e-book thoughts

I think I’ve dropped enough hints recently – I’m definitely doing this e-book thing! But I’m still not sure of all the details, so I thought I’d ask you (and you) for opinions! Because what is the internet good for if not sharing ideas and opinions, right? This idea came to me in the shower one evening (all at once as if it dropped from the sky, or possibly the shower head) The collection will be patterns all about hands – gloves, mittens, fingerless mitts, and wrist warmers. They’ll all be tied to the central theme of time: times of day, types of clocks, that sort of thing. There will be the Tea Time mitts and Grandfather Clock gloves. The working title (I feel really clever about this one) is Time on my Hands. It’s especially funny since that’s something I rarely have extra of! So that’s about all I know. Ok, not true – I actually have all eight designs already sketched out, some yarns chosen from my stash, and other yarns (and buttons!) headed my way through the mail. Really, the design part of this is pretty well in hand*

pattern mosaic

What I’m still researching, thinking about, and mulling over is the best way to release the e-book. I know that when everything is finished I’d like to have the patterns available either for individual download or as a set in e-book form. Ravelry has some great features for this (not the least of which is being able to sell patterns to people without accounts) and you may know about Ysolda’s Whimsical Little Knits and Romi’s 7 Small Shawls – both books are available either as complete e-books or as single pattern PDF downloads.
What I’m considering is how to release the patterns. I could wait until I have all 8 patterns ready to go, and release the book as a complete set. I might show sneak-peak photos in the lead up but no patterns would be available until everything is ready. Another option is to wait until I have everything ready to go, and then do a pattern release once a week (once a day, every other week, or something) Yet another thing I’m considering is working the patterns up one at a time, through the knitting, photography, layout and tech editing – and then releasing each as soon as it’s finished. This would result in a pattern a month – give or take a few weeks depending on how complicated each one is. Options one and two keep the cohesiveness of the book together while option three might mean the first few designs could earn some money to cover the tech editing, layout, etc… expenses of the final ones.
If I go with options 2 or 3 I could also offer the complete collection in advance. The complete e-book will cost less than buying each pattern individually. Offering it in advance would give people who love hand patterns a way to buy in early – they’d provide support towards finishing the collection (like a knitting pattern CSA). And they would get each PDF as soon as it’s released without having to wait for the rest of the collection or spend extra money.
What do you think? Do you like one idea best? Have you ever bought patterns released in a compilation in one of these ways? Seen another designer with a similar project? Concerns? Suggestions? I’m open to suggestions!

*I do love puns.

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11 responses to “e-book thoughts

  1. hi Becky,

    I’ve only done 1 ebook collection so far but am intending on doing 2 more this year. For the current one, I released all of it at once, offering both the ebook & individual patterns. The collection has sold more than the individual patterns, but I think it’s worth having all options.

    I think offering the patterns as they are finished is interesting IF you tie it all together with a KAL, do it as a CSA as you mentioned, etc — anything you can do it keep it as a collection in people’s minds.

  2. I’m in Chrissy Gardinar’s sock CSK and I LOVE the format. Knowing I have a new pattern coming on the first of the month is fantastic, and knitting with the Ravelry community has been lots of fun. I think it’s a great format that would work really well with hand accessories too. (She emails a pdf to each participant and also has a yahoo group where the file can be accessed by members only. At the end of the CSK year we’ll all get a full copy of the ebook – and I think she’s printing copies too, but that just feels like a bonus).

    I’m looking forward to more info on your book!

    • I’d heard about her CSK – I’m glad to hear it’s going well! It’s a very interesting format, although I’m not sure I want to take 8 months to release all these patterns.

  3. I’ve purchase Ysolda’s Whimsical Little Knits 1 & 2….primarily because I liked one pattern, not necessary all of them. I’ve also purchased Romi’s 7 Small Shawls because I like knitting small shawls; I liked the idea of getting each pattern as they were released and not having to wait for the complete collection. It didn’t bother me to pay for all in advance as the people pre-purchasing were promised a few extra small patterns. I also felt I was supporting a designer I liked and that was important to me. I don’t care if there’s a KAL attached; I don’t think that matters. If enough people like a pattern, they’ll start a KAL on Ravelry anyway. Gloves, mitts, and wristwarmers are small and portable and I think you’ll do well with them. Good luck whatever you decide.

  4. I’m looking forward to it! I make a lot of this kind of thing, so I know I’ll buy at least one of the designs if you offer them individually.

    For a book, I have this complicated mental algorithm that determines whether I’ll buy it: are the patterns available individually, do I like enough of the patterns to make buying the whole thing a justifiable expenditure, do I like enough of the patterns that buying them individually is more expensive than buying the whole book, etc.

    And I don’t know if this is true of anyone but me, but I heavily favor texture over colorwork, so a book of all the type I prefer is more likely to appeal than a mixed book on a unified theme. But I’ve never asked other knitters if they think the same way. I will do my non-preferred technique if I want the final product badly enough, but I’m less likely to want more than just that one pattern in that case.

  5. I love the time theme! No real advice re: pattern releases, though for me, b/c my time to work is so erratic, I would do the majority of the knitting and writing well ahead of time. I think I’d find a monthly deadline with lots of knitters waiting to be quite stressful.

    I think that I’d probably hold back a couple patterns that are available only in the book and not as individual releases. Maybe add something else special to make the book more attractive than just a collection of patterns as well.

    Good luck! It sounds really fun and I’m looking forward to hearing/seeing more!

    • I think that’s what I’m worried about with a slow release. I’m sure I could finish up the writing and kniting every other week – but I have more trouble scheduling the photography and layout (nevermind the timing for tech editing) Add on top of that designs that might be accepted by third party publishers and my work can get pretty erratic too!

  6. I love the theme, and the puns. Promise to include a few puns throughout the ebook? As for the release schedule, I vote for option 3, with the added option of purchasing the complete set at a reduced price. I like the idea of something to look forward to each month. (Are the sketches above samples of what’s to come? I particularly like the ones on the left – yummy!)

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