Friday, May 22, 2015

Are You Ready To Try Your Hand At Self-Publishing?




I love to read and have loved visiting public libraries since I was a child. I just loved roaming through the stacks of books and magazines or sitting and reading for hours on end and always wanted to have a study or library of my own.

I tend to prefer hardcover books versus pocketbooks as I always had a hard time reading the little print and nowadays always buy hardcover. I also tend to prefer books and magazines with lots of illustrations, pictures, and step by step instructions. Truth be told I also love romance novels, but we won't get into that.

So when e-books and e-zines came into being I was intrigued. E-Books? E-Zines? What exactly were they and how would that work? For sure they weren't going to be hardcover books that you could hold and feel. They weren't going to be magazines you could just flip through.  Or would they? I wasn't sure I was going to like them or that they would ever replace books and magazines as we know them to be.

So, what exactly are they? Well, an e-book is basically the electronic version of a print book.  It can contain all the traditional sections of a regular print book and be quite lengthy. It is basically a book that can be transmitted digitally in .PDF format and either downloaded onto a computer, read via a computer, or nowadays transmitted into a reading device that could house thousands of e-books.

An e-zine is basically the electronic version of a print magazine that is transmitted digitally in .PDF format and either downloaded onto a computer, read via a computer, or nowadays transmitted into a reading device that could house thousands of e-zines.

E-Books and e-zines have become wonderful e-products for artists and crafters to either sell or give away for free. Most of the e-books and e-zines that are sold by the artists and crafters are in .PDF format that can be downloaded once they are paid for and then saved to your hard drive and read by Adobe Acrobat. Or, they can be downloaded to an e-reader (like the Kindle or Nook), or to a tablet, notebook, or pc and are usually in an .epub or.mobi/.prc format.

Over the last few years the self-publishing industry has basically exploded.  As a result there is a growing number of e-book and e-zine publishing websites where you can publish your own e-books and e-zines for sale and turn your craft tutorials, patterns, how-to's, projects and DIY's into a profitable business.

The good news with all of this is you don't have to be a professional writer to publish an e-book or e-zine on the web. You can be a small, independent crafter just trying to get your name out there or wanting to share your passion with the world.

So, I thought I'd put together a list of all the self-publishing websites and e-book & e-zine creation, selling & resource websites out there.  I hope you find my list useful. The links below are to the sign-up or FAQ pages:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gift Baskets & Bags Tutorials, Gift Boxes Video's, Patterns, and How-To's Board on Pinterest



I've always liked adorning my presents with big bows and other accessories - silk florals, stuffed animals, and cute little decorations for kids like bendies, softies, etc. My grandchildren loved getting gifts with little creatures attached.


During the holidays one of my favorites things to do is decorate the presents. Hubby does all the wrapping. I do all the decorating and, when I doing this, I'm in my glory. Storing all the different accessories needed for decorating presents all year can be a bit of a challenge, but the end result is always worth it.


So, of course, I love it when I find beautiful, creative ways to decorate presents, gift baskets or gifts in a jar. If you love decorating as much as I do I hope you find the tutorials, video's, patterns and how-to's on my Pinterest board helpful.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Craft Tutorials, Articles, Patterns, DIY's, & How-to's and Projects Submission Websites For Independent Small Business Crafters On The Web



Have you noticed there seems to be a lot of craft articles, tutorials, DIY's, patterns and how-to's everywhere you look on the Internet now? Whether they are artists and crafters writing posts for their blogs, small business owners writing content for their websites, or craft magazine professionals and businesses looking for crafters to submit free crafts content - there is no shortage of free craft content articles.

There are articles, tutorials, patterns, DIY's, projects and how-to's that explain how to do this or that and come in all different kinds of formats. Some are contained within a webpage or blog, some can be downloaded, and some are a combination of both. It seems like more and more crafters are writing.  It might be small independent artists and crafters writing content or professional crafters and magazine publishers writing content.

If you like to read crafts tutorials, like I do, then with the amount of blog posts and free content out there you can be reading 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days of the year and still not read it all.

The good news with all of this is you don't have to be a professional writer to have a crafts tutorial, pattern, article, DIY, how-to or e-book published on the web. You can be a small, independent crafter just trying to get your name out there or wanting to share your passion with the world.

Over the last few years I've noticed that not only is there a proliferation of free crafts content and how-to content on a lot of small business artist and crafters websites, but a a proliferation of free crafts content websites springing up for posting tutorials, patterns, DIY's, and how-to's written by just about anyone. The only criteria for the latter seems to be that the article must be an original copyrighted article written by the article submitter.

Terms and conditions for usage of this content vary website to website so if you want to submit your article to them read the terms and conditions of your rights as to your articles and the rights of others utililizing the content from these websites.

I hope you find my list of websites that allow you to submit crafts articles, tutorials, patterns, DIY's, how-to's, and projects useful.  The links below are to the submission, terms and FAQ pages:

Monday, April 13, 2015

It's Not That Much Longer Until Artful Gathering 2015


It's always delightful when you get an email that brings an immediate smile to your face, takes you a long time to read, and is saved to be read again.

Such was the case with the email from Zinnia Galliher with a link to the Artful Gathering 2015 Workshop Catalog.

This will be my 4th year taking online classes at Artful Gathering and I can hardy wait. I have loved each and every class I've taken there as the instructors are fantastic and the classes are always delightful. I've had a blast in each class learning something new and, best of all, making wonderful new friends.

Last year there were so many fabulous classes to choose from it was hard to decide. This year, based on the workshop catalog in my email, it will be nearly impossible to choose.  There are just SO MANY wonderful online classes that I want to take.

Truth be told, I want to take them all, but that is definitiely not possible. So, choose I must - but, oh, how difficult that will be.

So far I have my eye on the following:

Mary Jane Chadbourne - Session 2 - Tiny Topia & The Magic of Little Things
Rosemary Frew - Session 1 - Baby Carrot - Session 2 - Petit LaPin
Hally Levesque - Session 1- Bonnets & Bows: A Regency Doll Project
Joanna Grant - Session 2 - Mixed Media FX: The Hottest Techniques For The Coolest Effects
Judy Porter - Session 2 - Out On A Whim Art Doll
Susan Myers - Session 2 - Boite A Couture
David H. Everett - Session 1 - Making A Santa Advent Calendar
Lyn Belisle - Session 1 - The Magic Of Spirit Dolls

Session 1 runs from June 6 to July 17 and Session 2 runs from July 16 to August 16,  If you'd like to see the  Artful Gathering 2015 Workshop Catalog click on the picture above or CLICK HERE.

Several months ago Zinnia also created a 2014 Artful Gathering yearbook of last years online retreat. It was filled with event highlights and wonderful pictures of student creations. If you'd like to see the 2014 Artful Gathering Yearbook please click on the picture below or CLICK HERE.


I'm on the back cover (Page 56) with a page filled with pictures of the creations I have made over the last 3 years. If you'd like to see my page online please click on the picture below or CLICK HERE.


If you've always wanted to take an online art and/or craft class you won't be disappointed in any of the Artful Gathering classes.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I'm An Independent Crafts Pattern Designer - Where Can I Sell My E-Patterns?


I often get asked by independent crafts pattern designers where they can sell their e-patterns so I thought it might be helpful to create a blog post about this.

To give you a little background on me I'm a doll maker and doll pattern designer and have had websites for over 10 years.  I created two of my own websites that I updated to Godaddy via FTP and also managed and maintained two websites that wer hosted through In A Pickle Web Design: one an instant download e-pattern, e-printable, and e-book website using MyCartToGo e-commerce software and Mals-E shopping cart and one selling handmade goods and crafts.

Now I have 1 consolidated Linda Walsh Originals Shop website at Go-Daddy that I maintain that uses a Quick Cart shopping which allows me to sell all my handmade goods and e-products on the same website.  Over the years I've created many, many, many selling and non-selling blogs.

I've been selling my doll and craft patterns and e-patterns online since 2004 and have designed over 350 e-patterns, over 30 e-books, over 20 e-printables, and several e-catalogs. To say I love instant download e-products might be an understatement. I've been in love with .pdf instant download e-products since they first came on the scene in 2004 and have tried all sorts of different venues.

Some I like, some I don't. Some have come and gone, some are free, some are very expensive, some are for specific types of patterns, some are commercial sellers websites, etc. Some are websites that do it all, some are websites that provide html code so you can sell your e-patterns on your website or your blog, some are handmade craft websites where you can list your e-patterns and then send them as an email attachment to your customer, some are websites that provide a download integration for your Etsy shoppe, some are social networking websites that allow for selling, etc. And, some are website designers and e-commerce carts that provide you with the capability of selling instant download e-patterns on your own website.

The online crafts e-pattern, e-printable, and e-book craft industry has been slowly developing over the last decade and, as far as I'm concerned, is still in it's infancy. There's plenty of room for growth and, I'm sure, plenty of room for change. Which venue is best for you is based on what you're selling, what your experience is, what your skill level is, and how much time you can devote to this. Selling e-patterns online as an independent pattern designer is a LONG SLOW process that requires nerves of steel and a lot of PATIENCE. It is not for the faint of heart or those hoping to make a quick buck. That just is not going to happen.

If you’re an artist or crafter who has created e-patterns you might be wondering how you go about selling them. Where do you store your e-patterns and how do you sell instant downloads? Whether its e-patterns or e-books you first need to create a .PDF (Portable Document Format) file which is your electronic product. Once you have created the .PDF file then with the e-patterns there are basically two ways to get the .pdf file to your customer.

1) You can send them yourself as attachments to an email once you have been notified of payment by the customer.

2) They can be sent automatically or available in one's account as "instant download e-patterns" once payment has been made.

So, what kind of online set-up do you need to accomplish this?

1) You can have your own website that has Paypal (or other payment processors) payment buttons capabilities. Once you have received notification from Paypal of payment you can send the e-pattern to your customer as an attachment to an e-mail.

2) You can have a blog that has HTML capabilities in the sidebar or posts that allow you to create Paypal (or other payment processors) payment buttons. Once you have received notification from Paypal of payment you can send the e-pattern to your customer as an attachment to an e-mail.

3) You can have your own website or blog that allows for HTML modules in the sidebar or posts whereby you can copy/paste the BUY NOW digital goods e-commerce shopping cart providers HTML code. In this instance they provide a service whereby they store your e-products on their servers and provide you with a BUY NOW (or similar) button link. When your customer clicks on that Buy Now link then the payment process would begin. Once payment has been made an email will automatically be sent to the customer with the e-pattern download link. They click on the link and follow the prompts to download your e-product. They charge you a fee for this service.

4) You can have your own website that has e-commerce instant download shopping cart capabilities that will send your customer the download link for their e-pattern via email once payment has been made to you.

5) You can have your own website (like my Linda Walsh Originals shop - http://lindawalshoriginalsshop.com) that has e-commerce instant download shopping cart capabilities that will put the download link in the customer's account once payment has been made to you.

6) You can utilize a third-party website with an e-commerce shopping cart provider that has "instant download capabilities." Once payment has been made by the customer the software will automatically generate an email to the customer with the download link. Depending on their set-up you can either: a) upload your .PDF files onto their servers, b) transfer your .PDF files via FTP (file transfer protocol), or c) send them as attachments to an email to them. It all depends on how the e-pattern website is set up. The e-pattern website owners collect payment and then remit to you once they have been paid and have deducted their fee, or they may have a system in place to automatically pay you once the customer has paid. They may charge a monthly fee or charge a % of the sale price and/or both.

7) You can utilize a third-party handmade goods marketplace or community website to create a shop for you to sell your handmade goods and/or e-patterns. Once you have been notified of payment you can send the e-pattern to the customer as an attachment to an e-mail. Sometimes these third-party handmade goods marketplaces or communities have apps that can work in conjunction with your shop and automatically send the customer an email with the e-pattern download link once payment has been made.

If you're an independent crafts pattern designer and you want to sell your e-patterns online, but aren't quite ready for your own website you might want to check out the following websites:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Baby Shower Tutorials Video's, Patterns, Printables & How-To's Pinterest Board


I just LOVE babies and old fashioned baby showers. If you do, too I hope you find the tutorials, video's, patterns and how-to's helpful.

Follow Baby Shower Tutorials Video's, Patterns, Printables & How-To's board on Pinterest.



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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Baby & Baby Gifts Tutorials, Patterns, Video's and How-To's Pinterest Board



I just LOVE babies and making handmade gifts for babies. If you do, too I hope you find the tutorials, video's, patterns and how-to's helpful.

Follow Baby & Baby Gifts Tutorials, Patterns, Video's and How-To's board on Pinterest.



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