Hi, all! Posting a little later today than I plan on doing normally. Mondays are podcast day and I’m the tech-person for Mom and my podcast, so I’ve spent the past couple hours or so getting the podcast all up and ready for viewing. Plus other things which I’m going to talk about.
The podcast went well — very well, actually — and my work-related education afterwards went well also. And then I opened my email: a message from PatternFish — yes!
Let’s back that up. What is PatternFish? Honestly, I hadn’t heard of them until I listened to Creative Yarn Entrepreneur the other day. I’ve heard them described as the Nordstrom of online pattern stores. I mean, you have to apply and await approval to post your pattern on their site and everything. So, last week, I took a deep breath and did just that, sending them the patterns I’ve probably made the most toys from — Oops the Bunny and Timmy the Timid Turtle. Everyone seems to like Timmy and Oops has always been my favorite.
I think you can tell where this is going. My message today was not what I hoped for. I was told my patterns are much longer than need be and that I might want to consider a tech editor.
It stung a little, but the point was well taken. I know my patterns are long. Actually, that is somewhat on purpose. I like a lot of spacing to promote ease of reading (not everyone has 20-something year-old eyes) and I like explaining my terms and having quite a lot of tutorial videos and placement pictures. Actually, pictures are something of a weakness for me. I absolutely adore taking pictures of my toys. As anyone who will follow this blog will eventually find out. But anyway, I know that my pattern set-up is not everyone’s cup of tea.
But still, I thought seriously about a tech editor. Is this something I really need? Will it help my sales?
I even went on Ravelry and found an awesome source for tech editors and started taking notes. And then I stopped. Price. Ouch. I don’t think, that, at this time, I can afford a tech editor. I’m too new a designer with too few sales to pay for the expense of a tech editor. You have to spend money to make money, but some things are just not in the budget. Like a tech editor. So, for now, unfortunately, tech editing will have to wait.
What does a tech editor do? Basically, they are a second pair of eyes to make sure your math is right, your pattern writing is tight and understandable, and that your pattern is consistent all around. But isn’t that what testers are for? Apparently not. Apparently they are there to make sure that your finished object can replicated well by another person from the same pattern. If they catch a mistake, great. But that really isn’t their job. Actually, many testers don’t even get paid, except maybe in a free pattern, so I feel blessed to have them.
So, no PatternFish for this girl, more’s the shame. Maybe when I grow up as a designer and can afford such a thing. We’ll see. But I am grateful for PatternFish for taking the time to respond and explain their reasoning.
But I can’t leave this post on that relative downer. So on to happier news!
As you might know (or might know), I have a Franciscangypsy Designs Etsy shop. I sell my patterns there and mugs for the podcast and Franciscangypsy Designs. Well I’ve finally added a new section: Ladies and gentleman, there will now be a toy section!
There will be actual, physical Franciscangypsy Designs toys for sale! Not many. Only the ones that I feel like making that I simply don’t have room for in my house. So if I want to making twenty different bunnies, I can now do so without feeling guilty. No custom orders, so I won’t have to feel stressed about pushing out the toys, but the perfect outlet for my little toy obsession. Thus far there are five toys in the shop: two bunnies (shocker), a cardinal, and two turtles. The turtles have been reserved and cannot be ordered by anyone else. I spent a lot of time reading up on how to charge for my toys and the formula I came up with is quite different than one used by other people. I don’t feel quite right charging for my time. As the designer, the time I spend on my toys can be quite ridiculous. And I don’t feel right charging based on price of materials, since I choose the materials based on what I want to work with. If I wanted to make a cashmere toy, that’s on me, not the buyer. So my prices are based on size. And my formula goes something like this. (largest measurement in inches) x 3 = (price of toy in USD). Is it perfect? Probably not. But it gives me a place to start that doesn’t end up being out of the range of most toys sold on Etsy.
So yeah, sorry for the disjointed post. Kind of rambly. If you’re a designer been tech edited before and know a good (and cheap) one, I’d love to hear from you! Or even if you just want to say hi. That’d be awesome too.
Well, I’m only on my third cup of tea in about 12 hours and my body is beginning to whine. It’s time to catch a bite to eat and go back to designing! Thanks for listening to me ramble. I’ll be back next on Friday night, after my three-night stretch at work.