Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015 Crafter's Market

2015 Crafter's Market - How to Sell Your Crafts and Make a Living

edited by Kelly M. Biscopink

I wish this book had been available years ago, when I was first starting out as a crochet designer. I had a young son, and I started designing and crocheting puppets for him and his friends. The kids all liked them, so a friend of mine and I started making the puppets in huge quantities, and selling them at local craft fairs. (We found time to crochet when our kids took naps, and when they finally went to sleep at night!) There were one or two craft fairs we knew about – one that was in our town and one in the larger town I moved to – all in the same state. And we sold some puppets at one or two craft consignment shops. We also knew enough to copyright the designs. But that was that. This was before computers and the Internet, so we couldn't sell on-line. And I wasn't versed in writing good patterns. After I designed a puppet, I gave the "pattern" to my friend so she could make the puppet, too. Many years later, I found a copy of some of my "patterns" – they were just numbers. Like one may have read:
 1. 6
 2. 8
 3. 10
Like I said, just numbers. No info on turning chains, where to work the increases, how to put the puppets together. Nothing. It was a miracle that we could make them from my "patterns". I can just imagine what would have happened if I tried to self-publish them, or submit them to a crochet magazine. If I even knew of any crochet magazines.
Well – that's why I wish there had been a book like this available years ago. It would have told me everything I needed to know about making money from my puppets. It has a section on Business Basics – including how to get paid, and all you need to know about copyrights. Then it tells you how to find your niche and how to make it as a crafts person – it also includes lots of tips to be successful and "turn your passion into a business".
It lists many craft shows by state, explains what to do if you have to apply to get accepted, and talks about how to plan for the show, including how to figure out how much to charge for your craft goods. It also explains how to organize your own show, which I have tried, too, and let me tell you it isn't easy!
Then, if you're more interested in selling your patterns/directions rather than the finished goods, it also lists various book/magazine publishers that are in your field. And this is another reason why I wish this book were available about 15 years ago, when I started designing for publications and yarn companies. It goes over how to write a book proposal, how to present a proposal to a magazine, and it explains what could be in the contract you sign (like publication rights), and what various terms in the contract mean. When I first started designing for publications, I didn't know any of this!
Just looking through this book at first, I could tell that it was a "must have", not only for new crafters, but for experienced ones. And every time I opened it to read a section, I found another section that was just as interesting and just as important.
That's why I highly recommend this book – for all you crafters who want to sell your crafts or your designs. You won't be sorry! 

This book is published by F+W, and is available here:

By Kelly Biscopink
Fons & Porter / F+W