Writing 4 First Books | Pros & Cons, Giveaway + MORE!

We are back!!! Our daughter and her friend had two weeks summer rhythmic gymnastic camp in Los Angeles, CA.
We’ve spent 4 days LA and enjoyed every minute! Anyway, we are so glad to come back to home ;o)

LA

As I am back from travel, I am so ready back to work! :)

 

As I promised, below are my notes related to my self publishing book venture. As you know, it’s my very first experience with such big project, and I must admit that list of cons looks way longer than list of pros… so far :) But I still so excited that I started this venture and would still take it again for sure! ;o)

… self-publishing enables you to determine your own fate – Guy Kawasaki

Let’s start from reviewing the fact that I’m going to release 4 books instead of one.

So, how 4 books were born?..

I started my first book project with pretty simple idea: everything about imagination & inspiration and for every season. So I started :)

And couple months later I had a name for it (many thanks to Tim Ambat for the discussions where name was born):

 

Imagical Seasons TM: Crochet Couture for Kids 2-12 years

Imaginative and magical designs for little ones in your life

… where Imagical is a portmanteau word – a combination of “imagine” and “magical”. It describes perfectly what I want to achieve: coming up with unique ideas and designs, and making them a reality through the application of basic crochet and knitting skills.

 

That was how it all started.

Then, when I created most of book content and wrote almost all patterns, I found that content is too big to be published as one book, but not enough for 4 books. Anyway, I decided to split it by seasons – this is how I got 4 books (even if I should to add content to some of them, on which I worked recently). I’m so glad that that happened because you will have an opportunity to by only one, or two books, which not only can save you some $$, but could make your purchase more reasonable. For example, if you live in Hawaii, Imagical Seasons: Winter, probably will be not your “MUST have” book ;o).

Each book is going to be approximately 75-98 pages in 10.3″ x 8.5″ format. And all four books will be offered as set with a kind of hard folder-cover for nice gift presentation and finished look.

 

Cons & Personal Experience

If you thought starting a book was hard, wait until you try to finish one. As I said, writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s a marathon without people handing you cold water and cheering you on.  – Guy Kawasaki

 

Cons and how to fight them, based on my own, so far naive, experience:

  1. Learn the tools first. Software I’ve discovered and so happy with:
    • Adobe InDesign. With my 4 books, I’m able to change color of template of any book or font just in a second, and I do not care if I remove one or 10 pages, all cross references will be re-calculated. Not to mention that in Adobe InDesign you can prevent bad breaks in crochet and knitted patterns automatically. First of all, I highly recommend take a course how to organize styles, master pages, etc.
    • Adobe Illustrator. Since I’ve learned how to draw stitches diagrams, this skill became my absolute favorite part of patterns and books ;o) If you curious, you can find more details here.
  2. Make sure everything is working on small part, otherwise – re-editing the whole book will take LOTS of your time and turn you crazy for sure.
  3. Try to finish project with people you hired in shortest amount of time. You can take as much time to write a book as you want, but other people can’t; if you depend on someone to participate in your project, make it as short as possible – people want to participate, but life may force them to switch to other business or projects and you have to protect yourself as much as you can from such events…
  4. A Style Sheet is “Must have”. Many THANKS to Edie Eckman for her wonderful and such helpful class How to Say It. I highly recommend it!
  5. Great professional technical editor is not only awesome but very important. Many Thanks to Edie Eckman again and again!! She’s absolutely AMAZING!!
  6. Good testers are also big luck and I’m so happy with Lori (an owner of Sweet City Knits)!
  7. I am still in process… no double there will be more “experiences” to add here :)

 

I’ve never given birth, but I’ve heard that finishing a book is a similar process, so keep pushing. And sorry, but there are no epidurals or Cesarean sections in writing. – Guy Kawasaki

Pros

  1. You retain all of the creative control. That’s liberation. It also makes you accountable for everything you do! You are your brand!
  2. Self-publishing is also really satisfying and fulfilling.
  3. Self-publishing makes you responsible for more than just creating the single pattern or a book of patterns. You also have to do (or hire someone to do) the editing, the testing, the listing, the promotion, responding to questions, etc. You have to be able and willing to wear multiple hats. (Well, all above is both pros and cons, but I want to count it as pros so far :))
  4. You will learn a LOT and get new amazing skills, and it’s just awesome!

 

There are three stages of writing a book: starting, continuing, and finishing. They all require a combination of determination, desperation, and denial that all writes, as some stage, detest. Force yourself to make a little progress every day and, after a year or so, you’ll have a book and you’ll say, “That wasn’t so bad after all”. – Guy Kawasaki*

*All the quotes from Guy Kawasaki are taken from “APE How to Publish” a book by Kawasaki & Welch… one of the latest book I’ve just read.

 

Below is a draft of the Summer book cover:

covers_summer

 

 

And here is sneak peek of Spring book cover:

cover_spring

What do you think about the covers?  Please share your thoughts! Any honest opinion and critics would be much appreciated!!!

 

And… to celebrate this milestone in the books’ development

First, get 40% off on all my pattern until Monday August 4th, 2014! Use code FIRST4 at checkout. The coupon is applicable to myShop and Etsy stores. Offer valid now through August 4th, 2014 midnight PST.

If you may have any questions or issues with applying coupons – please let me know.

MyLCG Etsy 60x60

 

On top of this sale, let’s have a GIVEAWAY! One lucky one from anywhere in the world will win a PDF of first 55 pages of one of my coming books: Imagical Seasons: Summer!! Even if you may be familiar with couple designs from this book I’ve already listed as individual patterns, you will find at least 3 new secret designs, with final photography and layout. HOW exciting is that?! ;o) Oh, and cherry on the top – whatever design/size/color you will choice to make, I’ll glad to order and ship the yarn for your project just right away!! ;o)

 

You can enter the contest in 3 ways:

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post. No other action is required!

Optional Entry # 2: Blog about this contest, linking to this post, and leave another comment to this post with a link to your blog post.

Optional Entry # 3: Share this post on your accounts: at Google+, Facebook, Ravelry, Twitter, Yahoo, etc., leave one more comment on this post (if possible, with your link, but here is no any obligations). You also can just share my original Google+ and Facebok posts. Share on more networks for more entries! (one additional entry per one network).

 

This contest starts today, July 27, 2014 and will end on August 4, 2014 at 11:59pm PST.
I’ll select the winner with random.org’s random number generator. Winner will be notified by email on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Post your entries now and good luck to everyone!

 

 

 

In the News ;)

I can’t believe how lovely and exciting summer time we have this year!

Igor and I always worked so hard, last couple years up to 14-16 hours a day, so we decided to take a little break and afford some rest.

Our daughter Kristin also got some “unusual” experience – she’s (with her friend) now at rhythmic gymnastic summer camp (Los Angeles, CA) for 2 weeks. It’s first time when we are separated with her for such long time, and we so glad that she looks so excited and happy!! Not to mention that after camp they do enjoy the ocean ;o)

 

LA CA

 

Since Kristin was never excited for long car trips, we decided to realize one of our dreams of long travel, and yesterday Igor and I drove around Olympic Peninsula – visited Ocean Shores (-20F from Bellevue, but I’ve just LOVED it – I’m not a big fan of 85-90F), Hoh Rain Forest (really big trees, everything else you can see in any park in WA), Forks (vampires stores, High School looks different from what you see in the movie :)), Port Angeles (too many cops for small city), ferry to Seattle (we were lucky to wait only 2 minutes!) …. Tough day… 450+ miles, but with lots of fun ;o)

In two days (on Wednesday), we will fly to LA, CA to pick up Kristin and her friend, and will be back Saturday evening.

AND on Sunday, I’ll off for 3 days trip with Klondike travel to the lavender festival, with a visit to Olympic National Park (Arina, my friend and the owner of Klondike travel, assured me  that we missed lots of thing we must see that area), and then, – Portland, Oregon. How exciting!!

 

Oh, and just after my return, I’ll post the details of my first four (yes, 4!!! ;) books I’ve almost finished (approx. 75-98 pages each): one of them still need photos (we will work on them just in next couple weeks), some patterns need descriptions and tech editing, books needed introductions, bio, indexes, etc. parts… Oh, but we have covers!!! Here is a sneak peek of Spring book cover (well, even in pretty draft version so far):

 

covers-06

 

P.S.: If I would ever knew how MUCH time would it take to design, learn (and then learn again!), write, draw stitch diagrams and schematic, edit, page making and so on … I would still take that journey again and again! :p)

Happy Independence Day!

July 4th

To all my American friends and customers!

Happy July 4th from Seattle! Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

Happy Father’s Day!!

fathers_day_2014

… and me with my ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE & LOVELY Dad!! :

My Daddy

 

Happy Father’s Day to all wonderful and lovely Dads!

Our dear Igor and Олександр we love you SO MUCH!! You are the BEST!!
Alla & Kristin

White Peacock | Stitch Diagram

Peacock041

Peacock05

Peacock06

 

I’ve received many requests for this halter pattern. Thank you so much for your interest! Unfortunately I’ve had no chance to work on this pattern, but I do have a stitch diagram of dolly I’ve used for the skirt.

To download this lovely chart simple click at highlighted in green White_peacock.jpg file on the right. >>>>

Download: White_peacock.jpg
Updated: June 11, 2014
Size: 7.6 MiB
  And then click at image to enlarge – it’s pretty big and great quality chart.

 

White peacock

 

Oh, and if you may know the author of this amazing vintage dolly, could you please let me know, so I can give a credit.

Thank you and enjoy!!

Crochet! Magazine | Fluffy Clouds Blanket

Fluffy Clouds

 

What a nice surprise! My Fluffy Clouds Blanket pattern was featured yesterday at Crochet! Magazine. More than 4738 likes, 853 shares and 71 such sweet and lovely comments – could I ask for more?! ;o)

Thank you SO MUCH everyone!! This blanket is my very first I’ve even made, and was designed for our friend’s baby girl couple years ago!

 

Crochet! Magazine FluffyClouds3

 

A wonderful day everyone!!

Millennium Cup | Vancouver 2014

MC201402

 

We are back from annual MILLENNIUM CUP International Rhythmic Gymnastics Invitational competition our daughter participated. What a gorgeous competition venue (even if enough cold because of ice-hockey rink ;o)). We enjoined outstanding performances, incredibly talented and beautiful participants. Such memories!!

 

This time our coach decided to challenge the girls a bit and moved them to compete with gymnasts 2 levels advanced (from 6th level to 8th). I loved that our girls felt pretty comfy to compete even if with “big” girls ;o) Our daughter got 4th place in floor routine (and 6th all around) in group of 6 participants, including our new team gymnast – an amazing Angela (level 8). She got gold in all around!!!! YAY!!!

 

MC201401

 

Below are Floor and Hoop routines videos. And here are links to Ball routine.

 

Well, we are so glad back to home, and absolutely don’t mind that completion season is over ;o)

 

A wonderful week anyone!! Can’t wait to share some exciting news pretty soon!!

Happy Mother’s Day & Offer for You!!

Happy Mother Day

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you, awesome and lovely mamas out here. You are the best!!

Leap into Mather Day with a special offer I have for you: get 65% off all my patterns! Use coupon code ILOVEMYMOM at checkout.

This coupon is applicable to myShop and Etsy.

Offer valid now through Monday, May 12, 2013 11:59pm PST.

If you may have any questions or issues with applying coupons – please just let me know.

May your day be filled with all the love, peace, joy and goodness that mothers bring to this world!

Sakura Con 2014

Sakura Con 010[5]

I know, I probably surprise you by two posts a day, but I just can’t resist to share that…

…yesterday we went to Sakura-Con 2014 event. This time we took kids of our friends with us, because it is so really cool event that we wanted to share it!

And.. we realized this one became our family annual event – for 3 years in a row!! To look, to buy some funny stuff and some art, so make pictures, to look for crazy interesting and creative people who make stuff and who express themselves in a funny way and .. to have a day of fun! This event is “a bit” different from “normal” day-to-day life that it can be counted as one of these “out of the box” moments that move you and raise you and give you some space to fill with … with creativity and, may be, some kind of reset of mind ;o)

I’d like to say “let pictures talk”.. But I realize that in event with 5000 people I was not even prepared to capture feeling of insane ;o) I tried to freeze the moments but I missed a lot for sure…

There were dances, computer games, team battles and wins, music, anime movies, music and much much more…

Sakura Con 01

Sakura Con 02

Sakura Con 04

Sakura Con 07

Sakura Con 05  Sakura Con 06 

Sakura Con 08

Sakura Con 09

Igor:

Sakura Con 011

Our team:

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Sakura Con 012

pretty fun couple we’ve met:

Sakura Con 013

Sakura Con 014

 

Oh, and cherry on the top: we’ve watched two fashions shows of Japanese designers we’re lucky to met! First, it’s BEYOUND talented designer MINT NeKO.

Sure, I can’t resist to buy the shirt ;o) And Kristin fall in love with backpack, but we found that it is available in Japan only ….well,  it’s one more reason to visit this country (my_always_dream; and we’ll do it in some of days for sure ;0)

Sakura Con 016 Sakura Con 017

 

And below is the picture with famous Mint Neko Well, I bet we both were more than exhausted after 7 hours spending on Sakura Con (and I’m sure he was much more). Oh, and I think I definitely need to work on stretching my fingers that way …wow ;o)

Sakura Con 015

 

And last, but not least .. my absolute favorite fashion show of Angelic Pretty…such  inspiration!

Happy Easter!!

Easter 2014

Have a fabulous day with your family and friends!

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