I’ve always been curious about what goes on behind the scenes–“Making of” series and books have always held a special fascination for me. And these types of projects are always made more interesting the more viewpoints that are included. So as part of the Crafting a Book series, I’m excited to be including interviews with other authors who have published with Stash Books and C & T. I admit part of my excitement comes from getting to read their answers to my questions each month, and I hope their points of view will be interesting to you as well!
This month, I’m delighted to share the insights of incredibly talented long-arm quilter Angela Walters. Angela has authored two popular books with Stash: Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters and In the Studio with Angela Walters. In addition, she teaches a couple courses on Craftsy.com. I can highly recommend Angela as a instructor, as I was motivated to give long-arm quilting a try after I took her class on Machine Quilting Negative Space myself. She’s also recently released her debut fabric collection, Textures, with Art Gallery Fabrics. You can check out some gorgeous projects people have made with it for the Make it Right Challenge at Art Gallery’s Make it Right Pinterest boards.
How did you initially get interested in publishing a book? What did the proposal process look like for you–any tips for readers thinking of proposing their own books?
I was fortunate in that I was actually approached by my publisher at Quilt Market. I had quilted all the quilts in Tula Pink’s booth and they caught the attention of the acquisitions editor. If someone is interested in putting together a book proposal together, I would suggest going to Quilt Market if it is at all possible. It a great chance to make appointments with different publishers and meet them face to face. But don’t worry, if you can’t get to Quilt Market, that doesn’t mean that you are out of luck. I would suggest emailing the acquisitions editor of a publisher that you are interested in doing business with and getting their feedback about you book idea. That can really get the process going!
What was the writing process like for you? What were some of your favorite parts of the process? Least favorite? Were there any aspects that you found surprising?
The first time around, it was a little crazy. I wasn’t sure what I was doing. But I found that I really, really like the writing part of it. Which was actually surprising to me. I didn’t think that I like to write, but turns out, I do! The least favorite part of the whole process is the self doubt that can eat away at me. I spend so much time on a book, I am so worried that people won’t like it or that it won’t be relevant.
I’ve always heard that the deadlines in craft book publishing are intense, and now I’m experiencing that first hand. How did you juggle making so many projects in this type of time frame?
I am the type of person that does much better with deadlines, so it wasn’t too bad to me. That’s not to say that there isn’t always a last minute rush, but it doesn’t stress me out (well, not too much anyway!) I would assume that most publishers would be willing to work with you on setting up deadlines that work for their authors.
When it comes to juggling projects and deadlines, I am kinda old-school about it. I start a binder (you know, the three ring variety) and use that to hold everything for my book: sketches, illustrations, pictures of quilts etc. That is really the only way in which I am organized.
What was it like working with a team of editors?
I loved it! I trust the editors at C&T and was more than happy to let them work their magic on the book. Since I have written a second book with them, and look forward to doing more in the future, I feel like I have gotten to know them even better!
What kind of design input did you have in producing your book? What was it like working with a design team?
They gave me a lot of opportunity to give them input, but for the most part, I just gave them free rein. I know enough about myself to know that I don’t know a whole lot about layout and book design. I am glad that I did, because I am so thrilled with how it turned out.
How did you promote your book once it was released?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that it is up to the publisher to promote the book once it is released. I knew that once the book was out, I was going to promote it and do all that I could to make it successful. Since I was already teaching at quilt shows, bringing the book to sell was a natural option. But I also encouraged people who bought the book to share pictures of what they had done with me, and used my blog to help promote the book.
Are there any other parts of the publishing experience that you found particularly interesting?
Since I didn’t know anything about the publishing process, learning all about it was interesting to me. I really liked finding out how it all worked and getting to know the people behind the scenes.
If you would like to learn more about Angela and her work, you can find her on the web at the following places: