My Book Process: Idea and Proposal

I've previously mentioned that I had the idea for the book at Quilt Market in Spring 2011. I sat down that weekend at a Starbucks and planned a lot of the quilts and jotted down ideas that I might want to include in the book.



I'm not sure how I decided on a science/math quilt book except for that those are two things that I'm passionate about - my job and my hobby. I also knew that the idea was unique enough that there wouldn't be many - if any - books on that topic already out there.

When I got home from Quilt Market I did 4 things:
- slept (it's huge and exhausting!)
- worked my sketches out on the computer and colored them
- started writing chapters and organizing what I wanted to include
- researched craft book publishers

Most publishers have their guidelines listed on their website (Stash's are here). I looked at all the Craft books at a Border's and decided which publishers had the aesthetic that I wanted. Then I went to their websites. Then I decided that Stash was the right fit for me (and luckily they agreed!).

I put together a propsal using their guidelines and what I had been working on. I had all the quilt designs in color with fabric choices, most of the introduction and first chapter written, some of the second chapter. I also made a sample quilt. They did ask for more samples, so I made 2 more before the book was accepted (1 made it into the book, the other 2 designs did but I redid them in better colors, my choice).


Here is my Proposal Binder! It has never left my hands! 

You see, everything is done in electronically. So I had to take lots of pictures of my quilts and details to show that I can actually sew.

I had a long waiting period once the propsal was sent in. Stash was just changing acqusitions editors so I had to wait longer than usual (8 months!). It also would have been different if I had had an agent (but more on that later!).

Tips for you!
- It may seem silly to some, but I've included directions for making a notebook in Quilt Lab. I can't emphasize enough how important I think it is to jot things down when they're fresh. What if I hadn't written down my ideas? Or what if it was on a scrap that was accidentally thrown away. Notebooks aren't that heave and don't have to be large.

- Be true to you. Don't try to propose a super unique idea just for the sake of it - do something that you love and excel at. If it interests you, you'll be able to interest others.

- Take your time with your proposal. Really think it through and have a good idea about where you want to start and end. Start writing! The more you have the better! Just be open to suggestions and changes.

Next Week: Agents and Publishers!

11 comments:

  1. Hey that Sound like a great adventure!!! Good look for your book to finish. I love the maths on quilting. When will the book be published?

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  2. Interesting stuff - thanks for sharing. Excited to see your book in the near future!

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  3. Thank you for sharing your process with us. I am looking forward to seeing more.

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  4. Thanks for sharing. I had the crazy idea to write a book after travelling to Quilt Market too...it's such an inspirational place. Alternatively, I decided to not do a book and instead self-publish my patterns.

    I can't wait for your book to come out, the sneaky peeks you have shown are great!

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