Tell us about your quilt book: State Bird and State Flower Quilts is an outcome of my research of 20th Century quilt patterns and quilt kits. In the book I have compared 37 sets of quilt blocks with either flowers, birds, or both. I have also included some of the history behind state birds and state flowers and information on each state's choices. The book was written primarily for quilt appraisers, quilt historians and collectors, but the general public may also find this information interesting. It is a documentation of a bit of Americana.
What motivated you to tackle publishing yourself? Was it a complicated process? In the past I had contacted publishers about publishing some of the research I have been doing. The whole process of putting together a book proposal and meeting the differing requirements of each publisher was very time-consuming - time I would rather put to doing research. When I found and read How to Self-Publish Your Own Quilt Catalog, I realized that it was possible to publish the research myself.
I tried two companies. The first company seemed more interested in selling me help with formatting and editing and I became frustrated when I ran into unfamiliar terms or processes that I didn't understand. I laid the project aside for nearly a year and then went to CreateSpace.com. It was more user-friendly and offered tutorials throughout the process. Because I did the formatting and editing myself, I did not spend a penny until I purchased a proof copy for $5.00. (All the self-publishing sites will sell formatting and editing for someone who does not want to do that themselves.) It was not a complicated process (especially with a guidebook to follow) once the Word document was finished. My book has a lot of pictures, so I had to learn how to work with them. Once I uploaded the file to CreateSpace they told me what issues I needed to address and offered tutorials in doing that. It wasn't long until I had a proof in my hands.
How did it feel when you first held a copy of your book? Seeing the book for the first time was so exciting! There was MY NAME on the cover of a BOOK! Books have always been an important part of my life. I read nearly every book in my elementary school library and have continued to read all my life. Now I am a published author. It is still a little hard to believe. I'm already thinking about which other parts of my research could become a book.
What an inspiration! And, it is a cool book. I have a few Ruby Short McKim, Colonial Pattern Co., Modern Handcraft, Laura Wheeler, McCall and even Aunt Martha patterns - just not any about State birds or flowers. Mrs. Werner's book includes all those pattern makers and more. Enjoy!