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Monday, April 11, 2011

How do I Go About Getting My Designs Published?

I've had many people ask me over the years how to go about getting their designs published. There are many questions on this subject, such as:

1. How do I go about sending a design proposal to a magazine.
2. If I submit a design to a magazine, how long should I expect it to take before the publisher responds?
3. What kinds of designs are publisher's looking for?
4. Pattern writing skills
5. Sketching and swatching your designs
6. How many hours a day do you work on your designing career?
7. If I look at another person's design and make something similar, is that considered my design? 
8. Where do you get design inspiration?
9. Freelance Designing
10. Working for a yarn company
11. How do I write a book proposal?
12. How do I find a publisher?
13. Can I send a book proposal to more than one publisher at once?
14. How long does it take to do a book before it's released and on the market?
15. Do you do your own marketing?
16. Do you need to have an area of expertise in crochet to be a professional?
17. Info on hiring pattern testers, tech editors, and contract crocheters. 
18. Do you sketch your own diagrams and schematics for patterns in books and magazines?
19. Is it possible to make a living from crochet designing?

 The list is endless. I could go on and on! I have responded to many emails over the past 6 years from people asking these same questions over and over. I decided to start writing a series of posts on this subject, so I can direct them here. Thank goodness, I've saved many of those emails! I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't had other designers answering MY questions! I owe my success of getting started in this business to a small number of established designers. Two of those designers are Kristin Spurkland (gave the most info), and Margaret Hubert (a sweetheart who's been in the business since the 70's and still going strong!).

I did have one designer (whom I won't mention) tell me that I had not paid my dues enough to write a book! If I had listened to her, I would not be where I am. I had been crocheting for 36 yrs when I began thinking about doing a book (and had designs published in magazines), so I think I paid many years of dues. I believe if a person has only been crocheting for a day, and they come up with a book proposal idea (and have the skills) they don't need anyone's permission to do a book! That's just my thought on this. Don't allow anyone to discourage you. If you have a dream, and it's not going to hurt others (like neglecting your children or marriage) then go for it!
I will be posting on all these subjects (questions on designing) in the next few months, as time will allow me. Happy crocheting!


  1. Yay! You are the best Mary Jane. And yes, I am one of those many that have asked you questions and you have been such a HUGE help!

    All the best,

  2. Thank you Mary Jane for being willing to share selflessly what others have given to you in your time of searching as well. I'm looking forward to learning all you are willing to share!

  3. You're welcome Paula and gratefullyinhisgrace! I'm happy to help as I have the time. Since I'm still in the middle of packing up my house and will be moving in May,unpacking, and working on a design, I'll do my best to post some info as I can :)

  4. Hi Mary Jane, I was wondering if you were able to get any info written up at all for pointers and helps?

  5. If you get the chance, whenever you start writing this I'd ask that you add another part: making garments in different sizes. I have an idea for a sweater and a skirt but I don't know how to make it except for my own size!