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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)


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 or that annotated bibliography 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


  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:




And here is sneak peek of Spring book cover:


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!




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

  1. 1
    Inma says:

    Best of luck with this proyect

  2. 2
    Sarah Jones says:

    Taking on a task of writing a book can be stressful, but you are so amazing at what you do that I think this will nearly be a walk in the park. Best of luck to you on this and all future books.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Ayesha says:

    I cant wait for the book ^_^ youve been an inspiration for me and still are <3 bless ….

  5. 5
    Erika says:

    I’m so excited for you, Alla. I’m so happy to see more beautiful crochet designs being put out there.:) Congratulations!!!

  6. 6
    bianca says:

    when will they be available and did you include graphics for all patterns so your german customer can use them too ??

    • Alla says:


      Oh yes, sure!! To make my books international was one of my goals, so every pattern has very detailed stitch diagrams ;)

      I very hope to release the books this fall, but let me see first.

  7. 7
    Leslie says:

    What a wonderful idea- with all the fantastic patterns you do putting them into seasonal books sounds perfect! Best wishes to you that the whole writing/designing/publishing process goes smooth and easy.

  8. 8
    Lisa says:

    <3 <3 <3 Congratulations!! So excited for your books & can't wait to see them all! ;)

  9. 9
    Judy Gallagher says:

    All your patterns are fantastic. I am sure you don’t need it but BEST OF LUCK with your new books.

  10. 10
    Karin says:

    Wishing you the best of of luck! Your creativity is inspirational and motivational!

  11. 11
    Linda says:

    You are such a creative designer and artist I hope the books go well for you, personally I can’t wait to see them.

  12. 12
    Cheryle says:

    I love your patterns and hope to see more in the future! Best of Luck with your new books!!!

  13. 13
    Trang says:

    Congrats to new book. Love your designs.
    greetings from Germany,

  14. 14
    Kathy says:

    Congratulations and best of luck! Your patterns are always adorable.

  15. 15
    Judy Eubanks says:

    Congratulations! I have purchased many of your patterns in the past and would love the opportunity to receive the first 55 pages of your new book!!
    Thank you for your generosity!

  16. 16
    Wendy says:

    What an exciting time for you Alla. I can’t wait to see the finished books. They will be a must have for me.

  17. 17
    Iryna B. says:

    How exciting, stressful too! Good luck with the book.
    I will keep my fingers crossed too.

  18. 18
    Judy Orrego says:

    Yay, have been waiting for this time. I want them all.

  19. 19
    Alla says:

    “I shared it at my facebook too.” by Judy Orrego.

    Ladies, please make sure you are entering a NEW post (not replying on your own post) – the reply does not count as an entry. Thank you!

  20. 20
    Nydia López de Castillo says:

    Congratulations!! You are so generous to share your imaginating and creativity with us, who love crochet. Your desingnes are so delicate and lovely.

    Thank you Alla, and good luck with the books.

    Nydia,El Salvador

  21. 21
    May says:

    Congratulations Alla on your first book. What a great achievement! You hard work certainly paid off & it must feel great. We love you & love yor designs – keep up the good work!

  22. 22
    Grace Sommers says:

    Congratulations on your books. You go girl.

  23. 23
    Tatiana says:


  24. 24
    Bredja says:

    It looks so great! Can*t wait for the book!

  25. 25
    Marie says:

    Fantastic news, Alla! I am eagerly looking forward to the publication of your books. Woo hoo!

  26. 26
    Kurnia says:

    Congrats! After a long time journey! My opinion for the cover is pretty and fresh, cool! but I feel it still empty. I love the pre cover that you show before it (two kids in undersea and fish theme background). One more time, congrat!

  27. 27
    Kurnia says:

    I shared this article on fb http://facebook.com/novikurnia.rajut

  28. 28
    Tamara says:

    Looking forward to the whole book, beautiful patterns.

  29. 29
    Mary from Australia says:

    Hi, Alla, I love the colours on the cover of the Summer Book!

  30. 30
    Kelli says:

    I can not wait for these books to come out. I will own them all!

  31. 31
    Susan says:

    Love the covers. Can wait to see the final project.

  32. 32
    Mary Ann says:

    So looking forward to theses books,very cute patterns

  33. 33
    Jeanette Egan says:

    Love all your crochet patterns (even the knitted ones but I don’t knit). Best if luck with the publishing. Oh, the items I did make, my granddaughter loves them and wants me to make matching for her doll

  34. 34
    Tina says:


    I am SO excited that you are getting close to publishing them!! What a grand undertaking and achievement you are doing!! As you know I love your patterns!

  35. 35
    De'Anna says:

    How exciting! You should be proud so much work. I can’t wait to see it and thanks for the chance to win some of your book. I would love to make something for my niece who lives so faraway to start first day of Kindergarten.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Illistine says:

    This is fabulous! I am looking forward to your books! Time management must be your best skill!? SMILE

  38. 38
    Альбина says:

    Аллочка я так рада за тебя!!! что наконец то твои книжицы увидят свет и будут доступны всем желающим!!! Я тоже очень этого жду, но признаюсь честно я всегда с трудом читаю твои посты (перевод у меня ужасный, приходится додумывать), поэтому пока комент, про ссылки и остальное боюсь не правильно-истолкованный перевод как бы не навредить чего, а так хочется поучаствовать…

  39. 39
    Jeannette Di Lorenzo says:

    Both photos are adorable! I love the “big sister”, “little sister” look on the 1st photo. The next one is also cute with the little girls quizzical eyes! Love all of your ideas!

  40. 40
    chinapat says:

    You have beautiful patterns

  41. 41
    Janita says:

    Pretty work and clear photos.

  42. 42
    Lynn Hamilton says:

    Your work is so unique and beautiful! My granddaughter still revels in her Magnolia coat and Ice Cream Social top! Can’t w8 to see the books! (Do you have more hours in your day than most of us? :~)

  43. 43
    Cecilia says:

    Best wishes and good luck with this new project. Love your work.

  44. 44
    Gen says:

    I am very much looking forward to the release of your books.
    I love your work and so do my girls :)


  45. 45
    Ayesha says:

    woops couldnt find the prev shared link forgot to post here


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