The following article is by Susan Huxley, a well known designer, author and publisber. She recently passed away and it was a sad day in the crochet designing community. We will miss her along with her expertise on designing and getting published. These are just a few tips to remember. This can apply whether you are thinking of submitting an individual design to a magazine or if you are wanting to write a book proposal to send to a publisher. Remember, though, you should never send a book proposal to a publisher, unless you have sent them a "query" letter, and they've given you permission to send your proposal.
Proposal - How To - by Publisher, Susan Huxley
A great design and good instructions speak for themselves. In
this case, the packaging, mounting, etc. aren't important to me.
If, however, I 've been working with someone who stretches the
definition of "professional " or know that I need instructions that
need to be very good because I'm short on time or patience, then
I start paying attention to the way that a proposal is assembled.
The following is far from complete, but I don't have time to offer more at the moment.
1. Attitude in the cover letter. If the designer sounds arrogant or
"demands" things, I walk away.
2. Typed proposal and cover letter. If things are handwritten, I
wonder if I'll be stuck inputting handwritten instructions. My
budget only allots a certain amount of time to work on each
project. I have to find ways to work within those hours: inputting
copy and walking a designer through software gobble into my
3. Computer skills and software. I need to know if our technology
is compatible and the level of the designer's familiarity with her
4. Sketch of the proposal. You look really professional when this
is mounted. But I don't like it because I have to tear it off the
mount in order to get it into a file folder that will fit into my cabinet.
Now putting on my designer hat: I can't draw worth beans. My
secret weapon is an old sewing pattern catalogue. I find a
garment that has a similar shape to the one that I'm making,
trace it off, and then revise the details to match my proposal.
5. Description of the proposal with specific technical details . . .
not just "romance."
6. Loose swatch tagged with name and contact information.
Don't mount it.
7. Timeline. It's great when a designer tells me how long it'll take
her to write the instructions and make the garment.
8. Email queries are great, but don't send complete details and
don't send attachments without first gaining permission. Some
publishing house email systems are set up so that emails with
attachments are rejected.
9. Example of unpublished, unedited instructions.