I know I've written around this a few times, but never very succinctly. Recently I've had another influx of people asking me how to go about it, so I've tried to come up with a definitive list. This is just based on my experience, but hopefully it'll be helpful!
Pick a publisher: look at books that you already have and like the style of, chances are if you like their aesthetic, they’ll like yours.
· Synopsis – what the book will be about, why you’d like to write it
· Contents - what you will have in the book; intro, chapters, patterns etc
· Introduction – sample text of what you’d write
· Sample Patterns – 2 or 3 projects to give them an idea of your pattern writing competency and style, you ideally want a minimum of 35 patterns altogether
· Yarn colours/brands – the more info you can give them up front, the better, different countries use different brands, so try and make sure you have something that everyone can access
Send it all off and wait and see what happens!
Things to be aware of:
A publishing house will have a list of the sort of the books that they want release for the next 2 years, if your proposal doesn’t fit into that list they may well reject it. It doesn’t mean it’s bad!! It just means you need to keep trying until you find a publisher that IS looking for something like it.
Having a blog, social media etc with stats that can show that your patterns have a market, are a useful in convincing someone to offer you a book deal. For example, I list free patterns every now and then, and know from the stats on blogger that some have been downloaded at least 40k times.
Selling patterns or getting them featured in mags/online is another useful thing to have on your ‘CV’, and will help give a publisher confidence in your marketability.
You have no say over creative control. You may have a book in your head – it won’t be the same as there’s. They are the experts at this, you have to just trust them and let them do their thing. Essentially you are just a pattern writer, they will direct the layout, colour, photography, aesthetic, font, design, EVERYTHING. They will also edit your text, patterns and style to fit in to the market they want to sell to. My advice is ‘let go’ and you’ll get on fine. If the idea of this makes you unhappy then maybe self-publishing is a better way forward.