The Free Motion Quilting Project: Thank you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thank you!

Thank you all so much for commenting, offering your advice, thanks, and suggestions for what I should do with all 365 designs.

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.
Of course, I also had several suggestions to just do whatever I wanted (YAY!) and many suggestions to approach a big publisher.

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,

Leah Day


  1. I'd probably agree with you re a publisher and understand why you want to keep as much control in your and as possible - everything will settle and you'll get 'feelings' when it's right to move on to the next book, or the next level in your books in due course.
    In the meantime I'm sure I'll say it probably for many of us who visit you here on blog land that we look forward to see what you have in store to share with us.
    Keep going and thank you for all you are doing.

  2. Sorry, I can barely afford fabric right now, let alone books or DVD's. I'm afraid I'm one of those poor quilters who LOVES the fact that I can see your stuff for free. I hope someday to throw some cash your way (I really like those tables you sell). But just wanted to mention a friend of mine who self publishes through xlibris: Have you considered that? HTH and good luck!!!

  3. wow, great post. I just read the last two posts. For myself, I would buy one big book and a dvd of all the videos in a heartbeat. I would use the book as a visual reference, so four images a page would work fine--but that's just for the way I work.

    you're in the world of infinite possibilities right now, and that's a tough place to be. the more you think about it and talk about it the more you will clarify your purpose and start to weed out some things. you've already weeded out the idea of using a publisher. other things will fall into place as well.

    good luck!

  4. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? (to quote from the A-team)

  5. See you knew what you wanted to do you just had to think about the options. Way to go stay true to what you want to do!

  6. Wow! I really wish I would have found your blog about 4 days ago! (I just used stippling on a quilt, because I couldn't think of anything else that would work - and I've NEVER used stippling!) You have so many amazing designs, I have already found 10 I should have used instead!

  7. I love tangents. ;) As I didn't have a chance to comment, I wanted to say that I'd be more than willing to pay more than $100 for "THE big book" if it was boxed. A boxed book acts like a treasure chest--and your designs, my dear friend, are pure gold.

  8. Great ideas, all!! The work you do and volume of what you produce is just mind blowing. whatever YOUR heart and head tell you to do! It's your family business, and only you and Josh can make the best decisions for yourselves. Thanks for everything that you provide through your blog and website.

  9. you are an inspiration... your family is lucky to look up to you.

  10. I found your blog only a few weeks ago and I was so excited. Finally someone who could show me how to free motion quilt! I'm still hesitant to try a big project but each time I watch one of your videos I'm encouraged that I could do it.
    Thank you for all your help. I'd love to have your books whenever or however they are published. Keep up the good work!! :)

  11. I love your work. No matter how you choose to publish, I want to be sure that I can get it. Pick what works best for you. I'm in.
    Sandy S

  12. Leah, I eagerly await your next book and dvd! I am happy to pay you for a couple of reasons. You put a lot of hard work into these lessons, you're a great teacher and it's really nice to have the book so I can take it with me and study and the dvd so I can so very easily see all the lessons on my tv. Your latest book has become one of my favorites about actual "quilting". Thank you!

  13. Good for you, Leah! You tell 'em. Besides, there's proof that you're doing something right! BTW, I'm still waiting to seen Josh's fish tanks, hehehe.

  14. Leah, love your book & DVD. I would purchase the next 50 designs! I hope your business can support you & your family so you can continue to teach & inspire all of us quilters. Dana
    PS tell Josh - great recipes too :)

  15. Not only is there the power of the internet and your fabulous blog and free tutorials to suck as all in.. but it used to be you had to have a publisher to SELL anything.. but now there's Ebay, Etsy, Paypal, etc where you can add a "buy now" button on your blog - What you're doing is truly genius and in all honesty I don't think any of us could blame you one bit!!! I think it is amazing that you're so young and so successful - I would love to have an inch of your talent!!! Thank you for all you do.. Keep up the amazing work and I wish you nothing but the bEST!!!


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