Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Comparison of Seed Beads

Understanding the differences between the products will help you to understand the impact on your jewelry designs.
Seed beads are the building blocks of bead stitched jewelry. Understanding the differences between the products will help you spend wisely and achieve better results with your jewelry projects. To read the full post, click on Read More below the photo.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

How to Get Published in a Craft Magazine--Part 5

In order to get published in a craft magazine the design you submit must be in keeping with the magazine and the editorial vision for the issue.

As a published designer, I will share with you my approach. The first step I take is to identify some magazines for a particular craft--if I don't have one in mind.  I might go to a local newsstand, bookstore, library or do a google search. I select one that I would go to for inspiration or has designs that are in keeping with my design style.

The second step is I learn about the magazine. I gather up the submission/designer guidelines, the editorial calendar and some back issues.

Submission/Designer Guidelines (tends to be available on the magazine's website)
The designer guidelines gives me insight to what type  of content is in keeping with the magazine. It provides general information about the magazine and an overview of the submission process. Here is an outline of the typical document.

General information about the publication
  • Frequency of publication
  • Page count
  • Content information- focus of articles, what they include, standard features
  • How to
  • Advice
  • Requirements
Review Process

Material Selection
What types are acceptable

Accepted Designs
What you'll be expected to deliver

Editorial Calendar
Reviewing the editorial calendar is my first step in the design process. It lets me know what the editor is specifically seeking for an issue: theme, type, technique and color. I choose which issue I will create a design for based on what theme appeals to me and what deadline I can make. I check my craft stash to see if I have materials that meet what they are seeking, such as color. Then I start brainstorming on what I can create based on what they say they are seeking for a particular issue.

Magazine Review
If I am unfamiliar with a magazine, then I would look at as many issues of the publication I could to better my understanding of the magazine. If I am familiar with the magazine, then I would just look at the same issue from the previous year.

Create the Design
The design I create will reflect what I have learned. Additionally, I take detailed notes while I am creating the project. The notes include materials (types, quantities, sizes and colors) and steps taken. The note taking might include photos or illustrations.

I review the requirements again to make sure I didn't forget anything that would prevent my project from being considered for review.

Accepted Designs
I markdown the delivery deadline and when I need to ship in order to make the deadline. I review the requirements before I write up the article and again before I ship the project.

Following the process outlined above will help you to create a design that is in keeping with a magazine and the editor's vision for an issue. Good luck!:)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

How to Get Published in a Craft Magazine--Part 4

This is the fourth post in the series How to Get Published in a Craft Magazine. In the previous post I provided information to help you assess the investment aspect of this pursuit and today I will provide information regarding the return.

How much a magazine pays for a project (finished design and step-by-step instructions) varies. The range is anywhere from zero to around three hundred and twenty five dollars. After reading the first four post in the series, you should have enough information to help you make an informed decision.

Over the course of time, my view of being a published designer has changed. Originally, I thought being published was the end goal. However, I now think of it as a tool to achieve another goal. Getting published in a magazines or getting a book deal is a great way to establish your credibility. This credibility can help you achieve other goals like becoming a craft teacher or in selling your crafts.

In a future post I will share information to help improve your chances of getting published.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to Get Published in a Craft Magazine--Part 3

Part three of the series on How to Get Published in a Craft Magazine provides insight to the type of investment required in order to pursue this goal. The submission process can be broken down into three parts: creation, submission and acceptance.

Creating a project for submission is done on spec. This means you have invested time, money and effort with no guarantee of payment. Right now, you might think that you won't have to buy any materials because of your craft stash. Depending on the craft and the stash, this might not be true. A magazine's specific requirements can be found in their submission guidelines. In general, the materials used in a project must be current and readily available. The definition of current for these purposes means that the company that created the product is still in business and the item has not been discontinued. The definition of readily available means that it should be easy for a reader to acquire the materials required to make the project.

Projects can be submitted by mail or electronically (via e-mail or uploaded to the magazine's website). There still are some publications that only take submissions via mail.

Submission forms are sometimes required. Mailed submission will require that you be able to print out the form. Electronic submissions the form can be filled out the same way. If for some reason you cannot fill it out using your electronic device, then fill out a printed copy, take a photo of it and attach it to your submission.

The cost associated with mailing a submission will depend upon the craft type, project size, project weight, packing materials, method of shipments and distance shipped.

An electronic submission requires access to a digital camera and the Internet. The digital photo is what the editor uses to evaluate your design. You'll want a photo that really shows off your design. You might be able to get away with using your smart phone if your is a genius when it comes to taking a photo. Unfortunately my smart phone is pretty dumb. Professional photography lights are not required. I prefer natural daylight over my photography lights. Keep in mind that access to an external file (like your digital photo) might not be possible if you are accessing the Internet at a public library or at work.

You will have to pay to ship your project with the step-by-step instructions that are typed up and printed out. An electronic version will also have to be sent. Additionally, you might have to pay the return postage too. Some project might call for photos or illustrations of some steps. Photos that support the instructions will have to be high resolution. After reading this post you should have a clearer understanding of the investment required in the pursuit of becoming a published craft designer.

Part four of the series will address the return on this investment.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How to Get Published in a Craft Magazine--Part 2

Does it make sense for your craft work? 

The questions in the first part of the series  How to get published in a craft magazine were generated to help you make an educated decision regarding the pursuit of becoming a published craft designer.

Part two in the series will address does it make sense for your craft work.

The first piece of advice I would like to share with you is regarding rejection. The majority of published craft projects are done on spec. Speculative work means that the client (the magazine) wants to see a finished of design before agreeing to pay for it. This means that there are no guarantees that you will get paid for the time and money you invested in creating the design.   Please keep in mind that the rejection of a project doesn't necessarily mean a rejection of  your crafting skills.  There are a variety of factors that go into the editorial decision process that will be addressed in a later post. If you are like me, then crafting brings joy and fulfillment into your life. If rejection will steal the this from you, then this is probably not for you.

Part three of the series will provide insight to the cost associated with the pursuit of becoming a published craft designer.