Monday, October 29, 2012

Steps to Publishing Your Art Catalog on CreateSpace

I hope you are finding the How to Self-Publish Your Own Quilt Catalog workbook useful to bringing your quilt art to others. So, now that you have your manuscript, how do you get it published? Here is an overview of the major steps for publishing your art catalog on CreateSpace.

1.  Visit You'll want to Create a New Account. Complete the requested information. Once you've done this you'll get an email with a link to activate your account. Creating an account is free.

2. Add a New Title to start your quilt, guild, or gallery catalog. You'll need to complete the Start Your New Project page.  Selected the Guided set up process.

3.In the How to Self-Publish Your Own Quilt Catalog, Step 12 asked you to gather some information about your book. If you have completed this step, the upload of your book should go quickly!  On the Title Information page, you'll add the title of your book (no typos!), author name, catalog description, etc.  
 4.Choose your ISBN option. You can use a CreateSpace ISBN for free or use one of your own ISBNs that you have purchased from  Even if you use a CreateSpace ISBN, you still keep all rights to you art catalog. Refer to the CreateSpace Service agreement if you have any questions.
 5. Describe your book's interior features.  Indicate if your full-color quilt, guild or gallery art catalog will have what trim size? When you select full-color interior, you'll notice that white paper is automatically selected.  Next, indicate if you're going to upload your book or manuscript file or if you want to pay for CreateSpace's professional design services to format your manuscript. Now, the How to Self-Publish Your Quilt Catalog shows you how to format your own Microsoft Word document so you don't have to pay for someone to design your catalog if you don't want to.

 6. Next, if you are uploading your own book or manuscript file, now is the time to upload!  Once the file is uploaded, the free CreateSpace Interior Reviewer will show you page-by-page how the book interior looks. The Interior Reviewer will highlight potential printing problems. At any point you can correct an error, and upload a revised manuscript.

7. Now, upload or create your own book cover. CreateSpace provide three choices for you: Build your own cover using their free templates, uploading a cover you have, or paying CreateSpace to design a cover for you.
8. CreateSpace has about a dozen or so template cover designs that you can customize - no programing or other technical skills needed!  I know - I used one of the free template to create the cover for How to Self-Publish Your Own Quilt Catalog!

For this example, I used the template - and even used one of CreateSpaces free images for this sample cover. 
9.  Now it's time to submit your interior and cover for CreateSpace to review and approve for printing.
CreateSpace will email you in a day or so that it has approved your files or may ask you to correct something that will hinder printing and resubmit the file(s).  You'll next have to provide Sales Information for your book as well as indicate where you want to sell your book (e.g., Amazon, expanded distribution to other online sites, Amazon sites in UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) and the book's retail price. Be sure to order a physical proof.  I have rarely ordered a proof and not seen some mistake that I was able to correct (e.g., misspelled word, etc.). And, from personal experience, it a absolutely FABULOUS to see your proof when it arrives - to see your name in print and to actually hold in your hands your own catalog!

Do let me know when you're quilt catalog is published.  I'd love to read it and share your good news with others here on the blog. Enjoy!

"A Journey Through Plastic Space" by Marcella Hayes Muhammad

While I was on a social media site, I read about Marcella Hayes Muhammad's art catalog. This 60-page full color catalog features her abstract, cubism work. There are nearly 50 images in this catalog - all for only $10. CreateSpace is used to publish this art catalog, that includes an essay by Dr. William E. Colvin from Alabama State University as well as text by Mrs. Muhammad. She shares her inspiration and insights about creating her still life, musical, Maruvian mask, and figurative series. And, if you're in the UK, you can also purchase the catalog

Congratulations Mrs. Muhammad on "A Journey Through Plastic Space".  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sherrie Theriault has self-published more than 30 art books!

Hello!  Recently I was introduced to this new children's picture book, Quilt Me Into Memory by New Jersey outsider artist Sherrie Theriault.  I purchased the book immediately based on the quilt cover!  I was also surprised by the unusual viewpoint of the story and the Harriet Powers' references. I just had to email her and ask a few questions.  Let me introduce you to Sherrie Theriault - who has self-published more than 30 books featuring her artwork!

What inspired you to create "Quilt Me Into Memory"? 
Sherrie Many years ago my mother suggested that I consider writing books.  Because I am a profound non-speller, I made light of the idea that I could write a book, but she held fast. I was driving to the library, praying for the willingness to at least try. I was also praying for inspiration; when I arrived the first thing that caught my eye was Antiques Magazine; the cover image was a pictorial quilt by Harriet Powers. I pored over the article. I was stopped by an ad for an auction; an antiques dealer was going to auction off a handbill from the last slave auction at the Macon County courthouse. I was devastated; it was a list of people's names and ages and attributes. I sat in the library and cried and as I did it occurred to me that this auction was not the end of the story, that the plague that is chattel slavery is not the end of the story. Harriet Powers' quilt was there on the cover of this magazine telling some more of the story and maybe I could tell some of the story too. I xeroxed the article and the ad; came home and wrote Quilt Me Into Memory.

Are you also a quilter?
Sherrie:  Yes, I do quilt, but I am a playful, inexact quilter. My mother is a competition quilter, also a quilt instructor.  The quilt on the cover is my mother's work. She is the only person I would trust such a task to. She captured everything my heart had to say and quilted it.

How did you produce this book using CreateSpace? Did you use their book layout service or did you do it yourself?
Sherrie:  I use the program Photoshop to typeset my artwork. I use Microsoft Word for book layout and then I convert the Word document to a PDF file for upload. The book's cover I created in Photoshop and PDF the file directly from there.  This is the 31st book I have created using CreateSpace. I love them and the opportunity they provide me. I have to say I haven't ever used their layout service.

As an artist, why is it important that you also create books for your work?
Sherrie: I am an outsider artist and my work is represented in a gallery and this is wonderful. With that said, nothing compares with the range and longevity that a book offers. When someone buys my sculpture from the gallery it is theirs and though people may admire it or commission a similar piece, it is never the same as the first one, the real one.  With books it's the real one every time and they can be shipped anywhere and now they can be converted to Kindle format and go with you anywhere. I can't do that with sculpture; I can't make it accessible in the same way.  Sculpture is wonderful, but books are a different kind of love affair.

Would you like to share an important tip to other artists looking to create a book of their artwork or publish a children's story based on their artwork?
Sherrie:  I fear that this will sound trite, but breathe. Then be patient with yourself and be aware that you might not be your normal charming self while building your book so keep some space between you and those you care about, less apologize that way.

Make a big note for yourself that says, "There is a learning curve; it will not always take me this long to do this!"  Post this all over your workspace and do all you can to believe the note because it is true.

My first picture book took six months to build and much blood was drawn, not all of it mine. Now it takes an hour or two to build a book once I have finished the typesetting; no blood and lots of smiles when it's done.

The last thing I will say is... do it!  Nothing in this world feels the way your book feels in your hands; trust me, you don't want to miss out on that feeling.

Sherrie - thank you so much for your time in sharing your self-publishing experience for your artwork. I was inspired by 30+ books and "Quilt Me Into Memory!  

I hope this interview is helpful to those who are following the Publish Your Own Quilt Catalog blog!  I'm happy to include YOUR quilt catalog experience, too.  Enjoy!  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Edna Patterson-Petty's Fabrics Work Now Published!

Congratulations to East St. Louis art quilter Edna Patterson-Petty on the publication of her new book, Fabrics Work: My Creative Journey!

What motivated you to create a quilt catalog?
"I started the process in 2010 with and never completed it for whatever reason, and as an outcome I became frustrated. It wasn't until Kyra published her book "How to Self-Publish Your Own Quilt Catalog," that I signed up to follow her blog, and I then decided to finish what I started, but this time with perseverance and CreateSpace."

Was your publishing process difficult or expensive?
"Pulling the information together was not difficult since I had started the process before, but the difficult part was working with a new version of Micrsoft Word 2010. Everything was way different from what I was used to with the old version. So, I had to have help in "ironing" out a few things. The process of creating the catalog was not expensive, it was free."

How does it feel to have a finished catalog of your quilts?
"I feel relieved, excited and nervious all at the same time. It is like creating a new art piece, and not knowing how it will be accepted by my peers. But all's good, I have FAITH."

What advice do you have for other quilters or guilds considering making a catalog?
"My advice is to go for it, for those of us that need a little help, Kyra simplified it in her book. So, it is time to stop talking about it and be about it!"

Would you like to add anything else?
"Yes, I would like to thank God for the good, the bad and the ability to make it through. In the words of MARY, MARY - "Go Get Your Blessing."

Fabrics Work: My Creative Journey is available on Amazon. This 28-page, full-color quilt catalog includes 18 quilts and an essay by Edna Patterson-Petty.  Congratulations Edna!!

If Quilts Could Talk: My Quilts, My Stories by Aisha Lumumba

Congratulations to Aisha Lumumba on her 2nd quilt book!  I love how she is taking her quilts and making them available to a larger audience who may not be able to see them in person or on exhibit. Add to your library "If Quilts Could Talk: My Quilts, My Stories" by Lumumba. This 32-page, full-color book features five quilts inspired by real-life adventures from Lumumba's childhood in rural Georgia.  This book is first in a series!   

You'll see how Aisha used one of her quilts for the cover. Don't you just want to DANCE with these two sisters?  She also used Microsoft Word for the interior. You can do this, too!  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monna Ellithorpe Publishes Double Wedding Ring Quilt Pattern

Earlier this year Monna Ellithorpe used CreateSpace to publish her "Easy Double Wedding Ring Quilt" instructional pattern book. This book is 6" x 9" and has 32 pages.  Mrs. Ellithorpe was motivated to write the book, according to the description on Amazon, "out of sheer frustration in trying to make a Double Wedding Ring Quilt. Wanting so desperately to make this beautiful quilt for her daughter..."  She goes on to say the pattern is one even a beginner quilter can make! 

Today's posts are about different self-publishing ideas other quilters had. This is a quilt pattern book. Next you'll read about a children's book involving a magical quilt, and finally, a more traditional catalog on quilted sculptures.

The steps we've covered to date have included the major elements of creating your own quilt catalog:
I hope your quilt catalog is coming along!  Enjoy these examples from other self-published quilters!

Mary and The Dream Quilt - One Grandmother Publishes Stories for Her Grandchildren

Susan Victor published Mary and The Dream Quilt, a 60-page book for her grandchildren using CreateSpace. According to the book's description, "When Mary and Squeaks find the Dream Quilt hidden at the bottom of Grandmother's Trunk of Tricks, fairies, dragons, and mermaids are just a dream away. But an ugly old witch and her nasty black cat learn of it too! Courageous little Mary must quickly discover her magic and stop the witch's plans before the Dream Quilt is lost forever."

Have you considered publishing a children's story featuring your quilts?  Have a look at Mary and The Dream Quilt on Amazon and click the Look Inside logo on the book cover. You'll see that this book has a black & white interior with black & white line drawings. You can read the positive reviews about the book.

I believe if the late Celia Spatz LoPinto were here, she would add Susan Victor's book to Mrs. LoPinto's "Stitch Me A Story: A Guild to Children's Books with a Quilting Theme." Mrs. LoPinto self-published her 74-page guide in 1994 and updated it in 1999. This guild included the title, publication details and story descriptions for more than 125 children's books.  What a gem!  Enjoy! 

The Studio Quilt, No. 8: Quilted Sculpture

Congratulations to Sandra Sider, who has published another catalog in the Studio Quilt series. This 50-page catalog features the quilted sculpture pieces by Mary Beth Bellah, Susan Else, and Jill Rumoshosky Werner. This catalog is published via CreateSpace and retails for $14 (though at the moment it is listed for just $10!).

As you consider your own personal or guild catalog, you might brainstorm possible series opportunities:
  • A guild's two or three major exhibits during the year
  • A gallery might focus on creating catalogs featuring up-and-coming local artists
  • A quilter might consider a catalog for different themed quilts (e.g., family quilts in one catalog by one person and another catalog featuring a collection of quilts by different family members or across different generations)
What kind of catalog series are you considering?  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Step 11 - Type Your Artist Resume and Proof Your Catalog

Your catalog is a great way for potential collectors of your work to become familiar with you. For people who have already invested in your work, this catalog may enhance the value of your quilts to them. The artist resume is a way to illustrate your involvement with your craft in a more formal way than the essay you may have written in your catalog.

Let's say you want to create a one-page artist resume to include in your catalog.  The topics you might consider adding:

  • How to contact you.  You might provide an email or website address.
  • Selected exhibits where your quilts have been included
  • A selected list of any book or articles that feature your art work
  • Selected public or private collections that include your quilts
  • Selected list of guild or association memberships 
  • Notice that you offer workshops or lectures about your artwork or quilt technique(s)
Guilds which are creating an exhibit catalog may consider adding a page featuring the guild's history or invitation for readers to join the guild.

Congratulations!  If you've been following these steps, you have the basic framework for your own quilt catalog!  You have an essay that provides insights into your artistic motivations, you have a dozen or so images of your quilts, and an artist resume.

In Step 12 - we'll start the process of actually getting your catalog published and distributed.  But, before that, you'll need to ensure that your catalog is proofread.

Ensure any purposely blank pages are indeed blank.  Check for grammatical errors, readability, formatting consistency and such. For a week or two, put your manuscript aside; then, come back to it with fresh eyes. Proof your manuscript again. Consider hiring a professional proofreader or ask friends who will be very honest with you (smile!). I have used to locate proofreaders within my budget. In any respect, you'll need an error-free file to create your quilt or art catalog.

How is your quilt catalog project coming along?  Do you have any questions that I can help with? Do drop a note in the Comments area.  I'd love to hear from you.  Enjoy! 

Offer your quilt catalog in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy!

Today CreateSpace announced that authors using their service can distribute their books (like your quilt catalog!) on the Amazon websites in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.... for free.  Your quilt catalog, if you choose to participate in the Amazon Europe program, will always be in stock in these countries.

Additionally, your quilt catalog, if you use CreateSpace, will be available for same-day shipping in those countries. No longer will your potential customers have to pay extra for shipping from the US. 

What is great for quilters outside of the US, you can receive royalties from your quilt catalogs by direct deposit in US dollars, British pounds or Euro. 

This morning I've expended the How to Self-Publish Your Quilt Catalog distribution to these new countries.  It was as easy as a click!  Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Step 10 - Insert Photos of Your Quilts into Your Catalog

No art catalog is complete without photographs! I have several exhibit catalogs published in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s that have B&W photographs because this was the affordable way to publish such gallery catalogs.  With print-on-demand, you can publish a catalog in full-color. 

By now you should have determined the layout you want for your quilt catalog as well as the number of images or photographs you want to include.

There are a variety of photographic styles you can use for your catalog, such as:
  • Professionally or personally photographed art pieces;
  • Images of you at work sewing on your machine or sewing by hand;
  • A photograph of your quilt on a bed or wall; and/or
  • A group photo of you with family or friends near one of your quilts on display

You might consider different photo caption styles, such as:
  • Name of piece, year made, size of piece, materials used, owner of the piece
  • Paragraph describing your inspiration for making the piece

Other Items to Consider:
  • Be sure to give the photographer credit for his or her images in your catalog.
  • If you have photographs of anyone other than yourself in your catalog, be sure to get a signed photo release from each person in the photo. Be sure you have their written permission to publish their image.  
  • You’ll need digital images to insert into your Word file.  For CreateSpace, the final interior book file size cannot be larger than 400MB.  Insert your photographs into your Word document; do not copy and paste the images, for best quality.
There are a few online resources for taking quality images of your quilts:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Aisha Lumumba's New Art Quilt Catalog Is Available for Sale!

Congratulations to Aisha Lumumba!!  She has just published her own quilt catalog!  Gifted: Art Quilts Featuring African American History Makers is a 28-page, full-color softback catalog showcasing quilted portraits of prominent Black Americans such as Harriet Tubman, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Sidney Poitier and President and Mrs. Obama.  

I asked Ms. Lumumba yesterday if she would answer a few questions to give insights to others who are following the Publish Your Quilts blog.

What motivated you to create a quilt catalog?
Mrs. Lumumba: I was motivated to create my quilt catalog by Ms. Kyra Hicks. First, I had seen the advertising for her book, How to Self-Publish Your Own Quilt Catalog, and I made a mental note to get one. When I finally got the workbook in my hands, the wheels inside my brain started to roll. I opened the package at the post office and read (the workbook) at red lights on the way home. I sat down and read the book in its entirety before I put it down. I was so inspired that I knew right away what I wanted to do.

Was your publishing process difficult or expensive? 
The Publish Your Quilts blog and the workbook were both very helpful. I felt like the blog gave me a chance to communicate with the author, that I would not have otherwise with just the book. The process was so easy. The workbook laid it all out very clearly. I simply followed step-by-step. The beautiful truth is that it cost me absolutely nothing. When I tell others that I did it for free, they look at me like something green is dripping from my head. It is an amazing process. I used CreateSpace to publish my catalog. I found it really easy to use as well.  Whenever I was stumped, I called them up. They responded immediately. The customer service was great.

How does it feel to have a finished catalog of your quilts?
The only answer I can give is giggly!  I remember being young and everything was funny. My girlfriends and I would laugh for hours, sometimes at nothing. My friend's mother would say, "why are you all laughing?"  That is how I feel about my new book. I feel like laughing for no reason. When I first saw my catalog online and available for sale, I was over the moon with excitement. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Ms. Hicks has opened a door for me with the information in her workbook.

What advice do you have for other quilters or guilds considering making a catalog?
I advise anyone considering making a catalog to go for it. "Nothing beats the heck out of a failure, but a try." It costs nothing to try it. I'd say make sure you take quality pictures of your work.

Would you like to add anything else?
I  know many people may be afraid to take such a big step, but if you do, you will find that it is well worth it. Dare to be like Nike: "Just Do It."  

----   Again , congratulations to Atlanta quilter Aisha Lumumba for her new catalog, Gifted.  If you have any questions you'd like to ask Mrs. Lumumba, feel free to leave in the Comments area here.  Also - take a moment to see her catalog on Amazon, if you like what you see click the "Like" button near the title... and maybe purchase a copy for yourself or a Mother's Day gift (smile!).  Enjoy!

Update:  This post was featured in the Huffington Post - Arts Section. Click to read.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beauty Secrets: 150 Years of History in One Quilt Pattern

Bill Volckening is a self-described "quilt magnet," who has collected quilts since 1989. He used the website to publish a catalog of quilts in his collection, which were on display in 2011.  The 80-page, full-color catalog is titled "Beauty Secrets: 150 Years of History in One Quilt Pattern."  The softcover retails for $31.95.  Visit Blurb to preview Bill's catalog.     Have you used the Blurb website to make a catalog?  Can you share your experience?

Do you collect quilts or other textiles? Wouldn't it be cool to make a catalog of your personal collection?  Your quilts, your cloth dolls, the quilts from multiple generations of your family?  What catalog collection idea do you haveEnjoy!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Step 9 - Write Your Own Catalog Essay - Starter Questions here

Now that you have the Word file set up, its time to write the essay that might accompany your catalog. 

For an artist catalog, you might consider writing an autobiographical essay to help readers understand how your life has influenced your quilt making. Your essay may be in prose format or question and answer. Here are a few starter questions you might consider answering for an autobiographic essay:

  • Early Life – What year were you born? Who are your parents, siblings?
  • Education – Where have you studied? Did you formally study textiles?
  • What year did you learn to quilt? Who or what influenced your decision to quilt?  Did anyone in your family quilt?
  • How does quilting make you feel?
  • What do you hope to accomplish with your quilt making?
  • How would you describe your quilt making style?
  • How has your quilt making evolved over time?
  • What influence does your community or guild membership(s) have on your quilt making?
  • What other needle arts do you do?
  • How would you like the world to remember you as a quilter?
  • For more starter questions - you can purchase a copy of the Publish Your Quilt workbook.

If your catalog is about an exhibit or series of quilts, you might consider answering:
  • What inspired the series or exhibit?
  • How does the series fit into the body of your art work?
For a gallery or guild creating a catalog for of an exhibition, you might consider writing about:
  • What is the theme of the exhibition? What motivated the show? What do you hope to accomplish with the show and the range of artists included in the exhibit?
You can type write into your Word document and edit the essay later. Get a good draft going!  

Once you have a solid draft, you should have others to look at it and edit it. My mother used to edit all my manuscripts. She's a retired English teacher and did not spare her red ink marks! I have also used friends who will critically review my writing - this is not the time for someone to "be nice."  

Now, though, I use the services of a professional. You'll have to decide what type of editing you want: grammar, word usage, overall readability and flow, fact checking, etc.  You can find a professional editor in your price range on  Has anyone used this site for freelance assistance?

How are you doing with your catalog so far?  Do leave a comment below. Would love to hear from you! Enjoy!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Free eBook for Kindle Readers - Quilting Children's Picture Book

One of my books is available as an eBook for Kindle devices. You've been doing a lot to make your own quilt catalog, so as a gift, for a limited time only - April 27 - 29, 2012 - you can download a free eBook copy of Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria to your Kindle

Note: Though free at the time of posting, prices may change at any time. Please verify that the “Kindle Price” is $0.00. If you see a price for “Prime Members” or “read for free,” then the book is NOT free any longer.

Don’t have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or you can download a Kindle Reading App for free for your computer or smartphone!  Enjoy!

Update:  Thank you!  This promotion has now ended. The response was overwhelming! Several thousand folks downloaded a free copy of Martha Ann's story.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Step 8 - Type Your Catalog Just as It Will Appear Printed

One secret to creating your own quilt catalog using print-on-demand is that you'll need to type and format your manuscript just as each page would appear printed.

By now you should have determined the trim or book size for your catalog. The notes you took in Step 5 to determine the interior layout of your catalog will be your road map. [In the workbook, there is a table illustrating two different layout structures and an area where you can sketch your own layouts]

Open the Word file you formatted in Step 7 and start typing your ....
  • Title Page. Center your title and subtitle as you would like to see it printed. Press Enter several times until you are onto the next page.
  • Copyright Page. Be sure to copyright your work by typing Copyright © Year Your Name.
  • Dedication Page.
  • blank page. IF you have a dedication page in your catalog, you might need a blank page following the dedication page. The text of a book typically starts on the right-hand side of a book. This blank page will force the text to start on the right-hand side. I usually type and highlight "This page left blank on purpose" to remind me to delete that sentence before I finish the manuscript completely.
Now - if you don't feel up to typing and formatting your Word document, you can simple type in your information and photos - again, you'll have to type in all the words that will be in your catalog - and hire someone to format your interior. The free way is to do it yourself. Print-on-demand companies usually offer services for a fee - just be careful of your budget!

We'll start brainstorming your catalog essay in the next step. How's it going with your catalog? Leave a comment here - love to hear from you! Enjoy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Step 7 - Format your Microsoft Word file based on your catalog size

Welcome! By now you should have decided on your quilt catalog book or trim size. Two popular sizes are 7 x 10 inches and 8.5 x 8.5 inches. The Studio Quilt monograph series uses the 7 x 10 size. Salli McQuaid's quilt catalogs use the 8.5 x 8.5 size.

CreateSpace offers free Microsoft Word templates based on your catalog's trim size. You'll have to visit the Community text link> Resources > Formatting Your files > Documents and then look for Interior Templates. You may need to have joined CreateSpace to download one of the templates.

If you set up your own Word file, you can play with the following settings:
  • Paper size - make 7 x 10 inches or 8.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Font - I like the Georgia font - it is very readable
  • Font size - this is your personal preference... just make it readable, maybe 11 or 12
  • Margins: try experimenting with Top 1 inch, Bottom 1 inch, Inside .75 inches, outside .75 inches, and Gutter (this is that valley in the center of a book) .25 inches
  • Justification - I prefer left and right justification. This is where the text spreads across from left to right vs having a jagged right edge.
In the next step, we'll start to actually type your manuscript! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Step 6 - Make Your Catalog Title Work

Step 6 - Brainstorm a quilt or art catalog title that will market your book 24/7.

How do you go about buying a book? No, really. Take a moment to think about the different ways you buy a book today:

Traditional Bookstore
  • Seeing a stack of books on a table or end of aisle display
  • Roaming book stack isles and picking up a book with an interesting title or book cover
  • Hearing recommendation from book store employee
  • Reading a "top pick" card by the store's staff
Online Bookstore
  • Typing in specific title for a book
  • Typing in keywords for the type of book you're looking for
  • Seeing "featured book" or "also bought" book recommendation
  • Taking a moment to view the "Look Inside" or preview feature of a book
Online Search Engine
  • Typing in keywords for the type of book you're looking for
  • Clicking on a search engine ad or nature search result
  • Clicking on a link to a book review
And, if you have a smartphone, have you looked for a book using it?

There is little to no real chance that your quilt or art catalog will be stocked by a traditional bookstore. As a result, your title will have to work hard to attract potential buyers and readers online. What kind of keywords would you use to create your own book title? Actually, consider creating a title and subtitle to attract the widest potential audience.

What keywords would someone type to get to your art catalog? What is the theme you're trying to communicate in your book? What "target audience" are you trying to attract to your book?

May I share an example? Consider my book "This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers' Bible Quilt and Other Pieces." How many potential readers would have located the book if I only had the title "This I Accomplish"? Would anyone even know what the book was about? Now, think about all the folks who might go to Google and put in "Harriet Powers" or "Bible Quilt" in the search engine. By adding these two phrases, this title works 24/7 to attract potential readers.

What are potentially popular keywords for a quilt catalog? Quilt, quilts, quilter, artist, art quilt, patchwork, and applique.

You can also visit two websites for help in locating just the right keyword for your catalog:
Take some time to brainstorm on your quilt catalog title and subtitle!

Quilt and Artist Catalogs - Examine the Titles and Subtitles

As you brainstorm your own quilt or artist catalog, take a moment to consider the following book titles and subtitles. Notice how the artist or quilter is positioned by the sub-title. Some of the subtitles describe the artist's studio, geographic location, or type of artwork.

How will you position your book's title and subtitle? Enjoy!

Quilt Guilds and other Sewing Group Book Titles

Here are a few books by or about quilting guilds. Consider the title and sub-titles here.
What would be the title of your quilting guild's book?!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Step 5 - Create the Framework for your Quilt Catalog

Today you get to create the framework for your own quilt or art catalog! Earlier you had an opportunity to consider the theme for your catalog. Will it be a broad overview of your quilt making or a focus on a series of specific quilts?

Let's create a 24 page catalog! A simple model to consider for your quilt catalog is to have 6 pages of text about your quilt making and at least 13 photos, assuming one photo per page. Here is a framework for you to consider.

Page 1 - Title page
Page 2 - Copyright page
Page 3 - Dedication page
Page 4 - leave this page blank so that it forces the text on page 5 to be on the right-hand side of the book.
Pages 5 - 10 - Create an essay about your quilt making and or inspiration for your art work. In a later post, we'll talk about ideas for such an essay.
Pages 11 - 23 - Feature photographs of your quilts or artwork.
Page 24 - Your artist resume

See - when you sketch the framework for your art catalog, it is not that intimidating!

Why is the framework exercise important? I think it will help you to gather the needed photographs for your catalog. Equally as important, this exercise will eventually help you decide on a retail price for your book.

The catalog we'll create is a full-color one. Color printing is more expensive than black and white printing. As a result, you have to be mindful of page count. The more pages, the higher the cost to print the book and the higher the retail price. We'll cover things to consider when selecting a retail price later.

For now, spend some time creating the framework for your 24 page art catalog! [For those who have the workbook, there is a framework for a 36 page catalog.] Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Step 4: Consider the components of a book - Pick your catalog size

When you were a kid, did you ever get some blank paper, fold it and staple the paper in the center fold to make a "book."? At its most basic, a book is a collection of folded pieces of pages. Mathematically, the book pages are divided by 4.

When I was researching my first book, Black Threads, I had no idea, thankfully, that it would actually become a published book. I was just having fun collecting the data, answering historical questions. When eventually I submitted a book query to McFarland Publishing to see if they would be interested in publishing the manuscript, I was shocked to get a positive letter in response the very next week! I was even more shocked to read that my 58,096 word manuscript was too short! I needed at least 90,000 words! Yikes! I'm glad that I did not initially know what I didn't know. I might have been too intimidated to "write a book."

Take a moment to look at your favorite books and really consider the book components. What other components would you add to this list?
  • Title page
  • Copyright page
  • Dedication page
  • Table of Contents
  • Body of the book: Introduction, chapters, page numbers, photos. Notice how a new chapter usually starts on the right-hand side of the page!
  • Appendix
  • Bibliography or recommended reading list
  • About the author page

Without even putting pen to paper - you likely already have three pages of your book in your mind! The Title page, the copyright page and the dedication page (smile)!

A common book size or trim size for a catalog is 7 x 10 inches or 8.5 x 8.5 inches. Today we start to create your quilt or art catalog. Consider what size you want your catalog to be. You can see the different trim sizes that CreateSpace offers by clicking here - and selecting the Printing Options tab. Enjoy!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Step 3 - Which elements of the publishing experience are important to you?

The process for publishing any book involves many steps and costs considerations. The art quilt catalog that we'll talk about can be done inexpensively. We'll cover potential costs in a different post, but here let's review the major elements to consider when selecting a print-on-demand vendor. You'll have to decide which elements are most important to you and how to approach each:
  • Who owns your manuscript?
  • Who owns the ISBN? ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and is a unique identifier for the book. Look on the back cover of any book - the ISBN is above the bar code. It is essential to have an ISBN for online or traditional bookstores to sell your catalog.
  • Who secures (and pays for) any permissions, such as permissions to publish a photo?
  • Who edits the manuscript?
  • Who designs the interior book layout?
  • Who creates the book cover?
  • Who prints the physical book?
  • Who distributes the book or makes it available for potential book sellers? It is not enough to have printed copies of your quilt catalog. You need it available for bookstores and others to buy it. How does the print-on-demand service you are considering make the printed book available? Who is it available to: just their website? to major online sites? to physical bookstores? to libraries? just in the US or also Canada, UK, Japan and other countries?
  • Who markets the book?
Don’t be discouraged – anyone who has ever published has to touch each of these steps! You should read the Terms and Conditions for any print-on-demand company you are interested in.
As a self-published author, I have found it critical to have my work on to reach the widest potential audience. Additionally, most folks have a credit card of file with the major online bookstores, so it convenient to purchase there. So, if the print-on-demand company does not make my book available to Amazon and other online bookstores, then they are off my list.
What are the important elements for you? Take a moment to post your comment. Enjoy!