Book about Bows

Post by Deanna McCool

This book represents about seven years of work toward my goal of publishing.

First I made bows…then I realized I could write about how to make them, and then I tried to pitch my book idea to a publisher.

The first publisher I approached said “No.” Immediately. Like, within 30 minutes.

The second said, “This might work!” And then after a few months, the team there decided the topic didn’t fit their editorial calendar for that year.

So I backed away. Moved onto designing sewing patterns and got back into sewing, figuring maybe no one wanted a ribbon book.

Then out of the blue, a publisher contacted me. And after verifying that the e-mail was really *from* a publisher….

I started getting excited.

A few months later I signed the contract, and then realized:

Wow, now I have all this work to do!

To create this book about bows, I worked with the wonderful team at Quarto Publishing – the publisher of acclaimed illustrated books that contacted me – and they turned my step-by-step photos into beautifully drawn illustrations. The team there also photographed most of the “glamour shots” in the book. I developed the projects, wrote the instructions, photographed the steps, e-mailed the text and photos to my editor at Quarto, and then shipped the finished bows to London, where they took photos of everything and made the book look beautiful.

Quarto is a co-publisher with St. Martin’s Griffin Press in the U.S., who “physcially” (for lack of a better word) published the book. You can read my author interview with SMP to learn a little more about the book and (and about me). Quarto also partnered with Search Press in the U.K., which will publish the British version of my book in October.

I really, really love the way the book turned out.

For those interested in publishing and “how it works,” I’ll share that for this particular book, I received all payment (in the high four figures) upfront, in four different batches, rather than as an advance plus royalties later. I won’t earn royalties on this book. While this initially concerned me, I learned that my upfront payment was fair – and perhaps a little more – than I likely would have earned with an advance and royalties later. This is because craft books have a shorter life span and many don’t earn back their advance…meaning many authors never receive royalties anyway, even if expecting them.


…enough about the process.

What’s in the book?

You’ll see more than 50 projects, including hair accessories, package bows, ribbon flowers, leaves, and a couple of ribbon sculptures. In the final chapter you’ll get some inspiration on more in-depth projects, such as wreaths and layered bows.

Each project has 4-8 drawn illustrations to go with the text, plus photos of the finished project. There are so many types of bows in one book that you’ll love to keep this in your crafting library!

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