In today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast I’m talking about craft publishing with my guest, Deborah Balmuth.
Deborah is the publisher at Storey Publishing. Storey specializes in how-to books and is the publisher of many well-known craft titles including The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin, Quilting with a Modern Slant by Rachel May, Sewing School and Sewing School 2, the One-Yard Wonder series and the One-Skein Wonder series, and many more.
Deborah and I recorded this podcast in the podcasting booth at Craftcation. It’s the first episode that I’ve done in person and I have to say it was terrific to talk with my guest face to face.
Deborah has worked at Storey since 1993 and has served several roles there. She started as a project editor and, over time, worked as an acquisitions editor and then editorial director before becoming the publisher. As a result of being at a publishing house for more than two decades, in a time of radical transition in print publishing, Deborah has lots of wisdom to impart. We talk about:
- what makes a how-to book relevant in the sea of free content available now online
- how many proposals land on her desk each week and what makes a proposal stand out and get noticed
- whether authors should get agents and how book contracts work
- the structure of digital publishing right now and where it might be headed in the years to come (this part was so interesting!)
If you’re interested in writing a craft book, I highly recommend taking a look at Storey’s proposal guidelines. They’re excellent no matter which publisher you’re interested in working with.
Besides being the publisher of Storey, Deborah loves to knit, cook, play with fabric, do origami, read, write, bike, hike, and spend time in nature, all of which she gets to do often in and around her timber-framed home in the woods of western Massachusetts–and even sometimes as part of her work.
I asked Deborah to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. She recommends:
- Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s workshop 15 Minutes of Play
- knitting with soft, textural yarn from Hope Spinnery
- making a stripe-by-stripe record of the winter in a “Knit the Sky” scarf, a project created by Lea Redmond