with some outerwear. Who says I don’t have my priorities straight!!! :woohoo:

But semi-seriously, I do have a passion for books and want the one I’m writing to reflect that. Useful, it has to be useful. And fun. Also, in today’s economic pit it has to give great value for its price and be priced reasonably so that lots of folks can afford to enjoy it.

The most popular range I’ve seen listed so far is $20-$25 and that I can do if I self-publish. If a publishing company picks it up I won’t have much say in it, but I’d still urge them to offer it at a budget-friendly price.

Thanks for your response. It all matters!

Happy knitting,
Ruthie :hug: