September 11, 2008

Being the 2nd in a series of posts about a book proposal, from concept to print.

After I published Baskets to Appliqué in February 2006, I needed a break in my routine. I had pushed out a book every six months or so for a couple years and felt like to was time to go in another direction for my next major project. I thought to myself, “Self, it’s time to pursue that traditionally published book!”

As I said last time, I had that as a goal from the beginning, in addition to publishing my own little books. I knew going into it that it would be a different type of experience. As a self-publisher I had control over everything, but submitting a book to one of the big publishing houses is a different animal. I knew going in that I would not have control, and I was ready for that. It was something I wanted to try.

I’d also been waiting for the right concept to come to me… something that deserved a longer book with glorious color throughout. What popped up was what I called “The Little Book of Big Appliqué.” The idea was that it would be a whole collection of blocks printed in thumbnail format, with a CD included that you could stick into your computer and print out your block in the size you wanted. No more enlarging to certain percentages on your all-in-one or down at the copy shop! Also, the designs would be available to print in reversed orientation. No more tracing and flipping when you need a reversed pattern! I was hoping that a publisher would think that this modern technology would be a good added value to the book.

Posy Bunch block by Kay MackenzieSo, I set out to design a whole bunch of appliqué blocks, just an eclectic collection this time, not around any central theme. I had just done a pattern, A Spin in the Garden, with a very simple chubby bunny and flower block. The bunny was a breath of fresh air after all of the detail in Baskets, so I decided to make this my direction as well… the blocks I designed would be simple, with fewer rather than more pieces.

It took a looong time to both design and stitch up the blocks. In addition to supporting Quilt Puppy, I still had a pesky day job, and was in the process of trying to get retired from it, which was no easy feat. Anybody who’s been through this knows that they expect you to write up all of your procedures and train your replacements on top of keeping up with your actual work. My job was being eliminated and the work was going three different ways, so I had three different people to train. Plus, in a moment of insanity I agreed to take over a different desk with more responsibility for the last two months, so I was actually a wreck for awhile there and let’s just say I didn’t have a lot of mental energy left over to work on my book proposal!

Okay, thanks for listening. :)

So, March 2006 through about May 2007 were spent just working up the designs, off and on. That’s more than a year! Stay tuned for the next phase in the life of a book.

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

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