self-publishing a knitting book (x-posted in yarn crafts) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 09-22-2007, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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The market is basically saturated with knitting books right now, to the point where if you're not a celebrity or an established designer, agents won't even look at your ideas to see if you're filling a niche that hasn't been addressed yet. They just see "knitting" and round-file it. This I have been told by people in the industry and read on a few literary blogs, including one written by an agent.

The thing is, I have two ideas percolating in my brain, two ideas that fill HUGE holes in the market, two ideas that I think would really take off if I were just given a chance. One is patterns for small people - most patterns are written with the "average" woman in mind, ranging from 34"-48" for a sweater, for example. What about us little folk? A handful, many of them oversized or "boyfriend" sweaters, or made with fun fur and found in "teen" knitting books. Gag. The other idea are maternity patterns. There are only two books that I know of right now that have maternity patterns in them, and they're both "knitting for babies and moms" type books, and the majority of the patterns are for the babies! Kate Gilbert has a great maternity sweater pattern that was in Interweave Knits magazine, but in general there's very little out there.

So I'm thinking of self-publishing. I know Jennifer McCann did it with Vegan Lunch Box, and now it's been picked up by a publishing house, and Cat Bordhi has done it with Socks Soar on Two Circulars and a few others and has been quite successful with that, but I have no idea where to start. I know there are a ton of "vanity presses," and that most of them are scams. I know of, but their costs are so high that I'd have to charge way more per book than I'm comfortable with just to break even. I could go to Kinko's and just have an "inventory" in my craft closet, but I'd really rather be more professional about it than that.

Advice? Been there, done that?
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#2 of 2 Old 09-23-2007, 12:12 AM
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I think self publishing would make sense for you. I also think you've got two great ideas that could sell well with online promotion.

I don't have first hand experience with self publishing, but I have read a lot about iUniverse. They offer editorial services, and have a "Star Program" that provides marketing services. They're owned by Barnes and Noble, so "star" books get placement in some B&N stores.

If you take a look at the star program books featured on their website, you'll notice that a lot of them are "niche" non-fiction. If I were working on an non-fiction book, I'd seriously consider it. Again, I think you have a great idea, and I wish you the best of luck!
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