Every time you peruse the shelves of your local quilt shop’s book collection, you dream of seeing your book idea up there. You think you’ve got something to offer, and wonder what you need to know to reach out to your fave publisher. Well, we had a conversation with two of our friends at leading publishers and they shared their best tips for submitting a book proposal. (See the Fall 2012 Generation Q Magazine out now.)
So this got us to thinking why should you even bother writing a quilting or sewing book? It’s a lot of work, and honestly, even the earnings from best-selling q-tomes aren’t going to enable most of us to quit the day job or pay for our kids’ college tuition. But there are many other valid reasons for writing a book and we’ve got a few of them here for you.
1. You’ve got a great selection of wonderful, original designs that can be gathered into one place by theme or technique. You’ve been working with charm squares or solids for years and you really know your medium/tools/materials. You have something fun to share with others. Well, Q-bie, we say go for it! This is one of the best reasons to write a book.
2. You teach/lecture and want to expand your reach into the quilting community. A book is one of the best marketing tools a teacher can have because its reach usually far surpasses the orbits of mere mortals. Of course you still have to have an idea that can be developed into a book and sold. But assuming you do, you’ll often see your value as a teacher increase.
3. There’s a niche waiting to be filled in the quilt book market, and you have just the thing. You’ve been searching for a book that helps you to do (fill in the blank) for several years now with no success. Why don’t you write it? If you wanted this info, there are bound to be others who do as well.
4. Others thinks you have what it takes to write a marketable book. You’ve been showing your work regularly and get lots of positive feedback. Maybe you’ve even been approached by someone in the q-biz or publishing about submitting a proposal. Why would you question this? (Hint: Fear is not a good enough reason.) This kind of encouragement isn’t usually given unless you really do have the skills that others might want to be exposed to.
5. Because you want to. Just like with having kids, there may not be a good reason for such an emotional goal. And creating a book and then selling it is very much like being pregnant (the writing/developing process) and raising the offspring (the marketing/selling process). You don’t have to justify it to us, people. You just have to have something of value to share in print.
The bottom line is if you have enough chutzpah to think you can do it, go for it. Submit that proposal. The worst thing that can happen is you’re told that this idea won’t work for this publisher and then you can decide to try another publisher, change the direction of your idea or table the process (we hope you don’t). Still, you will have stretched yourself creatively some and there are mega-bennies from that alone.
Are you ready to belly up to the keyboard?