This weeks Books by Bloggers is Maggy Woodley who writes the craft blog Red Ted Art.
My Journey – Blog to Book
The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster ride of emotions – as my very first book was FINALLY published. Without a shadow of a doubt a super exciting and special time for me – seeing my crafts and my kids (!) in print is really quite something. To a degree it still all feels rather surreal. Especially, as it takes SOOOO long to go from book deal to a book in your hands.
It all started well over a year ago – nearer 18months ago, when I received my first “book deal” offer. I was excited, over the moon and new it was something I always wanted to do. I would have been ready to take ANY offer, so long as I got my crafts in print! Luckily though, I got in touch with an agent, who was able to get me a slightly better offer with Square Peg (part of the Random House group).
It is definitely worth not taking “whatever comes” along, but to talk to the experts and find out what else is out. It isn’t just about the book, but also about the editor – will you get along and the publisher’s location (can you easily make it for meetings and photoshoots etc).
Fastforward 18months (and a lot of craft and hard work later) and I am published! SQUEAL! Yes, published! How did that happen?!
- Firstly – I found my crafty “voice”. I grew in confidence and create more. I became known for certain things (i.e. loo roll crafts).
- Secondly – I improved my photography – enabling me to show case what I do better.
- Thirdly – I spent A LOT of time on social media! I grew the blog and my social media networks.
- Fourthly – I persevered. And with that – I kept asking publishers and other author’s agents, whether they would be interested in a Craft Book with me. I had my blog to show case and my social media stats to support the interest in my book.
And then it happened. 16 months ago, we were sitting in the Square Peg offices. I met my editor for the first time and she was taken by our little Dwarf Peanut Puppets (I had brought some along to show) and impressed by my stats. A contract soon followed and the hard work began.
It has been an incredible journey of “Stay at Home” to Craft Blogger to Writer. I loved every minute of working with Square Peg and learning about the publishing process and now I have my very own book in my hands. Simply wonderful.
If becoming published one day, is a dream of yours, I recommend looking at the four points above – content of course is King, but by having an established “fan base” you are are much more interesting to a publishers. In the old days, publishers would tell their authors “get online, start a blog”… now frequently it is the other way “get a blog, prove yourself… get a book deal”. I see more and more bloggers making the switch from blogger to author. I am sure you can too!
Red Ted Art, Cute and Easy Crafts is available from Square Peg publishing via Amazon (currently at £10.23), Waterstones and boutique booksellers across the country. Maggy Woodley is a mum of two (Red Ted (5) and Pip Squeak (3)), writes at Red Ted Art, as well as about life in general at Life At The Zoo andTheatre, Books and Movies.
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