Lindsay

Craft Book Author Angela Yosten + Giveaway!

Today we are excited to welcome Angela Yosten, author of the new book “Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!” Read on to learn more about how she got started writing a book, as well as some creative ways she went about promoting the new release. There’s also a great giveaway at the end of this post!

Angela, congrats on the release of your new book, “Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!” Can you tell me how you began a relationship with C&T Publishing?

I first came in contact with C&T Publishing when I designed a project for Moda Bake Shop’s book, “Fresh Fabric Treats” which was published by Stash Books/C&T Publishing. I had several ideas swimming around in my head for books and decided I would send in a couple of book proposals. “Stop. Go. Quilt. Sew!” was actually my second book proposal submitted to Stash. After that, I contributed two block designs to “Modern Blocks” and I am now working on my second book.

Sewing for boys is often a challenge. Do you have any tips for how to choose colors and fabrics that will appeal to boys of all ages?

I like to stick with the KISS method for boys’ fabrics: Keep It Sew Simple. Geometric prints, dots, stripes, zig zags, plaids are all great options for boys prints. I especially like to find the grunge and raw styled prints for boys, something with texture. Absolutely no florals of any kind. You don’t want them to be embarrassed; it must have that “cool” look to it if it is handmade.

Stop Go Quilt Sew

Do you have a favorite part of the book writing process? How did you handle the long wait from the time you created the projects until the book was released and you could finally talk about it?

I actually love the entire process of writing a book. It is amazing to me how much actually goes into creating a book. If I had to pick one particular part, it would have to be coming up with all the designs. I love sketching out ideas and figuring out how a project will come together. It is that “Ah ha” moment that really gets me going.

The wait from the time all the projects have been created and sent to the publisher to the time you can actually mention the book’s name, what it is about, or even a sneak peek is unbelievably hard. You want to be able to share with everyone what you are working on every night and weekend, and you can’t. I was recruiting my kids and even my husband to critique my work just so I could show someone. As soon as I would finish a project, I would run into the living room late at night, grab my husband, and say, “Come look! Come look! Tell me what you think!”

Once the projects are sent to the publisher, it is a little easier to keep quiet… out of sight, out of mind. That is until the design layout of the book comes, and then it starts all over again. But it is not that long after that you can start talking about it.

Angela Yosten Book release

After a book releases, there is quite a bit of promotion involved, both on the part of the publisher and the author. What kinds of things have you done to help get the word out about your book?

Being that this was my first book, all my own, I wanted to have a big party to celebrate the launch of my book, so I held a Book Launch and Signing Party at a local coffee shop in our town. I also held a blog tour and invited some friends in the industry to review my book. C&T does a lot for their authors as well to help promote the book which has been awesome!

Stop Go Quilt Sew

Giveaway!

We have a big giveaway today, courtesy of Angela! The prize is a complete collection of 7 patterns from Angela Yosten Patterns. Leave a comment with something you’ve learned about our Q&A with Angela for your chance to win!

Congrats to winner #29, Tonia J!

International entries welcome, and we’ll choose a winner one week from today!

Don’t forget to work on your craft book project and link it up the last week of September for our Craft Book Month party with prizes!

Craft Book Month: Week 2 in Review + Giveaway!

It’s the end of week two! Let’s see what our friends have been making this week on the Craft Book Month blog hop!

Sunday 9/9:

Bianca @ Sweet Diesel Designs

Kendra @ missknitta’s studio

Monday 9/10:


Tara @ Sew Tara

Jennie @ Clover and Violet

Tuesday 9/11:

Terri @ Sew Fantastic

Amy @ amylouwho

Wednesday 9/12:


Julianna @ Projektownia Jednoiglec

Erin @ Two More Seconds

Thursday 9/13:


Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts

Elizabeth @ Don’t Call Me Betsy

Friday 9/14:

Cindy @ Live a Colorful Life

Lindsey @ LRstitched

 

 

FreeSpirit Fridays Giveaway!

Visit this blog hop links this week, then tell us in the form below which of these statements is FALSE.

a) Sweet Diesel Designs has “sassiness” in her blog header.
b) missknitta’s studio has yarn in her blog header.
c) Sew Tara has a sewing machine in her blog header.
d) Clover and Violet has triangles in her blog header.
e) Sew Fantastic has sewing machines in her blog header.
f) amylouwho has a little girl in her blog header.
g) Projektownia Jednoiglec has a sewing machine in her blog header.
h) Two More Seconds has photos in her blog header.
i) Ellison Lane Quilts has the word “modern” in her blog header.
j) Don’t Call Me Betsy has a sewing machine in her blog header.
k) Live a Colorful Life has circles in her blog header.
l) LRstitched has an umbrella in her blog header.

FreeSpirit Designer Solids

Answer correctly, and you’ll be entered to win this mega fabric bundle from FreeSpirit (1 fat quarter bundle, 1 design roll and 2 charm packs of FreeSpirit Designer solids)! We’ll choose one winner a week from today’s post, and you can play again on our third and final FreeSpirit Friday, 9/21.

Congrats to last week’s FreeSpirit Friday’s winner #192, Carmen Nuland with the correct answer “h) Fabric Seeds has triangles in their blog header.” She will win a fab bundle of FreeSpirit Fabrics!

Don’t forget to work on your craft book project and link it up the last week of September for our Craft Book Month party with prizes!

Craft Book Author Emily Neuburger + Giveaway!

Today we are excited to have special guest Emily Neuburger, author of the book Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children’s Storytelling. Emily is joining us to talk about her kids craft book as well as the writing process for her book. At the end of this post, you can also enter to win a copy of her book!

Emily Neuburger

Welcome to Craft Book Month, Emily! Can you tell me what you love about telling stories, and why it’s important?
I love making crafts that facilitate storytelling because it offers children (and adults) the chance to drift into imaginary worlds where anything is possible. I have always been a daydreamer – where twigs and dirt often became mountains and trees – and I am a firm believer in nurturing children’s natural inclination to spend time with their imaginations.  Storytelling is so healthy and good for children – it helps them practice communicating, it expands their emotional awareness, and it is often a way for them to experiment with problem solving.  And, um, it is also super fun!

This is a very unique book concept. How did you go about conveying your concept to a publisher and what did you learn?
I actually submitted a book proposal where storytelling crafts was only one of the chapters in the proposed book. The editor who I was working with suggested that I elaborate on just the storytelling chapter since it was so unique and vibrant.  The process of uncovering the heart and soul of my book served as a reminder to be willing to experiment with shifting the focus of a project.

Creative storytelling crafts - Red Bird Crafts

When it came time to write the book, what did your timeline look like, and how did you interact with the publisher?

The process was definitely lengthy with lots of different, distinct steps along the way. After signing on with Storey Publishing, I was given six months to write my manuscript. I checked in with my editor from time to time, but I mostly just curled up in my cozy chair and wrote. Once the manuscript was turned in, I shifted my focus to craft styling – and more craft styling and more craft styling. Then, there was the photo shoot, copy edits, proof edits, more proof edits, and then four months to wait before I saw my first printed and bound copy. The time frame from the time I wrote my proposal to the release date was approximately 3 years. I found the whole process rewarding and interesting.

And, now, I am excitedly preparing for my book tour! Hooray! In the coming months, I’ll be visiting book shops, craft spaces, and museums to share projects from the book.  I’m really looking forward to connecting with children and adults as they create; it will be fun and beautiful, and I can’t wait.

Scenes from Tell Me a Story

How would you compare the process of blogging about crafts on your blog Red Bird Crafts and actually compiling a book?
Honestly, writing blog posts and book chapters feels extremely satisfying and exciting for me! In the end, the two writing processes felt very similar because I approach my writing as an educator and an artist. I love to inspire people to be creative and to encourage them to have confidence in their art; both forms of writing offer me the chance to do just that.

Thanks for your insights into the book writing process! What’s next for you, Emily?
Thanks for asking! I have lots of exciting new projects and ideas coming together right now.  I’ll still be blogging at Red Bird Crafts, but in a few weeks I’ll also have a new website at EmilyNeuburger.com. The new site will showcase more of what I offer as a teacher – library and school visits, curriculum guides, and my local classes.  I’m very excited for launch day!

Show Me a Story book

Giveaway!

Storey Publishing is giving one lucky Craft Buds reader a copy of Emily’s new book, Show Me a Story. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling us something you learned from our Q&A with Emily. One random winner will be chosen in a week. Entries limited to North America.

Have you been hopping with us this week?

Sunday 9/9: Sweet Diesel Designsmissknitta’s studio
Monday 9/10: Sew TaraClover and Violet
Tuesday 9/11: Sew Fantasticamylouwho

Craft Book Month Prizes

Show us your craft book project from Sept 23-30 and win prizes!

Craft Book Marketing: Arsenal Pulp Press + Giveaway!

Today we are happy to welcome Cynara Geissler, Marketing Manager for Arsenal Pulp Press! A Canadian-based publisher that’s relatively new to the craft books scene (the first craft title released in 2009), Arsenal Pulp Press is a specialty craft publisher with titles that stand out as edgy or subversive.

Read on for a glimpse at how a marketing team goes about promoting your favorite craft books!

Cynara, welcome to Craft Book Month! Can you tell me a little bit about how you entered the craft publishing business and how Arsenal Pulp Press came to be?

Arsenal was founded in 1971 as Pulp Press and published push-the-envelope literary fiction and irreverent pamphlets. Publisher Brian Lam took over the company in 1992 and broadened the scope to fiction/non-fiction, cookbooks, art books, and visual and cultural studies titles.

The first craft book we acquired at Arsenal Pulp Press was Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain. Leanne Prain (a graphic artist, writer, knitter, and crafter) conceived of the title as part of a book-publishing simulation project in Simon Fraser University’s Master of Publishing Program. Our associate publisher, Robert Ballantyne, attended the book project presentations and was impressed with Leanne and her (then hypothetical) book on knit graffiti.

Because Yarn Bombing has a strong civic/social dimension (the streets serve as the gallery and the art becomes public) and is quite playful in tone and content, it stood out as a good fit for Arsenal. Leanne brought Mandy Moore into the project, who is well-known in the knitting community, and it worked out perfectly. That was our gateway into the glamorous world of craft book publishing.

Wow, so your first craft book author was actually “discovered” while working on a classroom project. Can you tell me more about where you work? What does a typical work day look like for you?

There are five of us in our office, which is open-concept, so it’s easy to communicate with one another. If I were to take a snapshot of my physical work area right now you’d see a two desks (arranged in an L) covered in files and post-it notes. If you were to zoom in on my computer, you’d note that I have an inadvisable amount of tabs open in both Firefox and Chrome. I’ve also got Excel spreadsheets, Google docs and various InDesign files on the go. If my computer were the Enterprise, Montgomery Scott would probably be yelling at me that I’ve “pushed her as far as she can go,” and that we have “a shortage of dilithium crystals!” right about now.

When I arrive, the first thing I do is read my email (but if I’m being honest, I actually read it all the time: the blessing/curse of smart phone ownership). I respond to media requests for things like book covers, excerpts, interviews and media copies of books. If we have a large review copy mailing going out that day, I try and tackle it early in the day so it’s all ready to go when our mail pick-up arrives.

A typical day in Arsenal’s marketing department involves everything from:

- Editing/creating media lists
- Meetings or phone calls with authors
- Pitching and following up with media about our books
- Speaking with bookstores/venues (to set up events)
- Designing/creating press kits
- Writing event listings and invitations
- Sending out tweets and setting up facebook events
- Posting review copies or awards submissions

(You were all picturing me smoking a cigar, barking orders to interns, and pulling whiskey out of a drawer, before heading off to a booze-soaked book launch followed by a cocktail party on a yacht, right?)

Publicity, as I am sure most publicists will tell you, expands infinitely (like the universe). There is always more that can be done.

“Yarn Boming” book promo, blogged at The New Yorker

That’s quite a list of duties. About how long before a book’s release does a publicist start thinking about creative ways to promote the book?

We think carefully about a book’s audience/community from the acquisition stage, when we’re deciding if the book is right for Arsenal. Our craft books are rich community objects. We’re attracted to books that grow out of craft and artistic communities and speak with and belong to those communities as well. Both Yarn Bombing and Hoopla are books that collect, explore and showcase the work of a vibrant community of artists, creators, crafters and makers: They include patterns and profiles from a wide range of fabric and textile artists from all over the globe.

I usually meet with authors quite early in the publication process (when the book is still in editorial, so months and months before it will be a real, spiney book),  especially if we’re going to be planning a tour. We talk about the book launch and events, tabling/speaking opportunities, who should receive review copies, contest ideas, book-related swag.

I’m a one-woman marketing department on most of our titles, so it’s always the best when I can be a tightly-knit publicity tag team with our authors.

Hoopla book

What are some examples of ways that you might use online or traditional marketing to promote books vs. non-traditional or relationship marketing?

In terms of traditional marketing we send out review copies to media, take out print/digital ads and we also produce print and digital catalogues in fall and spring which get sent out to libraries, bookstores and the media. We have all of our titles available for direct order on our website and we also maintain a blog, YouTube channel, Twitter account, Flickr stream, and Facebook page. We have monthly e-newsletter. It’s always ideal when our authors have a strong web presence as well.

I think of publicity as what Shannon Emerson at Canada Wide Media refers to as “being in all spaces: online, in print and in person.” You want to create as many opportunities for a reader to discover a book as possible.

Those sound like wise words. So, can you explain how that all plays out?

In Person: For Hoopla we did a multi-city author tour. Because the books are visual and the subject is tactile/about creating Leanne’s in-person events included a slideshow and a craft for people to create as part of the event. For Hoopla, Leanne gocco-printed hoops with a design from the book and we did buttons with subversive embroidery sayings like “Crewel Intentions” and “Boss of Floss” for giveaways at events and book fairs as well as buttons for craft bags and jean jackets. Leanne is very active in the craft/art community she leads (and continues to lead) crafting/embroidery workshops; coordinates knit nights and /craft meet-ups (some of which result in certain public structures sporting unsolicited sweaters). She also attends/presents/tables at craft shows like Vancouver’s Mini Maker Faire.

In Print: With craft books you are less likely to receive “traditional” book review coverage, so we pitched the book for trend pieces, profiles, interviews, Q & As and excerpts.

Online: We (myself, Leanne, and the wonderful contributors) spread the word about the book through our websites, Twitter, Facebook and blogs as well as forums like Ravelry. Global and local craft communities were very supportive with letting us post about upcoming events, hosting giveaways and offering pattern downloads to spread the word about Hoopla. When Leanne brought the Yarn Bombing book to us she was already connected, engaged, and involved with the craft community. She built on those connections through the process of writing her books (and interviewing artists) and the websites for Hoopla and Yarn Bombing and also tweets about crafts, graphic design, and art from her twitter account @LeannePrain.

Hoopla author Leanne Prain signing books, blogged at Unanimous Craft

What do you appreciate most about your job and/or working in the craft publishing industry? Can you tell us the most challenging part of the job?

I deeply value my brilliant colleagues, our talented authors and the brave books we publish at Arsenal. We publish books that challenge, incite and provoke, books that take risks and trouble and subvert norms. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many creative, professional and intelligent people.

It can be tough–and, to be frank–kind of heartbreaking when a book doesn’t catch on. You have all the ingredients for a success: clever and original content, smart and thoughtful design, an intelligent, charming and energetic author. All that and a dedicated publishing house, and for whatever reason (the sheer number of pitches, bookings being published and books already out there in the wild?) people take a pass.

A bestseller or breakaway is about the book being great (which you can control), but also luck: which you can try to harness by bottling lightning, stroking pink rabbit’s feet, or . . . well, ultimately that part is quite out of your control.

Thanks for the vivid glimpse into your career and craft book marketing, Cynara! You can visit the Arsenal Pulp Press blog or check them out on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Giveaway!

Today, Arsenal Pulp Press is giving away a copy of the book Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery to one lucky Craft Buds reader.

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling us something you’ve learned from our Q&A with Cynara. We’ll choose one random winner in a week. (Giveaway limited to North America.)

Congrats to commenter #9, Nicole G!

And remember, you can still enter to win:

Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting (ends 9/12)

FreeSpirit Designer Solids fabric (ends 9/14)


Craft Book Month Blog Hop: Week in Review + Giveaway!

Let’s see what our friends have been making this week on the Craft Book Month blog hop!

Sunday, 9/2

Kristy at Hopeful Threads

Kristy @ Hopeful Threads

Jolly Jabber

The Jolly Jabber

Monday, 9/3

Me Sew Crazy

Jessica @ Me Sew Crazy

Patchwork hot pad

Amy @ Stitchery Dickory Dock

Tuesday, 9/4

Tula Pink Pillow

Sara @ Sew Sweetness

Olive and Ollie

Heather @ Olive and Ollie

Wednesday, 9/5

Knit Socks The Busy Bean

Colleen @ The Busy Bean

Patchwork quilt top at Fabric Seeds

Sarah @ Fabric Seeds

Thursday, 9/6

Stitched in Color

Rachel @ Stitched in Color

Improv Sewing skirt

Bethany @ CraftFoxes

Friday, 9/7

Birthday Board Simple Home

A Prairie Sunrise

Dare to Be Square Bunny Rabbit

Katie’s Korner

 

FreeSpirit Fridays Giveaway!

Visit this blog hop links this week, then tell us in the form below which of these statements is FALSE.

a) Hopeful Threads has a chevron blog header.
b) The Jolly Jabber has a pink blog header.
c) Me Sew Crazy has children on her blog header.
d) Stitchery Dickory Dock has a clock on her blog header.
e) Sew Sweetness has hexagons on her blog header.
f) Olive and Ollie has craft books for a blog header.
g) The Busy Bean has roses on her blog header.
h) Fabric Seeds has triangles on her blog header.
i) Stitched in Color has a patchwork quilt blog header.
j) CraftFoxes has a fox in the blog header.
k) A Prairie Sunrise has a sunrise in her blog header.
l) Katie’s Korner has a bench in her blog header.

 

FreeSpirit Designer Solids

Answer correctly, and you’ll be entered to win this mega fabric bundle from FreeSpirit (1 fat quarter bundle, 1 design roll and 2 charm packs of FreeSpirit Designer solids)! We’ll choose one winner a week from today’s post, and you can play again on our next FreeSpirit Fridays, 9/14 and 9/21.