Like I said last week, while at Stitches Midwest last month I took a class called Get Published! with Shannon Okey. It focused a lot on the business end of designing. While the class wasn't learning a new knitting technique or how to actually design something, I think it was the single best class I have ever taken. That's saying a lot as I have taken some pretty spectacular knitting classes over the years. :)
Here is the description from the XRX website:
Have you always wanted to write a book? Now's your chance! Whether you want to submit your work to large publishers or do it yourself, Shannon Okey has the insider knowledge to help you succeed! Author of 12 major-publisher books and owner of Cooperative Press, which has been publishing craft-related titles since 2007 (including The Knitgrrl Guide To Professional Knitwear Design: How to Keep Your Knits About You), Okey reveals the processes behind:
–building a successful book proposal
–brainstorming a book: discovering what you have to offer the market
–publishing it yourself for greater profit and control
–finding a printer, an appropriate print solution or going digital and many other topics of interest to creative people of all kinds.
Extensive Q&A period during class to cover all your bases!
At first, I wasn't sure it was going to be the class for me. I have been very lucky lately and getting my patterns published in books and magazines (stay tuned for those!) as well as self-publishing on Ravelry. I even had successfully negotiated my own book deal. So, I was little nervous going into it and was thinking it might just be three hours of stuff I already figured out on my own or from reading Shannon's book.
I learned so much in that class, got so many new ideas and where to publish, how to publish and how to market myself better. I actually think having the experience I gained over the last year of so made it even better because I was familar with a lot of it, and could completely understand what Shannon was talking about. I got so many tips on how to make my design business even more successful. At the same time, I think the people in the class who where just thinking about designing and hadn't really done anything yet got a lot out of it too. It seemed like everyone, regardless, of their designing experience walked away happy with the class.
I don't know if Shannon will be teaching this class at more Stitches events, or at other events, but I really hope she does. And, if you are a designer who has been published, don't let the title of the class fool you. I think you will walk away feeling really good about having taken it and will go home with lots of new ideas and inspiration.