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Self publishing a book of any kind is a lot. It’s a Wrap started life as a random idea and kickstarter campaign to create an accessible crochet pattern book featuring modern shawl patterns. Read on to find out what’s been happening on the journey from Kickstarter to Book and pre-order your copy below.
Fully Funded Friday – It’s a Wrap crochet pattern book it’s happening!
It’s been a minute since I started my self publishing Journey with It’s a Wrap. Right now I’m about seventy percent of the way through this crochet pattern book – patterns and doing all the various other bits and have been planning an update on what’s been happening I just haven’t got around to it until now really. A fair amount has happened so I think I will start at the beginning with the campaign and then we’ll move on from there!
Fully Funded Friday is how I announced that the campaign was a success to my email newsletter readers for It’s a Wrap. It was Friday afternoon, I walked out of work – the mobile reception is pants and my phone started beeping with notifications. That’s when I found out that the campaign was successful, approximately 3.55pm on a Friday afternoon. I almost got run over by the bus cos I stepped out not paying attention to what I was doing!
For all the details on how this got started, check out the beginning here.
Running the Kickstarter Campaign was an intense time. I’m not the sort of person who shares as much as some on social media. I am quite private and even my closest friends and family wouldn’t always know what’s going on with me. I don’t really enjoy being the centre of attention for any reason. I should have thought about that before I decided to embark on a fundraiser on social media.
That was one of the hardest parts for me, turning up regularly and asking for help. Being present and asking people to pre-order my book. I don’t have a problem saying this is for sale buy it, however, this is my idea pre-order of a thing that is my random idea and it may not happen? It feels/felt a little different to that and also just because I think it’s a great idea, my blog and design business are growing that doesn’t mean anyone will like want to buy the book, what it it fails? What if I go asking people to help me do this and no-one wants a shawl and cowl crochet pattern book?
It didn’t, because you know I’m writing the update to how things are going but there were definitely moments when I thought I might not do it. I also actively did not ask my family to pledge, I wanted the majority to come from crocheters. This might seem crazy, and I did receive pledges from family members but that amounts to 5% of the total amount. Why? I wanted it to be useful and also if most of the pledges came from crocheters then it was also validation of the idea as a whole. Family will tell you stuff’s great to support you and may not actually mean it.
Saying all that, I would do it again. I would also recommend it to anyone else if you have a PLAN. Set yourself up properly with a well researched idea and a marketing plan for the campaign and go hard for 30 days. The support I received from my family, friends, email list, everyone I asked really was overwhelming, totally needed and pushed me to do the work to get it done and believe that I could.
Things that I would do if I would do it again:
- make a proper plan and do some market research to really finalise the offer product and marketing efforts for the campaign – it helps for social media posting and gaining reach and support
- Set a fundraising goal at 30%+ higher than what I actually want to ask for to account for Kickstarter processing fees, the drop out rate of those whose pledges are not collected and also as a back up fund for the little additional expenses that occur during the process. Prices change, suppliers don’t produce, additional costs are incurred etc. Ever watched Grand Designs? They always end up with expenses they didn’t expect, its exactly the same here and as this isn’t my fulltime income I am the one financially bridging the funding gaps.
- run your campaign for 30 days. Urgency helps. It’s also mentally and physically draining and Kickstarter recommend it – go with it they know what they are talking about!
Early Stages – It’s A Wrap
I don’t know that I have fully processed that it’s real, or happening totally yet because I started working on the actual book before the campaign ended. As soon as the fundraising campaign ended I really started. The blog has taken a bit of a back seat and until my birthday I really didn’t work on any designs that weren’t potentially in the book.
That wasn’t my intention but a combination of things happened. In my original plan I knew I had to slow down my pattern releases and account for real life. I didn’t account for multiple life issues and a couple of periods of illness running through the house or the toll these things would take on me. I planned 8 releases and did 3.
There is WAY more admin involved in making this happen than I appreciated and a lot of rabbit holes have happened just to collate the information and secure the products and services I need. I am, though, happy with where some of that is but there are still double the work hours left in admin than there are in design work at the time of writing and I have tentatively got 12 designs that are for the book in a basket behind me.
I think I forgot that I cannot work on multiple projects at the same time and have a further 4 half finished shawls in various spots on my office floor. For a brief spell back in November I thought it was sensible to try and do this and ended up almost burnt out.
I had a talk with myself and so to take a break from them and have a holiday, over Christmas I did the House of Cards Blanket as a brain break fun project. No-one expects me to make blankets or do mosaic crochet so it was really freeing and probably the release I needed.
I’ve also very very recently realised that I haven’t designed any cowls or scarves for the book. This sort of means I’m ahead of the game, but also I dropped the ball a little there and have a bit of melon scratching to do!
It’s a Wrap Collabs
I have made some decisions and finalised providers for the swag which include Tea Cake Make, Bowltech Crochet Hooks, Magic Feather Designs and Crochet UK. It’s important to me to support small businesses in the UK in this project and generally when I can so I’m really pleased to be working with these businesses.
Jen at Magic Feather Designs I have worked with before, she designed my current branding. This time we have worked on some branding specifically for the book and some swag items. I’m sure she thinks I’m crazy as I have ideas I can’t verbalise properly but somehow she manages to get exactly what I want.
Bowltech Crochet Hooks I am a fan and user of already, check out the review post here. I had a few moments deciding on the hook to pick, but I went with something that I think is simple and beautiful and in a size that will work for all the patterns in the book. At the time of writing, they like a bunch of other businesses here are struggling so I don’t know if they will still be around, I have everything crossed for them, but I am glad that I was able to snag these and share the love as I have quite a few.
Tea Cake Make I ‘discovered’ on Etsy and fell in love immediately with the quality of the samples I received so it was a no brainer. Both are included in higher level pledge swag. It’s fun shopping for other people, way easier to justify but also hard. I have issues with too much choices and want to get all the things, if only.
For yarn, I had originally planned to get the bulk of my yarn from Hobbii, however as things have progressed, I have about a 40/40 split with yarn from Hobbii and Crochet UK so far with the yarn for the final few designs still to be confirmed.
So, the yarn compilation is still not totally finalised but largely my versions will be made with yarn from Crochet UK. Some of the test samples are also made with Mel’s cakes and they will be included in the swag. I’ve also decided to include a general reference to large brand alternatives that can be used for the designs included in the book, from things that I use and have liked, hopefully at a couple of price points and varied fibres.
I’ve done this as honestly, I prefer working with fingering weight yarns and specific brands in a very narrow selection that I stick to. However, everyone doesn’t enjoy working with unplied cakes like me and accessibility of the materials is equally as important as the designs.
But listen to me, if you do or want to try them, get involved. The joining knots for the colour changes on Mel’s cakes are EVERYTHING. She must just have like level 10 eyesite or the most patience they are pretty much unnoticeable. If you use big brand cakes you’re used to the ‘fuzz buzz’ – there is none in these.
For the remaining swag and my design yarn I am continuing the theme and sticking with small businesses from the UK.
It’s a Wrap – where I’m at now
Right now I’m pushing towards the finish line, most of the designs have been sent to for tech editing and I have tentatively confirmed the photoshoot, printers and release date of the book. But there is still a tonne of work to do and I’m moving house before I’ve planned to publish the book.
And right now, I have 0 idea where I will be moving too, but I’m starting to get to crunch time so it may involve moving schools etc. It’s a massive upheaval and time pressure I did not need because it was already tight. But, there’s a lesson in it somewhere right? A test from the universe maybe, insert eye roll here.
I will figure it out, but now, I’m a bit more concerned about over compensating and doing too much crochet. I’m still excited to do it and unsure of what all the final designs will be, until recently I couldn’t see them together as a ‘book’ or figure out what things I thought were missing to balance it out or make it better.
Now I have a much clearer idea of what i’ll say 60% of it is with some maybes and a actual ideas and draft patterns for the rest which is definite departure from my usual process!
I am sticking with the name It’s a Wrap, I just have to decide whether to have a subtitle or not. I have enough trouble naming things without trying to respin the wheel here. Also after speaking with my ideas for the book with the photographer I’m excited to see it come to life in the theme/style we have discussed for the shoot.
The file for the book actually exists and has things in it already written, the patterns I do as I go and I have sort of rhythm and timescales that work for me in how I’m getting it done so far. My testers, are rockstars and they are going faster than me, a thing I didn’t anticipate or I just lost track of time.
How is it February already?
Kickstarter successfully funded, designs are happening, spent some of the money but know I will have to add some myself, life is happening and production of the book continues. I think that’s accurate.
The next updates for the book will be more about showing the designs as I get closer to the release. That actually was my plan from pretty much the beginning and once I finish a couple more, decide on the names and get some photos that will begin properly.
This will probably be in the next couple of weeks surprisingly – as soon as the weather gets a bit better here and I can get some decent photos taken myself. I also need to get a hair cut and have a mass blocking event because I haven’t done any of them and most still have ends and things on too!
I am nervously excited, but only about 2 weeks behind where I wanted to be which all things considered is fairly epic. And I haven’t lost my crojo. Yet.
If everything continues as it is, It’s a Wrap will be ready bang on time – May for Kickstarters and for it’s June public release.