As the new issue of Beadwork arrives in subscriber's mailboxes I'm getting a lot of mail about my project, the Gothic Butterfly (Urchin Wings) bracelet. So I thought this might be a good time to talk a little about publishing.
One of the best ways to get your name out as a designer is to have your original designs published in one of the beading magazines and for bead weavers this usually means Bead & Button, Beadwork, or Perlen Posie...those are the ones I'm familiar with anyway. But how do you go about doing this?
First and foremost your design has to be original.
Then you need to check with the magazine you're submitting to and see what their themes are for the upcoming issues plus the deadlines for each issue, typically you'll be working six months out.
You may want to change the color of your design to fit in with a theme, possibly change out those 8/0 seed beads for some Swarovskis to be included in a 'sparkle-themed' issue.
Sometimes your design just won't be what they are looking for at that time and you won't have to let that deter you. Read what their themes are and maybe you'll be inspired to create something special.
Don't be surprised if they change the name of your project, so if you are attached to the name let them know up front....but don't be closed off to compromise.
Once you have sent your pictures to the magazine and the project has been accepted you will get a contract in the mail, you'll have to sign it and send it back and you will get your signed copy after that.
You will also get a list of things they need....the pattern with illustrations, the samples, a photo of you and a short bio. Do not forget to mention your website, shop name, blog, etc. as these are the things that will get you business.
The next one I don't do so well on....so practice what I preach, not what I do...lol (while putting together my Gothic Butterfly kits last night I realised I'd forgotten to order the rivolis..sheesh!)
Be prepared with bead kits for the project when your issue hits the newstands...some beaders prefer to work from kits and this is your time to sell some. As the magazine publishes the pattern your rights to sell the pattern are suspended for the time of your contract....this can be from two months to a year! So...you will only be selling the beads.
Plus if you wish to teach the project you will need to have lots of copies of your issue to give your students in place of instructions.
And, in my experience you may not have access to your samples for six months, or get paid for the same time...sometimes long after the magazine is arriving in subscriber's mailboxes.
I'm sure the big questions is about how much you get paid....well, it isn't that much (about $60 a page) and you can probably make more selling it yourself especially if the contract is for a year.
So.....if you do it you will make a name for yourself in the beading world, it will boost your business a little, it will boost your confidence a LOT and give you some well earned bragging rights :-) I say go for it...especially if you intend on making a living with your beads. I'll be watching for your projects....good luck!