Steps to Publishing a Crochet Pattern
Publishing a crochet pattern can be a lot of fun but the pattern writing process is a lot more involved than most crocheters think. We don’t just come up with an idea, write the pattern, and then poof – we publish it. There are so many behind the scene steps that go into the process and pattern writing isn’t the end of that process. A lot more work needs to be done before your pattern is ready to publish. You designed it, you created it, now it’s time to take the next steps.
Welcome to Part 5 of the “Designing Your Own Crochet Pattern” Series. This series guides you through the basics of crochet pattern design. If you’re just joining us and would like to start at the beginning, read Part 1 – the 6 Basic Steps of the Design Process. Even if you have no desire to be a designer, you can still benefit from this series.
Steps to Publishing a Crochet Pattern
Publishing your crochet pattern can be done a couple different ways. You can sell your pattern to a publisher or yarn company or you can be an indie designer and self-publish your patterns. The quick difference is that is you sell your pattern you are basically giving up your rights to it. Some publishers will only hold onto that right for the first year, others keep it for life. An indie designer will go through the steps of publishing and marketing their pattern on their own, in turn keeping 100% of the profits. Most designers in the industry will now do both. They will attempt to sell an idea to a publisher and if the publisher isn’t interested then they can go ahead and self-publish the idea. The steps below will prepare you for self-publishing.
Design It, Create It, Publish It
Design It – At the beginning of this series we covered the 6 steps to designing your crochet pattern. The designing step includes everything from the idea you get to making the swatch.
Create It – The “create it” section involves the actual crocheting of the item as well as writing up the pattern. You can do these two steps separately or at the same time. I personally prefer to write the pattern as I go because I have mommy brain sometimes.
Publish It – For most designers, the process of actually crocheting the project is the fun part. Then they just want to hit publish ad move on to the next design idea. As tempting as it is, don’t do it! These next two steps are where many new designers cut corners. (I used to be guilty of the same thing!) But these steps are the most crucial to customer satisfaction.
- Test – Find yourself a good pattern tester. If you have a business page on FB you can just ask and you’ll get volunteers. I currently have 3 amazing testers that I recruited that way!
- Tech Edit – Not everyone will agree with me 100% on this, but you need to have someone tech edit your patterns. (For more info on what a tech editor does see my tech editor info page). No matter how hard you try you cannot edit your own pattern for errors because you know what you want it to say. I am a tech editor and I miss my own mistakes. It’s just a necessary part of the process.
Now you can publish your pattern!
You want your pattern to be as close to perfect as possible before releasing it to the public. By doing this you will save on questions from customers who either find mistakes, or they don’t understand something in the pattern itself. Publishing as an indie designer can be fun and rewarding as long as you’re not cutting corners.
For more on this series, read:
Part 1 – 6 Basic Steps of the Design Process
Part 2 – Finding the Perfect Design Ideas
Part 3 – Finding Your Designing Niche
Part 4 – Creating Your Brand
Part 6 – Basic Copyright for Crocheters
Part 7 – Should You Charge for Patterns? The Free vs. Paid Dilemma