Seizing the moment

I ran out of yellow thread when quilting so I haven’t got the big finish to show you yet. However I’ve decided I have nothing to lose and everything to gain- I will seize the moment and get on with this Kickstarter magazine proposal. This is going to be a long and wordy post but I will love you forever if you read it! I’m totally going to recycle some pictures from previous posts to make it look pretty but they are quite irrelevant!

If you didn’t catch my post a few days ago I really think there is a need for a more contemporary UK patchwork and quilting magazine. Don’t get me wrong I love titles such as Popular Patchwork- indeed I subscribe to it happily and will continue to do so- but I think a lot of next generation quilters need something with fresh fabrics, fresh designs and fresh thinking. I’m thinking like the wonderful Fat Quarterly, but available in a coffee table friendly, glossy, read-it-in-the-bathtub print format. We had Modern Quilting magazine but after recent financial troubles it has lost a lot of credibility and so struggles to get decent contributors as they’re worried they won’t get paid and in turn have lost a lot of advertisers. The editor appears to have left and as a result the current issue is appalling in terms of stale content and photography. As a subscriber I was really disappointed.

I propose a magazine with lots of projects that pays designers fairly and on time with professionally photographed inspiring images and a great store distribution network, newsagents, high street shops and fabric retailers alike. A magazine that you actually look forward to receiving if you subscribe and one that is available monthly to keep you eager and hungry for more. I think the US has titles that do this (Quiltmaker, Gen Q, etc) but we’re always a little further behind in the UK. When I worked on Popular Crafts magazine’s relaunch it was said that we are 3 years behind the US craft scene at this side of the ocean, and I don’t think we should allow this imbalance to continue.

I’m looking into costs this week and have already worked out a standard magazine plan, cover price and almost decided on the initial print run (is 10,000 too few? Not enough? I wish I still had my old spreadsheets with our sales stats for PC magazine). Distribution is the area that scares me the most and I know the least about so I will be getting my books out over the next fortnight and them approaching a company I already have in mind with the confidence that I know what I’m talking about. I’m hoping they will deal with the subscriptions side of things too but I may need to get a secondary business involved for that.

One thing I haven’t decided on is the name. Patricia suggested calling it “Q” but I’m not sure if that’s too similar to Generation Q which was launched in the US also via Kickstarter (I was one of the many people who pledged to fund it). Then I thought of “Patch.” because the projects wouldn’t necessarily be quilts or indeed quilting but they would be patchwork and applique, and cover all sorts of projects from cushions to bags to wearables to finished quilts. So now I’m not sure and I’m having a bit of a creative block coming up with the logo! I think once I have the name I’ll be able to do the logo quite easily. I’m thinking something simple, no more than two words. Answers on a postcard please! Or just a comment will do!

Once I have my business plan Dragon’s Den proof I will be filming my little pitch- videography is not my strongest point-, setting my target and then harrassing everyone in the UK quilty blogosphere to get behind it.

You may be wondering why I think I’m qualified to be the person behind this. Here’s why…

– I have been an editor of a real life craft magazine before and have a pretty good knowledge of production flow, deadlines and commitments and think with good time management I could single handedly manage these issues for the first issue or two whilst it gets going and also continue with my current job.
– I hold a degree in Publishing- probably my weakest point on the list.
– I have a good list of contacts that I can go to for photography, web hosting, printing, projects and a whole host of other areas.
– I am experienced in layout and design which means I won’t need to outsource (and this will keep the initial cost down)
– I have written many projects for craft titles over the last four years.
– I have self-published a book before and so have been through a similar process with that, though this will be a much bigger scale exercise.

I’m looking for a few people who can pledge projects for issue 1 so I can finish my flatplan and design the preliminary cover ready for the pitch (I may ask for your work to be sent in for professional photography if the target is reached). You will of course get paid if it goes to print. Depending on the scale of the project, I’m looking at paying £40-70 by cheque with two free copies of the finished issue sent with your returned project. I will just need a clear photo of the finished item for now. If you are interested, leave me a comment and I will email you! Otherwise you can just leave a comment if there’s a feature you think this new magazine just can’t be without!

Thank you everyone, you’re the best!

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