New Craft Book on its way from Magenta Sky!
‘Publishing ramblings’ from a struggling self-published author…

So yesterday I was super-excited to be the proud owner of my second ISBN – in other words book two is well on the way!

How it Started

Over the past six months I have finally pulled together an idea that has been three years in the making – a Christmas Craft book. Ever since I launched Learning Linocut, my first book in 2011, I had the intention of writing more. However, as work, funding and daily life got in the way, this was put on hold for a few years. In early 2013 I attempted to get funding through the fundraising website Kickstarter but unfortunately as I didn’t reach my funding target I put it all on hold. Unhappy face here!

Christmas Making and Creating!

Fast-forward to December 2013, funds are ready and lo and behold it is now Christmas – I am inspired! A frantic few months of getting creative (buying LOADS of Christmas fabrics, ribbons and buttons of course) and turning my spare room into a dedicated craft studio ends up with 35 separate Christmas tree decorations made.  I had so much fun playing with sewing projects, inventing new crochet patterns (some more successful than others) and re-visiting some crafts from my childhood. In particular I created a few salt-dough projects that reminded me of myself at 14 selling salt-dough models at craft fairs. And all the time that I am making these little decorations, the camera is constantly poised to snap away, capturing each step of the process.  Balancing the camera in one hand and ‘making’ with the other can be a challenge I can tell you!!

Needless to say a few months on and hundreds of photographs later, I am ready for the next steps.

Photos and Design

Laptop on and here we go – photo-editing and design work! This time though I was really focussed on getting extremely good finished product photographs in the book to show off the decorations to their best advantage. Therefore I contacted a photographer-friend Angela Melling from Picturia Commerial Photography and after a long session of snapping we had a selection of high-quality and stylised Christmas pictures. I am so thrilled with the final images that have ended up in the book. This time I also used another gifted creative friend, Roxy Da Silva, to assist with the graphic design and layout work… The aim – for a beautiful looking book as well as a practical how-to guide on making the projects.  Happy face now!

And this brings me up to date – six months later the design is nearly finished, I have an ISBN and proof-readers have copies of the draft layout for checking errors and correcting my, at times, very lax grammar. I have never giggled so much at the one spelling mistake everyone nearly missed – instead of a page called ‘Templates’, it was nearly ‘Ten plates’!

About the Book

Now I have talked a lot about the process of making the book. What is the title and when is it released? I hear you say! Well – ‘How to Make Your own Christmas Tree Decorations’ is the title and we are aiming for a July/August publication date. Yes the height of summer – perfect for a Christmas book?!! But seriously, that is the date and it gives me and everyone involved plenty of time to spread the word…

The title pretty much says what the book delivers – I go through 31 separate projects (yes, 4 of my designs never made it in for those of you that noticed that I initially made 35,) showing you how to make them. I mix up sewing with crochet with folding with sticking and much, much more. I am sure I will talk more about it as the months progress, and we actually hit the festive season; in fact I probably won’t stop! However, through this blog post I just wanted to share a little bit about the work I have been doing over the past few months and my life as a self-publishing author. A life I am extremely grateful for and I hope will continue for many years.

The book is available in our shop and also on amazon.co.uk.

Thank you for reading my ‘publishing ramblings’.

Susan

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