I actually waited to post any of the comments until today to see just how many opinions could be shared all in one post and we hit an all time record - 63!
Reading through all of the comments, you can start to see a general agreement of what to publish:
- Publish all 5 mini books with dvds.
- Publish the BIG book as a book.
- Publish the BIG book as an ebook.
- Create printer friendly versions of each design.
Since many people are curious as to why I've chosen to self publish my books, there are actually many solid reasons why this is a better option for me and my family.
For one, there will really be no difference between the amount of work involved. Instead of working to my own deadlines, I will be working to deadlines dictated by the publisher.
This is not a problem for most people, but it turns me into a crazy person. I work a million times harder, instantly get an attack of low self-esteem, and usually stop eating and sleeping because it's always more work than I can do in the time allotted.
Yes, it will be easier in a graphic design perspective, but I can just hire a graphic designer as was suggested by many. I'm definitely going to take that advice and start looking for someone who can see and understand my quilting designs.
But really the core reason I'm self publishing is money.
Money is something icky that most people don't like to talk about. Many of you probably unconsciously felt your heart rate go up or your hand suddenly go sweaty as you read that word. We just don't TALK about money publicly.
Well I do. I'm 27 years old and, in less than 1 year, I've built a business that is now the sole means of support for my family. I like talking about money and I don't see it as taboo. In fact, I think people should talk about money a lot more and it might make everyone a lot less likely to spend more than they make, deal with the debt they have, and enjoy the amount of money they make.
But that's a tangent for another day.
The fact is, my royalties on an officially published book will be around $1 per book.
There is also no guarantee of how long my book will be printed, when the publisher will decide to take it out of print, or what will happen to it when that happens.
Because this business is the sole means of support for my family and it's extremely important for the books and DVDs to be profitable and a good return on my time investment. $1 per book just doesn't cut it.
By the way, if anyone has had a different experience with a publisher, please feel free to comment below.
Of course, there is always the argument that what a big publisher lacks with royalties they will make up for with sales and distribution of the book or DVD. What does it matter if we make only $1 per book if they can sell 10,000 books?
20 years ago, this argument was probably valid. Today with the power of the internet, with no distributors picking us up yet, and with no retail stores carrying the books, Josh and I are still doing pretty well because I'm doing all the marketing from this blog and my site.
But it's really not all about money. I like freedom to do my own thing. I don't like signing contracts. I refuse to agree to anything that will require shutting down or deleting most of this project, and I really don't like working to official, arbitrary deadlines.
So, no, I have no plans to approach a publisher.
It is difficult, but I'm learning that the best thing I can do is be more flexible and open minded when considering what to do next.
I might end up doing it all: all 5 mini books and the BIG book simply because that's what I want to see at the end of this project.
Right now more than anything else, I just want to quilt and design.
So that's what I'm going to do! I have several fun quilting ideas on the brain and rather than letting them sit on a shelf, I'm jumping in with both feet.
Looking at the list of books, I know which ones I feel excited about, so I'll probably start on them first, but I have no plans to publish again until at least the spring, if not the fall.
What I love the most about all of your comments is the overwhelming positive support I feel from all of you.
When it gets overwhelming, I just have to step back and remember what the point of all of this is: to provide free motion quilting information and inspiration, to share it with all of you, and to make time for quilting every single day.
No matter what I decide to do publishing-wise, this blog is here to stay!
Let's go quilt,