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2 book deals, no go - it's time to go it alone.

Erin Curet art business books Personal Quilling Tutorial

For the past six years I have spent the majority of my introspective time trying to figure out how I can spread my love and lazy/creative way of quilling to the unknowing population. It is such a cool and unique art form that the majority of the population has never heard of nor seen. I created the Little Circles website about four years ago, launched the LC brand on Etsy a year or so after that and so followed the QA group and all of the other fun stuff that we do now. It has been the most joyous ride, but I mostly reach people who are already looking. If you google quilling, you will likely find something I have had a hand in, but I am still confounded as to how to reach people who have never heard of nor seen quilling. I am not going to pretend to have the answer - maybe there isn't one. I can not participate in enough shows/festivals to even make a dent. It's okay. I will continue to put myself and the love of this craft out there in whatever ways I can think of and hopefully my work will find it's way to people who find it interesting. Today that desire has manifested it's way in the form of my first ebook that was released on iBooks & Amazon in addition to this website. It's free to download from everywhere except Amazon - they won't let me list it for free, but I have put in a request to have it priced matched.

Cover of Modern Quilling: The Ultimate Guide To Making Quilled Shapes

A few of you may know that over the past two years I was offered two book deals. Neither of them were initiated by me, but were offered through requests from publishers who have noticed an upward trend in the hobby of quilling. The first one was a non start - they wanted me to create 40 new designs (which they would own the copyright to), pay me a decent $10K advance, but no royalties and I was to be responsible for the cost of the photography. Also, it was a UK publisher, so there was no promise that it would ever even be released in the US. That was a no go for me. 40 designs is a lot -aaaaa lllloooottt. It would have taken up the better part of my year or more and I did not want to invest my time in a work that I may not even be able to offer my customer base. It was difficult to do, but I turned it down. Eleven months later, I was contacted by a US publisher who's books I looove - Interweave. They publish the most beautiful craft books and I was beside myself to be considered. When contact was initiated, the book was proposed as an unapproved concept. They loved my work, my style, my persona. I agreed immediately to work with them on creating a concept that would be a fresh and modern take on quilling. I already had in place a concept for the ideal book on my perspective of modern quilling, so they helped me format it into a book outline and then I designed and photographed 20 new projects. Over the month of December 2015, the person I had been working with presented the proposal before the board who ultimately has the final say... and they turned it down. Honestly, I am not sure why. They came to me and asked me for my take of quilling. My contact loved my projects and was very surprised on the outcome. She relayed that they had 'cooled on the idea of quilling' as a concept and that I should self publish. I dipped into a big bout-o-depression after being rejected for about 6 weeks. Who loses two book deals? I eventually abandoned my pity party once I had the thought - who gets offered two unsolicited book deals? Right? So I got to work. I have all these ideas and designs (way more than just the 20 I came up with for the book) and I just want to get them out there. And I realized I had been given an opportunity to work in opposition to the main thing I hate about craft books in general - the fact that you have to pay $40 for a book that you will only end up making one or two designs out of. I loath that.

I am beginning the journey of becoming a self published craft book author - and while I fully intend to put out a fully contained book in the future - I plan to first release every lesson and design ala carte. The quilling instructions will be released as independent patterns for free to whomever wants to learn and then a variety of patterns based on those skills will be released after. It's an interesting concept to me and I am excited to work on it. 

Who knows how everything will play out, but I do know that I love what I do and I am honestly the luckiest person I know. I get to spend every single day playing with paper, doing what I love and interacting with you - the kindest, most interesting paper curlers in the world.


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