Friday, February 15, 2013

Check out the Proposal! Totem

When I first started designing, one of the most helpful resources I had access to was a thread on Ravelry (actually, it might have been several) that outlined successful proposals that designers had sent publishers.  In the spirit of giving to others, I’ve been wanting to open a series of posts about successful proposals that I have done, in the hopes that other budding designers can learn from them.

I’m also doing it in the spirit of a Theatre Traditon (actors and stagehands and practically everyone that has something to do with the stage are big on traditions) which is called the Post Mortem (debriefing).  Literally “after death”, it’s a meeting after the run of a play that talks about what has been done well, what didn't go well, and what would be changed in the future.  Nobody’s perfect.  There’s always room to improve.

So in that spirit, this is my proposal for Sockupied Spring 2013.

You can take a look at it here, or it is embedded below.

I actually sent them two proposals, but one of them I’m sending out to other magazines, so I can’t show you yet.  But I can show you the one that got in.

Things that were done well:

  • Big picture of the swatch.  Well photographed and in good light.  A must.
  •  Outline of inspiration – a fair amount of companies, I’ve found, often use the language from my inspiration post that I write on my proposals.  It works for me, so I keep doing it.
  •  I meet the design call requirements – I have my contact information, the yarn needed, and construction details.  I have a brief bio that I always use.
  • I high-lighted that this pattern works well in multicolored and solid yarns.  A lot of companies like patterns that are able to do this, and in this case, it made a good fit for the One Sock Two Ways feature in Sockupied.
  • It’s one page. 
Things that I could have done better:  
  • My drawing skills need to improve.  I could have made a much better drawing – and this is something I’m working to fix.  On the other hand, as long as the drawing is functional and conveys what you want it to convey – don’t stress out about it too much.  Companies are hiring a designer for their knit or crochet ability – not their drawing ability.
  • I could have used a more professional layout. This I’ve already fixed.  I hired someone shortly after I submitted this to create a logo for me, and later in the year I’ll be hiring the same person (Knitterella) to do layout design for me.   This is the first way many editors meet me – it always pays to present yourself well.
Have you submitted any proposals to be published?  What do you think went well?  What could have went better?

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