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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Quilling with Molly Smith Part # 2

Last week I featured Molly Smith in my blog “interview”. If you haven’t read it yet’ you will want to (Quilling with Molly Smith). It is an interesting story of how she discovered quilling and what she has done with it. Molly Smith is an author, product developer and designer specializing in paper projects. Her products have been shown on DIY, The Carol Duvall Show and sold on QVC. She is published internationally and the author of "The New Paper Quilling”: Creative Techniques for scrapbooks, Cards, Home Accents & More" (Lark, 2006). Molly is currently working on a book about paper bead jewelry and she has agreed to share her knowledge with you regarding getting your work “published”.

“I often get asked how to get a book published or project idea in a magazine or book. So I'd like to share some information and tips on this subject.

Magazine project: Every craft magazine has a section listing the editor's name. Email that person and request 1) their editorial calendar, and 2) their submission guidelines. These two documents will give you all the information you need to submit a picture of a project for publication. If your project is accepted, they will contact you with additional information on the deadlines and writing instructions.

Book project: Find names of major publishers from the library, online or favorite books. Usually their Internet web page will have a section for submissions. In this area will be a list of "artist call-outs" for submitting single or multiple projects for a specific book already in the works. Most call-outs are self-explanatory and have complete instructions. Deadlines listed for submissions are often extended. If you come across a call-out with a short deadline, email and ask if there is a possibility it will be extended. They may be waiting on only one more project, or need 20 more. Read the instructions carefully and submit exactly as required.

If you are serious about writing a craft book and have at least 40 projects in mind and on paper, the first step is to submit a book query. This entails writing a letter and giving information about yourself (mini bio), describing your ideas for a book in detail and include pictures of specific ideas you listed. Many publishers have book query instructions on the web page. Do not send out multiple queries to publishers all at once. Be patient and wait for a response. If it is negative, send a query to another publisher. If they are interested in your idea, they will contact you and ask for a book proposal.

If you get to this point, I would suggest researching how to submit a book proposal online or at the library. There are some important do's and don'ts you will need to know. For example, don't name your book or suggest a cover right off the bat. More than likely you will have no say-so in these decisions. A book proposal is much more complicated and the query and entails almost submitting your book for a review. They will tell you what to do but it includes a table of contents, the introduction, several projects with instructions, tear sheets of any work you have had published, a list of books similar to what you are proposing and why/how your book will differ.

Project fees: Five years ago, I could list which magazines pay what for projects. With each year, the fees change or are terminated depending on the publishers' budgets. You will need to inquire with each magazine publisher to find out if they pay a one-time fee for a project, and if so, what is the range. For magazine projects, it's my experience that fees range from $60 to $250. For the higher fee, more work is involved, such as photos for each step, additional detailed instructions and even submission of materials and tools used. You also need to inquire if they pay the shipping costs-- most do not. Fees for projects are usually paid to the artist 45 days after the final project submission is received by the publisher.

Fees for book projects range from no fee for gallery projects up to around $150 per submission. I recently accepted a small fee for a book project; however they paid for all shipping and reimbursed me for my supplies. A gallery project is a picture only and they will list you as the artist and a short bio on you in the back of the book. The payoff is to be able to say you were published in a book if you are building a portfolio. The individual websites will indicate if they are looking for gallery projects. Although there is no payment, this is a good way to get to know the editors and get your name in their database for future call-outs that do pay. Fees for projects are normally paid to you when the book is released. This could be anywhere from two to four months after the project is submitted to the publisher.

Fees for authoring a book are paid in royalty payments. This is a small percentage based on the total books sold and payments are made quarterly or bi-annually. Book contracts are very specific and are negotiable. After a contract is signed, an advance is paid to you for materials, supplies and shipping. This amount is deducted from your first royalty check which is paid after the book is released.

To see some of Molly’s jewelry visit her Etsy Shop , or


Unknown said...

Thanks for these interviews Pat. I am enjoying them again and again. Hi to all the interviewees!

Molly Smith said...

Thank you Pat for the articles on me! Of all times, my quilling webpage was hacked on Saturday, but it is back working again :)

Thanks for all your kind words!

Quilly Nilly said...

Great information, thanks for sharing. I have always wondered about these types of things but had no idea how to even start. Thanks again.