Writing your own crochet patterns for others to use is just plain fun. But admit it, the idea of making a couple bucks off of the hard work it took to design the thing (on average, a crochet designer will spend at least a week writing and perfecting their pattern – this doesn’t include the actual crocheting time) is even more appealing.
There are dozens of magazines and even more book publishers willing to take a look at your patterns for publication. This method is definitely rewarding, both monetarily and for the jump-for-joy factor, but it is also time-consuming and often expensive once you’ve mailed tons of letters and samples just to get a rejection … because we all get rejected, more often than we get accepted.
Just because a publisher doesn’t think they have room for your pattern doesn’t mean that it isn’t quality. And if it’s quality, and you’re determined to earn something for your hard work, it’s time to consider self-publishing.
Why Self-Publish Crochet Patterns
Really, this method isn’t just for crochet designers. If you design patterns, be it sewing or knitting or painting, you can use this same method for the same reasons. It’s simply that I design crochet, so I’m sticking to what I know best.
The reasons for self-publishing your patterns are numerous. For one, you’re in control of every step meaning that the pattern format, the images, the colors, and even the places it sells through are all in your hands. You won’t ever have to look at your pattern and groan when you see the image accompanying it, or find it selling through a venue that you really don’t like.
In the end, though, the reason all comes back to income. You stand to earn much, much more off of your work when you self-publish your patterns. Partially, you earn more because you’re able to sell the pattern repeatedly instead of just once as you would with a magazine. The other part of it is that when you earn money, you earn 100% of it, instead of a small royalty as you would with a book publisher.
This doesn’t mean that everyone’s cut out to self-publish. It takes just as much work to promote your patterns when you publish them as it would when a publisher does. But you also have to handle all the transactions, deliver the patterns, keep an eye on the quality, and get them formatted nicely in the first place. In other words, don’t go this route as an easy way out – it isn’t one.
Using ClickBook to Publish Patterns
Technically speaking, you can use any word processor that you have access to. However, you’ll need to be able to do the following with that word processor without spending hours on it:
*Arrange pages so that they will print in a foldable manner
*Create two pages on one page
*Keep alignment wide enough for a booklet, but within your printer’s margins
Right. It’s a pain in the bootay, without a doubt.
Using ClickBook, making your patterns beautifully ready for print is a cinch. And this software isn’t limited to booklets, either – you can create brochures, CD covers, fliers, manuals, and more all from within this one simple program. As you try it out, go ahead and get the free trial version that ClickBook offers. You can grab it from here.
Once you have ClickBook installed, it’s time to start playing with the look of your patterns.
First, you’ll want to design a cover for your booklet. This can be done in any kind of graphic editor. Basically, you’ll want to place the title of your pattern at the top, in a large font, and a good quality color image below it. On the bottom of the page, you’ll place all of your copyright information.
Next, go into a word processor (any one will work) and type up your pattern as neatly, clearly, and detailed as possible. Include diagrams where necessary, and explain any special stitches fully.
With your files ready to go, you’re set to start using ClickBook. First, you’ll need to install the software and open it for the first time. When you do this, ClickBook will automatically search for and list all the printers you have on your computer. You’ll need to go through the dialog that opens with those printers in it and click “Setup” for each printer you want to have the option of using.
Next, you’ll need to open the files that you created in the program that originally created them. So, for instance, if you used Microsoft Word to type your pattern, you’ll need to open it in Microsoft Word. Within that software, click “File”, and choose “Print”.
In the print dialog, click the drop-down box that has your printer listed and choose “ClickBook Printer”. Now let your computer do its work … you’ll automatically be taken to ClickBook with your document all loaded and set up as a Book with a Fold layout.
Perfect! Now just hit the Print icon and you’re on your way!