How to Write and Publish a Craft Book-Part Six
You may have wondered what happened to my How To Write and Publish a Craft Book series. Well, I've been a little busy writing a craft book that will be published next spring! I had two months to create 30 projects and 15 variations, write the instructions and the romance copy, write the tools and materials front matter, plan the techniques section, write an intro, bio, dedication and thank you section...and prepare for a week long step by step photo shoot. That's not a lot of time, really. I've had six months or more on some of my past books. Since this book is a little more complex than my more 'impatient' titles, the projects took more time and more effort to conceive and create. The task was daunting and thankfully I rose to the occasion. Ya gotta love when that happens!
When you're working on a craft book, you have to be willing to dive in and make glorious messes. A lot of wire ended up in snargled bundles under my desk, beads were broken, head pins were mangled and I rejected many designs that just didn't quite have what it takes to be 'book worthy.' There is a lot of frustration followed by an occasional moment of Zen and you have to be able to turn off your inner critic and take a few risks. If your book is just like every other book on the subject, how on earth will it sell? It's important as you're working on the text to remember that a distinct voice reflects your distinct personality and that the reader will feel welcome to stick around and explore if you aren't lecturing them. No one, really, likes to be lectured. No one, really, enjoys reading dry and boring instructions. Trust me.
Also it's key that you be aware of trend and try as best as you can to look forward and stay relevant. Things are shifting so much faster these days and there is so much free information on the internet the consumer has become far more savvy and discerning. If your book is filled with stale ideas and out of date designs, it's not going to sell. I get all of the major fashion magazines, I look at what's happening in the craft and jewelry blog world, read the jewelry making magazines and I check out the sites where people are selling their jewelry. What seems to be trending and what seems to be on the way out? How can you take the trends into a new direction? Can you predict, based on Haute Couture and street savvy design where things are heading and can you interpret that in your work? If you can do that, your book will stand out on the shelf.
I've still got a little more writing to do and some instructions to rework, but for the most part, I'm finished and it feels good. Writing a book is a bit like having a baby, except having had one without any anesthesia I can attest that having an actual baby is really, really hard while writing a craft book is only really hard. Both have tremendous rewards and both will eventually leave you and make their way in the world. The best you can do is to prepare them for success. That means you need to look at every aspect of your book with a critical eye and keep fine tuning it until you feel it's ready. Trust your editors, share it with others whom you trust for some input and ultimately, believe in yourself and your vision and do what feels right.
And once your book is published, don't let the nasty trolls who leave crappy reviews on Amazon bother you, until I see THEIR vastly superior and sanctimonious craft book published, I take their nastiness with a grain of salt. Those who can, do. Those who can't, become critics.
Love and Crafty Kisses