The Free Motion Quilting Project: Self Publishing with Janice Brewster and Karen Sulmonetti, Episode #33

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Self Publishing with Janice Brewster and Karen Sulmonetti, Episode #33

Hello My Quilting Friends! We have a spectacular episode for you today with two awesome ladies that have helped me create my new book! Janice Brewster Weiser and Karen Sulmonetti, the ladies behind Creative Girlfriends Press are on the podcast and we're talking all about writing books and self publishing.

Listen to the episode here:

Watch the episode and see my slightly Frumpy Fraggle look (the heater was glitching! It was cold!) at the beginning here:

Make sure to check out Janice's website Creative Girlfriends Press if you're interested in getting help with your next book or pattern project.

Karen Sulmonetti's website can be found here at Sulmonetti Designs.

It was fun to talk to Janice and Karen during this interview and this was the first time we've ever seen one another in person. We've worked together on several projects now so it was a nice to finally have a conversation face to face.

One of the biggest surprises from this interview was both Janice and Karen agreed the most important quality you should develop if you want to be a writer is your organization.

It's one thing to have a good idea, but translating that idea into 6 chapters and multiple quilts in a step-by-step system takes great organization and a lot of thought during the writing process. One system I used when writing my new book was to write down all the topics I wanted to cover in the book on index cards. Then I spread the cards out over the kitchen table and played with organizing them until the topics could flow from one to another seamlessly.

Another thing to think about is your photos and diagrams. As Janice said in the interview, photos can be tricky and it's good to be thinking about this step from the beginning to know how much it will cost and how much time it will take to create the photos for your book.

Yes, there is a certain amount of bootstrapping you may need to do for your first book. Bootstrapping means figuring out how to do things yourself to save money on the cost of making the book.

Two ways I bootstrapped my book was doing all the diagrams and photographs myself. If you go back to episode #26 you can see me taking photos of Marvelous Mosaic, one of the bigger quilts in the book!

I learned digital photography as I wrote the book and I'm so, so happy I challenged myself to learn this skill. I know the book is 100% better because I was able to take photos while quilting and shoot awesome in-progress shots that are often missing from quilting books these days.

But paying for solid editing and layout is a worthy investment. Editing is super essential to make sure your words read as good as possible. Janice saved me from a lot of embarrassing mistakes and also caught small issues with the quilt patterns that might have made the patterns confusing for beginners.

The layout was the most expensive, and the most time consuming investment into the book, but again, I think this was well worth it! In the time Karen has spent arranging the book, I've been shooting videos for two new quilting workshops and started writing a new book. I definitely couldn't have been working on any other projects if I'd attempted the layout myself.

I hope you enjoyed the interview and learned a lot about the writing / self publishing process. I could talk about this subject happily for years so if you have questions, make sure to ask in the comments below and I'll share another podcast on this topic if there's a lot of interest!

Speaking of books and publishing, we're ready to start the preorder on the new book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day!

Click Here to preorder the Print edition.

Click Here to preorder the Ebook edition.

Remember, books will not be shipping or emailed until December 1st. You will receive a special PDF download as a preorder bonus. That is a set of worksheets with all the designs in the book!

Now for a few more updates from around the house:

The heater has just been fixed today as I type this! It was a glitchy setting on our thermostat that wasn't letting the outside fan talk to the inside heat pump. It's all better now so hopefully I'll be looking better in our next podcast video.

I've been feeling very fiber inspired since going to SAFF. I love seeing all the beautiful colors of yarn and roving and kept an eye on what was inspiring me. I'm really drawn to black these days, I've been wearing black a lot and working it into my quilts a lot more too.

In the video I was spinning black roving on my Hansen Mini Spinner and I've finally settled on calling her Stella. It's fun to name tools, especially when they have a sort of personality already.

At SAFF I picked up beautifully dyed wool from Green Mountain Hooked Rugs. I also finally got my hands on some yarn from The Fiber Seed. And I now have a new addiction to hexagonal knitting needles from Indian Lake Artisans!

I saw a lot of awesome weaving looms and felt tempted in that direction, especially the triangular shaped looms that can create a beautiful shawl in a day. I resisted the urge because realistically I just don't have time for that kind of weaving right now. As always, too many projects, inspiration, and ideas, and not enough time to pursue them all!

Speaking of projects, I had a bit of a failure this week with my button mosaic. The grout idea was a total flop and right now I'm one step away from chucking this in the trash.

I don't think this was a complete waste of time though. I learned something important and I plan to figure out a better alternative for the background. If anything, I may add lots of paint to this and turn it into something very abstract. I think there's still room to learn even more from this project so I'm going to throw a bit more time and patience at it and see what happens.

So that's it for this week! I'm planning to take on another Great Quilting Debate next week with prewashing and starch. Maybe I should split this into two episodes? LOL! You know you're a fabric geek when you could easily talk for an hour or more about fabric preparation!

Click Here to find more episodes of this podcast.

Click Here to preorder the new book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

1 comment:

  1. Just placed my order. Can't wait to get the new book.


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