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Monetize Your Craft

Lesson 4 of 10

Writing About Your Craft

Vickie Howell

Monetize Your Craft

Vickie Howell

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Lesson Info

4. Writing About Your Craft

Lesson Info

Writing About Your Craft

We talk about writing about your craft this is probably what I spend the most time doing for my own career, so I do a ton of writing like those air my books I write a couple of columns I write from it simple magazine I write for interweave cochet in the past I've written for kiwi magazine like I've had columns, which is a kid's magazine for pbs parents but then a ton of just articles and projects for, you know, publications worldwide. But now with the invention of blog's, everybody is a writer which again means things are saturated but also it gives you a voice, your voice, people voice any time you want it, so use that voice ok, one of the different ways I kind of just mentioned it the different ways that you could write about your class craft you khun blogged on your own block you can also asked a guest blogger on other blog's or if not the beginning you might want to offer a time for free don't work for free after that, but you can pitch yourself hey, I really love what you're doing...

I would love to offer you content for a one time and then maybe we can see where that goes great way to get your foot in a magazine or article columns we're gonna be talking about that a little bit more but for whatever your product is it's either writing an article or maybe you're designing a project and then writing the project how to for it? Um, pattern tutorial writing kind of the same thing, um, and then book writing, pitching books in whatever your field is, you should know that craft books are not going to be your living. They do not pay well, but I consider it my marketing budget because, you know, if you say it doesn't even matter. It's my friend jennifer always says this, she says she says people don't read your press, they weigh it, and that gives you that gives you a foot in the door, right? If I say to you, I've written twelve books that's a look, I might know something right about the subject, it doesn't even matter what they are, but then I can also use them and then I can use them as marketing again and again and again. So so just keep that in mind don't think like this is what I'm going to do for a solid year, and I'm just going to write books think of that again. This is a dim sum menu, there's nothing here, that's going to make all of your budget, you need to pick and choose and do what works for you. So we're gonna have a guest now and I'm super excited. My first guest. So this is my dear friend tricia malcolm. She is thie, editorial director and vp of soho publishing. They put out vogue knitting. They put out it's simple that they put out the neural magazine. They also are book publisher, soho publishing and six and springs book and she kind of she kind of runs the joint. This is a setup at a gala. Vogue knitting live she's. So busy she says she's like high powered and busy. So I just snatched this picture and said, this is a cover of the magazine. Whatever. So we're going to she's going to talk to us not only about magazines, how to submit for magazines, but we're also going to be talking about books. Hi, love. Hey, how are you so good. Thank you for doing this. Now, this is fun. I've just been watching. You might be saying it's really cool. Thank you. Thank you so much. So everyone, this is tricia. Tricia, this is everyone all right? She's. Brilliant she's. Not only a dear friend, but I could choose been a mentor tour to me. She's also fell a scorpio and she likes the line like ideas, so wave bonded, we bonded so I wanted to talk about first about how people in the d I y world can approach a magazine let's say that they have either a product or a project or a skill we want to talk about how to approach a magazine if they don't know if they don't have a contact and then how to submit okay, let's start with product because that's like really, really important if you have a product it's really good to just send it to the magazine because where everything magazine pretty much has product pages at the front and our editors are scrambling all the time to find something to fill those pages with. So if you could help us out and send us something, you're much more likely to get your product featured write that one down, send the products they're looking for products don't just send an email about it mail the product it's something be like someone just said that they make wreaths you know we probably don't want to read books end of photo let's say you have a kid it's in photos of twenty different kids that you carry and then we'll choose one because sometimes we might be looking for particular color or particular theme so just so long as we have the information, if you can if you look at the masthead inside the magazine there's usually some ones like email listed there like in my magazine on my editor's letter, I always put my email and just it doesn't matter who he send it to magazine stops generally and not a huge and people, you know, they'll parted on, like, if they're the advertising person, and they know that the new products editors who's supposed to get this health center to the new product, so don't be a fright send a press release is really important if you don't know how to ride one, google had to write a press release. You know, I make sure all the pertinent information is there, and most importantly, your contact information should be on every single page that you email because that things get lost and we print them out sometimes and it's like, oh my god, whose is this? And you know, so that's products really important if that's what you're selling, if you are a designer and you want to make projects to get published, um, there are like everyone has a different way of doing it. The way you do it on for us is you go where website and just typing designs, submissions and a form will come up and you can upload and center now, once you get on a list. For us, we have a mailing list of several thousand knitting and pressure designers, so once you're on that list, you get e mails from us and you'll get all the information that you need it if you're not on the list and you just have a great idea, take a photo, make it really clear and write something about your product. You don't need to go on forever. We don't have a huge amount of time, but just a few lines of a product and your contact information and make sure again that's on every page and then if it's something that's really cool, we don't care whether we get it when we're looking for something specifically from magazine befit it comes in and it works will be in contact with you. How do you so under that circumstance, if you get something, don't you think it's cool but doesn't work for you? Do you recommend that people follow up? Do you send out rejection? No, you don't need to, okay? All right, they are and in fact, way keep over that designs because you might send us, like in meeting because that's what we meant we publish you might send this affair our pattern, but we're really concentrating on cables right now, but two or three issues down the line there on my work so we will hang on to your design submission and then if it's good we might contact you in the future but if you don't hear from us in about two months, then by all means submitted to other magazines and if we then want to use it and it's too late you've already sold it within a zealous submit the same thing two different magazines in the state will product you could but as far as the design design you don't recommend doing that I think it's a there you should give it exclusively to someone like at least three months three months okay which means that you need to have more than one thing hustling out of time well more than one design hustling at a time don't ever put all of your eggs in one basket and one crafted ask it for sure it's really rare that we'll get just one design signature accuse your son at the time it's kept us is a minimum of usually three to five so what are these submissions that air catching your eye so that you're keeping them even though you can't use them in that issue what is a submission that gets attention? Alright firstly I want a really good drawer right oh for may it's weathers generally but I want to know what that's what it's gonna look like on a body is it going to be emphasised you know what's it actually going to look like because I'm buying it based on a sketch and it's an expensive by based on the sketch no one would go shopping this way right? So I need a really really, really good sketch and then I need a really good swatch ok, now I don't need to sketch the size of a postage stamp I needed to fill a page and be really clear and nicely presented I need the photograph of this watch to be pretty much a full page two so I can really see what I'm getting it's okay both senators a swatch is a big piece of minute or is a small piece of knitted fabric but that it would apply to you if you were selling a textile you would do a swatch if you were selling a painted portrait or whatever you would just want us good solid image, right? Exactly yeah no we don't need it strenuous stuff like sometimes people will put photos of mountains and say I was inspired by this well, you know well, I know wait just need a really strong submission and we need to sit your crossman ship to like if you find missing particularly and sewing, if you send us a swatch or you sew up a government or something and you stitching is crooked or doesn't look like it's finished properly, then it doesn't but well, for your professional image and that's really important, what about if somebody doesn't want to submit a design? But what if we have people that what we're talking about writing about your craft? What if you somebody wants to write a really great article about their experience or take it a step further and asked to pitch a regular column? Okay, I should probably stop with an article because no one's ever going to give a column to someone they don't know and trust unless you are very well experienced, raja, and have a kid with other magazines or whatever or you've got a great blood, we need somewhere where we can see what you can do, but I'd start with an article. Oh, and the way the pitch that is to write a synopsis of your article and just picture so just getting email it in and say, you know, place forward this to the article's editor or managing editor or whoever or the editor in chief, and then, you know, we want a little brief bio, so we can and also your website or your blog's, we can go and look at who you are and what you do and then an outline of what you want to write about. So it's so much easier than it used to be used to have to look open up the magazine and try and figure out and they never had contact information maybe the address and so then you have to trust that you know, just through the mail now I mean an editor in chief and editorial director gives you her email address just in the signature that's that's another gift that's an open line of communication so pick up that phone you know that's amazing also I think the other kind of take away from what she said is that you don't have to have an agent tio submit an article you don't have to have really anything except for a nice pitch so this is totally doable for anybody watching here are loose in the studio so let's trance let's go ahead and move over to books you also acquirer and produce a lot of books my book is actually with that my latest book what do you what do you look for in an author versus designer for a magazine so book arthur versus that magazine is there something different and salute the way he was saying before that you published twelve books okay, so you're you're already a published author said that makes you more attractive to me is the publisher right on dh then I look at your styles of your previous books and then that gives me faith back too let's, leave it at that so definitely published history is helpful because it means that you've gone through the process and the process of writing a book is vicky will tell you is long and growing you know you might say is near you exactly and while you're doing that you're not getting paid a huge amount and it made you not be able to make money doing other things, so you kind of gotta commit to that now we've had authors and every publisher has I've got one right now has gone rogue he hasn't had in all of the material and I call our nightly messages and she's like I'll call you later that's it but never yeah, yeah I talked to them a little bit about this how this is not going to be like you're not going to just write a book a year and that's going to be if you're just supplementing your income and you can do that and that works for your family that's awesome like just being able to focus on that one thing would be amazing, but if you are actually a breadwinner or you need to bring a it's not going it's not going to be that way it's not going that way I actually dio I have I hustle at least four jobs while I'm writing books, which is why I like at the end I just like face plant in my bed like it's a lot but that's part of being that's part of being a creative entrepreneurs that this is what I want to d'oh, right? And if you do have to have that support you and you need to spread it out ever you know like the time to you know ok, did you income be sure to make sure the schedule works for you like don't say I'll take this on and I can just do it at night and they wanted it six months and it's impossible to do now that's really important that you give yourself the right amount of time because it's huge it's a huge undertaking. The other thing we look for in authors is I look for an incredibly good social media presence whether it's some blogging whether it's face full instagram the more of an audience that you congrats as an author back to the party, the better of the book has a chance of on sales and right now croft books are really, really tough to sell so much materials available fray you've gotta have something really, really amazing for major valuable or you've got a bay super, super amazing and that's for all publishers right now yeah, absolutely in this in this johnny I talked to one ceo of a publisher who said that every single one of their books counts for like a point sixteenth of a percentage of their overall sales like it's so tiny it's so tiny they just have to amass things not all publishers are like that, but kraft books just aren't making money right now so don't do it for the money but it is worth doing it because it that's it's like your life so work I mean that is a physical representation I actually really loved books I still love physical books and and magazines I have this theory that like all the stuff the other stuff I've done is just going up in the ether and like away but this is something that I can I can hold onto and she said that it helps to be a noble arthur author but I did want to make sure that people don't feel discouraged if you if you have a solid proposal and especially if it's a new spin on something it doesn't matter if you've never written one before if you have a block that gets a lot of attention, frankly people are kind of the publishers are more interested if you have if you get you know if you have tens of thousands of people that are reading you every day they might be they might be willing to look into your into your book there's a lot of different aspects to it let's go back just a second to the you published you although I'm sorry I just signed an author who's never published because I've never published what the designs but she's come up with a new technique that there's been no book published on that before and in knitting which is so ever published that's a great thing for may so I signed her immediately that might actually sell to because that probably means there isn't a ton of free stuff about it as well. Um yeah so that's also does does anybody have questions while we still have thank you so much for sharing your super valuable time but while we still have tricia on the line do you have questions for from students on it? No. Everybody given so much information nobody I see how everybody is kind of in a few states. All right, thank you so so much. I know I know that your time is spread extraordinarily thin. It means a lot that you did this you are such a such a pro and so we could smart I really appreciate you being here and sharing that with us. Thank you so much and good luck to everybody who's out there, you know, trying to pursue their crafting life. It's what the thank you. Thanks. All right. It's called the action time she great loves me some tricia kind of love her um all right, we will call the action for you so I want you to go to your favorite craft design or like minded creative company's web site and email a link to your block and requests toe right for them it's on people on you're going to go and you're gonna make yourself vulnerable but now you know to dio I mean tricia gave you some some great information yeah, if you're feeling bold, the limbo now there's a difference between feeling bold and being obnoxious tell this to my children all the time if you're feeling bold I mean submit that way, but you can also shout them out a lot of times it's a great way to get into because there they have people on social media, so if you're on twitter and you can say like at michael's crafter at whoever love this new product that you put out can't wait to blogged about it, we'll tag you so you're kind of asking but you're not asking so that when you do that later when you submit and ask if you could work for them or write for them or whatever you can show them you've already done this and look, I got four hundred likes on that I have an audience got it good, okay, I want to take a moment and just do a little side note sign up that's not part of this in case you had enough I guess I haven't really talked about this but this is one of those like repeat after me things you have to actually repeat after me but just sort of this should be kind of your mantra passive streams of income are the key tow long term crafty success breathe it in take it in love it mean it it's the only way that you can survive in this industry and what that means as realties on books even though they might as we've said they won't be a lot it's still that's going to be like a magic little check coming in all these are our magic little checks so if you're teaching a course which we'll talk about later the royalties that you get on that if you're developing a product what well which we'll talk about later royalties on that if you you know having affiliates program which we'll talk about later it's just little pieces of income that just come in and you don't have to work for it anymore because as I've said about five thousand times you gotta hustle a lot so you need to back that up with money coming and so you do have to hustle for everything those streams of income will help you have time toe hassle more for other things all right yes we have a few questions yeah questions doing great so travel that asked how do you keep people from copying your knitting patterns or designs you can't you can't it's there's not you can't put a patent on a design really I mean when we're talking she talked about it where a christian where anywhere like does she say what kind of designed so ifit's visiting I think she said knitting patterns yeah you can't you can't the only thing that you can do is kind of be vigilant about um respectfully asking them tio pull it down I have friends that create fake accounts for fake assistance so they don't have to ever be the bad guy but if they don't have a high we noticed that he had this this is actually our pattern it's probably a mistake very respectful but we need to ask you to take it down you just have to be proactive you have to be really proactive about your business and it stinks it really does um but at the same time you know what is this saying about flattery? Thank you. I was like flattery is that whining that imitation is the is the registrar yeah we're just former fighter which doesn't help when you only have two patterns and somebody's ripped off one but if you could just take that in andi just to have to be vigilant but do not troll anybody do not speak ill of anyone publicly say that for your girlfriends and wine you know don't do that publicly because your voice is part of your brand okay, all right. Ready to create up? This is I have a friend that you like a lot like designed millie like them in the performing arts and a lot of forming artists have that issue with dealing with, you know, saying saying something they don't want you from their own. Yeah, you know, but if you don't want tio end, even if it has nothing to do with being a bad guy, sometimes when you open up the line of communication in that way, there is a lack of social boundaries with certain people, and so they'll just keep going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. And if you have thousands of followers or customers, you can't physically do that with everyone. So sometimes if it's something that's not if somebody writes you this heartfelt email sharing an experience that's one thing, but if they're like, I can't get this color to work with this color and this thing in this thing in this thing, don't open that up like you somebody else's name, because if they think that they have the designer and the line, then they're going to feel they want to make that connection, which is awesome, but that's not the time, because email can take you down that's a lot of time.

Class Description

If you’re a maker, chances are you want to make things – not spend time chasing down opportunities to monetize your art. Let this course do that work for you! Whether you’re a knitter, crocheter, artist, designer, sewist, or a master of any other craft, this class will teach how to make money with your hobby.

This class will help you take the drive you put into your making and translate it into earnings. Vickie Howell is an author, designer, TV host, maker, spokesperson, brand ambassador and consultant. In this class, she will teach how to you:

  • Pitch your ideas to publishers 
  • Get your creations licensed 
  • Feel confident when selling, and talking about your craft 
  • Promote yourself and your craft 
You’ll get inspired by first-hand advice from Vickie’s guests including editors, web celebs, working artists, company reps, and bloggers.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent looking to supplement your family’s income or a maker already profiting in the creative business of your choice, this course will offer the insight, inspiration, and tactical advice to help you craft the business of your dreams.


Beatrice Alatorre

Love, love, love Vickie!! Her class had a lot of informative topics that I know I will use! Thank you Creative live for such an awesome class!! I love seeing what other classes I am interested in taking!!!

Kristen McDonnell

Hi, Everyone! I was one of the lucky few today who spent time live in studio with Vickie Howell! Vickie has always been a crafting inspiration to me. Today, she took crafting inspiration to a whole new level, with in depth professional insight into all the facets of making money doing what we love... crafting! She is organized, experience, on point and completely invigorated the entire room to ACTION! Our lunch conversations were lively, immediately following this course, on all the exciting things we felt called to action to begin immediately to develop the crafting career of our dreams. A huge thank you to Vickie Howell and CREATIVELIVE! *Kristen. Studio Knit on YouTube!

Jennifer Purtee

This class is amazing!!!! I learned so many new things. The "guests" were amazing and very helpful and give some great insider tips. Thank you Vickie!!!!!