Studio Musings

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Almost Live....

Front Book Cover: Corsets, Caps & Stays: Elegant Beaded Beads with Right Angle Weave
I have an ISBN number!  My newest book, Corsets, Caps and Stays: Elegant Beaded Beads with Right Angle Weave, is at the publishers.  And while I don't have a physical copy of the book itself yet, I do have its ISBN number (two actually):
      ISBN-13: 9781480074910
      ISBN-10: 1480074918
I can't tell you how exciting it is to see those numbers!

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while have likely seen the book progress. It's pretty much taken over my life the past several months, though I've tried not to write about it too much here in the blog for fear of boring everyone to tears.

editing interior book pages - successive edits
color coded edits & several takes on one page
It's such a slow process - on good days, I might finish putting together the illustrations and text for a two-page spread.  Or maybe I'd do initial layout for several pages.  Or stitch another sample while taking notes and process photos, then upload everything into my computer for revision.  Every page required multiple, multiple revisions.   It seemed at times like a never ending cycle. I came up with a color coded system to track the various edits (pink for text edits, yellow-illustrations, green-photos, blue the page's ready to print for the next review!)

But I had a hard deadline, as I want to take copies of it with me to Bead Fest Texas, which is just around the corner.  Which meant that I needed send the book to the printer in time to get it proofed AND printed.  And time kept slipping away....

PDF proof of Corsets, Caps & Stays
PDF proof from Createspace with ISBN numbers!

So I worked twelve hour days on it last week, and over the weekend.  On Monday, I spent eight hours doing a final proof, then saved the files to PDF (separate files for the interior and cover) and uploaded them to Createspace.  They promised a 48 hour turn-around for a digitial proof, but when I checked at 5:00am (yes, really) the next morning it was in.  Yeah!

Except they said that one of my images was under 300DPI, the recommended printing resolution.  Not Yeah!  So I opened my InDesign file to find the offending image.  And since I was already in the file and they'd created such lovely proofing options, I went through the book one more time.  Another three hours of proofing.

Besides sending me a PDF copy with trim marks, they also have a cool virtual proofing option that tries to show you exactly what it will look like as a physical book.  I took a screenshot so you could see what I mean. 

virtual proof of Corsets, Caps & Stays
Virtual proof - they even tried to simulate page turns

The digital proofing system is new since my first book and I thought it quite nifty.

Back Book Cover: Corsets, Caps and Stays: Elegant Beaded Beads with Right Angle Weave
I have a barcode, too! 
This project started out as a class handout, but kept growing. When I taught my Corset Beads at the June Seedbeader's meeting, the handout stood at a healthy eleven pages.  Based on that class, and questions that came up, it grew to twenty five pages.  Which I thought would be it.  But I couldn't stop thinking about it, asking 'what ifs'.  So I decided to let it do what it would.  The final version topped out at 51 pages.  A short book, but a long tutorial, which is the way I still think of it. 

It's a very hands-on and project oriented, with explicit bead counts and stitching instructions.  This is so different from my freeform peyote beading that I'm still vaguely stunned that I managed it.  I spent an entire summer counting stitches and making diagrams!

Unlike Freeform Peyote Beading, which starts with an extensive design section, this one dives right into the stitching.  The first chapter reviews the stitches - all the different aspects of single needle right angle weave used in the rest of the book, talks a little about needles and threads, and has a quickie tutorial on painting wooden beads.  Then it's off into the projects.

Chapter head: Corsets, Caps & Stays Beaded Beads
Chapter Head Screen shot
There are three chapters on different styles of beaded beads, each with multiple samples and design variations. First up are the 'solid' beads, completely covered with bead weaving.  My Corsets & Stays beads, with their central band of beading laced onto the base bead (hence the reference to corsets) come next.  Then my Caps & Stays beads, with two beaded end caps connected by right angle weave stays.  I rounded the book out with a chapter on Finishing Touches, including a beaded bail, the spiral twists and the leaf from the bead shown in the proof above, a beaded rope and toggle and some ideas for incorporating the beads into larger designs.

So now all I have to do is wait for the books to arrive.  That will be like Christmas.  And a little scary too - there's that little fear, too.  What have I done!?!

In the meantime, I'm working on kits for Bead Fest and to add to Etsy.   I'm finally starting to get a system together and streamlining things there, too. 


  1. Woo Hoo! That is exciting. I am very happy for you and glad you shared. It looks great. I hope it meets all of your expectations (although I have to say that I am hardest on myself.)

  2. Great news! The pages you shared are intriguing.

  3. Karen, this is so exciting!!!! The book looks awesome.

    One of these days, you should teach a class on designing and publishing craft books. I'll be the first to sign up! :)

  4. Thank you!

    I'd love to teach a class on designing and publishing craft books. While it's an incredible amount of work, and right now I'm in the "everyone's going to hate it" stage, it's an extremely empowering process. I always learn so much about my subject as I work to codify what I know so that I can explain it as clearly as possible.

    Wonder what the appropriate venue would be to teach such a class?

  5. Congratulations!! It looks fantastic, and I know it will be even better than it looks. What fun to see your newest baby come to life!

  6. Congratulations, Karen -- what a huge accomplishment for you and it is so awesome that you're sharing your fantastic knowledge with so many lucky readers and beaders

    I would love to have you make a tutorial on designing and publishing craft books. I don't think I've seen it done before and with your experience, I know it would be amazing. Go ahead and sign me up for the first copy!!

  7. Karen, this is wonderful news! Congratulations!!! It sure was a lot of hard work and grueling hours, but the rewards will be many :-)