Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Past and the Future - Knitting For Baby

It's been such a very long time since Knitting For Baby, the book I co-wrote and illustrated with Melanie Falick came out. When we began the project, we had both just gotten through the first year of motherhood. Melanie called me one evening and asked me if I might like to write a book with her about knitting for babies. It sounded like a good idea to me as I was planning to end my full-time gig as Creative Director at Classic Elite Yarns. 

We worked on the book proposal together, Melanie polishing it up gorgeously so the idea was quickly accepted by STC (where coincidentally Melanie is now the Editor in Chief of her own Craft Imprint). It seems like a lifetime ago that we organized, decided on a color palette and then sourced yarn from multiple yarn companies. During that sourcing process, I realized that most yarn companies' colors really were quite awful. It was difficult to find colors with the aesthetic we were looking for. That realization segued for me into my own yarn line Julia which is now Color By Kristin being distributed by Classic Elite Yarns. Talk about full circle!

Stitch Illustrations for Knitting for Baby Painted on Sept. 11, 2001
As I was working on the crazy amount of illustrations I had to do, September 11th happened. I remember painting this large illustration of stitches as I mixed colors, sponged on background, handpainted all the outlines. I watched the day unfold on an old black and white television in my old studio, wondering what was next. I'll never forget that day, as I know most of you probably will not either. For days later, the atmosphere was so quiet and still here at the farm.

At any rate, this post is not really about the past but about the future. Fast forward 11 years and the future of the printed book is up in the air. The internet, which I barely had access to back then, has changed the entire landscape of authoring for people like me and publishers like STC. None of us know where it is going. I really do not know what to do next. Ideas that I have for books now that would have been snapped up back then, are no longer of interest to publishers. It's scary out there in the publishing and book world. I plan to keep moving forward and am trying to figure out where I fit in this new landscape. 

So here is the point of this post..... On September 11, 2012, Knitting For Baby was released into the ether as an e-book. It is nothing you or I can touch but the digital files can reside on your computer or e-reader. I think it is pretty great. For those of you who were fans of KFB and are now transitioning to e-readers, you can buy it and have it with you on your device of choice all the time. If you have never seen Knitting for Baby, I can honestly say it is a really great book with many adoring fans who have knit their way through the entire book.

There is no book tour in book store and yarn store land. It's a virtual tour which starts right now on your computer! You can watch this video that Open Road Media has prepared to promote the e-book. It was shot here on our farm in late July.


If you have trouble with the above video, you can watch it on the Open Road Media site here

This is my first book to be published in e-book format. I wonder if any of the publishers who have done my other books are thinking about doing this kind of format. What do you think? Would you purchase a knitting book as an e-book? Do you prefer print? What do you think about the future or your book habit? I would love to know. Leave your thoughts in the comments if you have time.


Anonymous said...

I think if I was traveling a lot I would use a e reader but since I'm home most of the time, I'll stick to books and even those are mostly what I can borrow from the library due to lack of funds and space.
Cassie, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Robin Allen said...

Congrats on the release of your first e-book!

I like single electronic patterns, but for a collection, I much prefer printed books.

Anonymous said...

I prefer digital media. I can have it with me all the time if I want to and I don't have to dust it. I only get eBooks anymore....

Auntie Shan said...

I've been a "techie" since "FORTRAN", however, I've also been a BOOKWORM since I was old enough to rip-out pages! And, have worked in Libraries since the age of 10. As much as most of my "reading" these days is done ONLINE, I *still* buy BOOKS! - Though, most are book-yard-sale Finds of hardcover ART and Historical Reference Tomes that were once $ and are now 50-cents!

Granted, I'll likely never get around to actually Reading most of them I'm sure, BUT they *are* Treasured!

And, when those nasty currently active Sunspots start kicking out those troublesome Coronal-Mass-Ejections with their Power-Grid-Communication-Satellite-KILLING-Electro-Magnetic-Radiation, good luck with using them Techie-Toys, "KIDS"!! -- If you need to "know" anything, I'll be in my comfy Library chair flipping through my Reference Manuals. Oooo!! Look! Pictures!!


Kieren Dutcher said...

It is such an interesting time, and everyone in publishing is trying to figure it out. I think there is room for both ebooks and 'real'ones. I for one, like real knitting books, i have a couple of bins of them that I keep and reuse, changing and adapting patterns, kind of like the way I use cookbooks (and I like real cookbooks, too, so I can write in them, and have them on the kitchen counter). I don't think I'll ever stop using 'real' books of any kind. I do look online for patterns and recipes, but almost always resort to the printed page.

Mama Urchin said...

I can say Knitting for Baby is one of my all-time favorite knitting books. I remember when I knit a sweater from it for my son's first birthday and you commented on the post how over the moon I was. Thanks for that and congrats on the e-book.

Reneelynn said...

only "real" books for me.

Anonymous said...

~ hi Kristin,

I have the book, Knitting For Baby, as well as several of your color books and many published by STC.
I very much prefer real books, and will always continue to buy them, even with my little income. Books are my "entertainment" choice. I can appreciate the digital options but I don't prefer them. With rest & healing after two cancer surgeries, a main comfort was my books & knitting magazines. I was thrilled if I had enough energy to read for a bit.
~ To me there is nothing finer than taking books outside, spreading out a blanket on the ground and spending the day reading & having a picnic outside !
I'm grateful for all the creative artsy, knitting & children's books that are still being published in the traditional way. ~
Shell ~

Anonymous said...

I have both paper and e-books for knitting. I recently borrowed June Hiatt's Principles of Knitting from my library and am convinced that I will buy it as an e-book merely based on the weight of the printed book. Getting around inside an e-book is often faster/easier. The dominant factors for my knitting e-book purchases so far has been price and availability - especially knowing that I already own a vast number of print books for knitting and crochet. There is a lot of convenience with e-books - including the ease of knowing where you left it last!

Bonnie said...

I own a Nook, and I have found the screen to be too small to use patterns on it. I love online patterns, but i always print them out and use the paper version. With paper books, I always copy the pattern so I can mark it up.

Daisy said...

I prefer real books, even they do pile up and often I have to cull them. I guess E-books are convenient and use up less resources from the planet, so they have their advantages. But they're not the real McCoy!

bookagent said...

This book looks wonderful, and I thought the trailer was EXCELLENT. It sold me, I'm buying a copy. Well done.

Pam H

Gracey is not my name.... said...

My husband got the first nook and kept telling me to get one...when the tablet came out I told him I'd probably use that...I do enjoy it, but I really love having a book...but it is cool to have all those books sitting in that one place..

Karen said...

Hi Kristin - Congratulations on the birth of your e-book. I'm shopping for an e-reader for myself for Christmas. I think my husband will appreciate how clean the floor on my side of the bed will be without all my knitting books and magazines falling all over the place!