Category: Entering

Market Yourself

Market Yourself: A Marketing System for Smart and Creative Business Owners is more than just a book about marketing — it’s a book about YOU. Your strengths, your weaknesses, what makes your product unique and good and worthy of an audience. In its 150+ pages, you’ll find more than 30 hands-on worksheets designed to take your business forward, fast!


Advance praise for Market Yourself:

[quote author=”- Diane Gilleland”] Do you love to make things, but hate the idea of marketing them? Take a deep breath, make some tea and spend some time with Tara’s book. She’s a gentle, encouraging guide through the landscape of promotion. You’ll build yourself a marketing plan that’s both comfortable and doable. [/quote]

[quote author=”- Kerry Burki”] Market Yourself takes your passion for making to the next level by teaching you step by step how to get your product into your buyer’s hands. Tara encourages and inspires but ultimately challenges you to create the growth you are looking for in your business. You will be amazed and intrigued by what you begin to learn about yourself as well as your brand. [/quote]

[quote author=”- Shannon Okey”] I really believe that this book is a logical successor to the Guide and one that will definitely help you rethink what you’re doing as a creative business person. Tara is from the yarn/craft world, so she really gets it! [/quote]


Sounds pretty interesting. Just got my copy in PDF, which is shipping already. If you would prefer the print edition + PDF instead, those will start shipping in another week or two.

Alla Koval Designs

Writing a Book—a Personal Experience. What’s new

First, I’ve added “My Book” to main menu and set up the categories to keep the posts organized:

  • Helpful Links (whatever links I’ll find helpful or worth remembering related to the subject)
  • Entering (referring to my first venture in book publishing)
  • Writing a Book (everything related to writing a book: crochet patterns, charts, title, cover copy, etc.) 
  • Publishing a Book (figuring out the different publishing activities and concerns and writing about my publishing experience)


On top of that I can proudly report a bit of progress: I’ve solved my old tough problem – find a professional crochet charts software. Once I realized that this software should be vector based then it was obvious that I was looking for a subset of Adobe Illustrator’s functionality (or Corel Draw or Inkscape (free one) or similar vector graphics application). So the name of “professional crochet symbols software” is Adobe Illustrator and I really have no idea why it took me so long to figure it out and I’ve spent hours to draw my charts (just don’t ask me which application I’ve used before LOL). And once you pass first learning bumps and got comfortable with Ai tools – it really takes minutes to draw the charts like these ones.


Pin Base


Seriously. It took me less than 2 days to watch video lessons and create my own library of crochet symbols. I’ll post great helpful links and tips how to get started late this week.


And to celebrate this “outstanding” event :о), I’ve turned this first flower chart into Dewdrop Flower Pin free pattern, which I’ll list just in few. Stay tuned.

It’s official!

Book Cover900

[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]es, it’s official. Let my very first book publishing venture begin! Exciting and scary a bit. Not scary actually, but it’s a kind of good challenge. Publishing a book has been on my to-do list for quite some time, but I’ve resisted writing a book in the past. Not only because I just hated the idea of working on a project for months without anyone seeing even a sneak peek, and without individual pattern releases I usually do monthly. But mainly, in order to put out a quality book, I wanted to learn as much as possible about everything related to writing and self-publishing patterns first. And with gained experience and a number of released patterns I feel ready for this new adventure. I love to challenge myself and discover new things. And one of the biggest challenges so far is to try to get enough thorough the knowledge of the publishing industry and produce the exact book I have in mind.


I decided to write about my publishing experience and share most interesting findings and tips here on my blog. Everyone is invited and very welcome to join! Please feel free to share your publishing experience, links to your published books, funny stories, your thoughts, or even ask the questions you may have. So, let’s go! Below are some info and answers on very first questions I guess you may have.


A knit or crochet book?

See picture above ;o) Well, probably I should start with “knit vs crochet” book, but  with Judy, Aeysha, Sarah and all of you, my crochet buddies in mind, I decided to start with a book of crochet designs. The book is about creativity, imagination and inspiration. More details to come…


Why self-publishing

The decision to self publish wasn’t a hard one for me. I love learning and perfecting new skills, and I hope I have most of the skills needed to self-publish that I had gained over 3 years of releasing patterns. But to meet the level of skill required to put out even a quality single pattern, the important thing to remember is that you want it to look excellent (especially if self publish), and if you aren’t passionate in photography or aren’t good with layout, consider on collaborating with the professionals, who can do it flawlessly. Look at the cover, even if it’s just rough draft so far. This was one of our very first collaboration with incredibly talented photographer Alex Koloskov and retoucher Genia Larionova and their absolutely precious twins Sophia and Liliana.This photo was taken about a year ago, and still melt my heart every time I see it as well as many others taken by this amazing team and creative souls!

I also love the flexibility of self-publishing and being able to control what goes into the patterns.

And most important for me, is that I have an opportunity to work and produce the exact book I have in mind.


When to expect the book to be published?

I’m not a big fan of deadlines, don’t you? But I have pretty strong schedule and business plan, which is not only gives clear understanding of the steps you need to take to self publish a craft book, but also keeps you pretty organized.

I’ll keep you updated.

[quote author=”- Fern Reiss, Publishing Game: Publish book in 30 days”] If you want to create a business, first you need to create a business plan. Otherwise, you will never have more than hobby.[/quote]

My Portfolio, finally!

Even if portfolio is that “Must have” thing, I never had a chance to work on it or ever make a try. I wish I knew that to create pretty simple but stylish and elegant portfolio is possible in less than 2 days…

Alla Koval Designs

… and will cost only $37! I love minimal and clean design style and felt in love with peerapong’s premium themes for WordPress immediately. Very easy customizable themes with such stylish and cool features!

Well, probably I’ll be back to work on OOAK design style of my portfolio in some of days, but so far I’m really happy with this one ;o) My portfolio is available at Alla Koval Designs (or click Portfolio in Main menu, here on My Little Citygirl)

Alla Koval Designs Designs Alla Koval Designs Contact

Also, I would like to thank you to my friends and incredibly talented artists, especially Annya Uslontseva, Alex Koloskov and Genia Larionova (and their lovely twins girls!), Natasha Titanoff, Christie Archer, Angela Owens and everyone I was lucky to met and work with! I appreciate your kindness, support, and talents very much and I am grateful for all you do.


Sincerely yours,
Alla Koval Designs