On the heels of Monday’s conversation about craft book reviews, I wanted to broaden things out a little to include a new aspect of the craft book scene. Indie craft publishers are beginning to pop up in our community, and they offer some interesting alternatives to traditionally-published print books.
These two Folklore Crafts titles come from Fabulous Publishing, which is the brainchild of Shayne Rioux and Redd Hynes. FabPub’s mission is to curate fun, theme-based crafty books in both print and digital form, with projects from crafters all over – who get compensated with a share in the ebook’s profits.
All images in this post are from Fabulous Publishing, used with permission.
I really, really like this publishing model – not only does it create opportunities for crafters to be published (and compensated for their time), it opens nimbler avenues for sharing ideas. It takes about 18 months to bring a traditionally-published craft book into the world, but crafty books like these can happen much faster. So indie publishing can stay a bit more trend-current, and share niche ideas a traditional publisher might never invest in.
So, let’s talk about these books, shall we? In each title, you get a little history and lore (did you know there are some 25 million garden gnome statues in Germany? Holy moly!)
…And then there’s a collection of about a dozen projects celebrating the book’s theme. There’s a mix of crochet, sewing, knitting, needle felting, stitchery and paper craft, and the projects include wearables, gift items, household items, and best of all, full-size costumes. (As in, dress up like a matryoshka!)
I think these books represent a nice use of digital publishing technology, taking advantage of its inherent flexibility. The projects are formatted for easy making, whether you go with the print or digital version. The print versions of these books come from from MagCloud, which does excellent print quality in magazine form, so you can easily flatten the thing open to the page you need. Or, if you’re using the digital version, you can easily print the page or two with the tutorial you’re making. And if you need more visual detail, there are step-by-step photos on a password-protected web page.
…My personal Crafty Oscar for Best Craft Project Ever goes to Redd’s Gnome Underpants. (“Step 1: Make Gnome Underpants. Step 2…. Step 3: Profit!) I giggled my head off.
You can score copies of both books over here. and incidentally, Shayne and Redd are currently working on a Crafty Hipster series, which will have books about owls and monsters, among other things. Want to contribute a project?