075 How to start a dreamy fiber biz working with craft magazines | Power Purls Podcast


Today I’m answering a common question among budding knitwear designers: “Should I design for magazines?” We’ll go over the main items you should consider before submitting a design proposal to a magazine, as well as my top tips for success in this area. If you’ve been wanting to grow your knitwear design biz, give this episode a listen!

Episode highlights:

  • It can be tempting to work for “exposure,” hoping that will turn you into a superstar.
  • Designing for magazines usually means you will get paid for your work, which is a big benefit!
  • Once you know how much time it will take you to create a design and how much they’ll pay, work the numbers.
  • Remember: there’s also a marketing benefit for magazine design! Your work gets out to a wider audience.
  • Connection can be a benefit as well. Working with a magazine can connect you with influencers in the industry.
  • Keep your eyes open for opportunities to form connections each time you collaborate on a design.
  • Think about what you can offer above and beyond just sending in a pattern. Solve a pain point for the editor!
  • Rights can be a tricky area for magazine design. For at least some time, the pattern rights will belong to the publication.
  • Make sure you understand the rights agreement and if/when the rights revert to you!
  • Remember that the photos in the magazine don’t belong to you; if you republish a design, take your own photos.
  • Even if the rights don’t revert back to you at all, that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Just make sure you’re comfortable with the arrangement.
  • Make sure the fit is right: does your work fit with the magazine and its audience? If not, find another one.
  • Think like a businessperson: tailor your proposal/submission to the magazine you’re trying to impress!
  • Kara’s tip #1: Keep trying until you get a YES! (No matter how many Nos you hear before that!)
  • Being turned down by one magazine – or ten- does NOT mean that your work isn’t good enough!
  • Sometimes rejection just means your work didn’t fit their theme or they had too many similar submissions.
  • Kara’s tip #2: Be professional! Put together a nice portfolio of your work to show the editor!
  • Study how other designers are using Instagram well to present their portfolios.
  • Maintain a professional website – it’s like your virtual home base and it speaks volumes about you and your work.
  • Follow the guidelines and format that the magazine specifies in their calls for proposals.
  • Kara’s tip #3: Diversify! Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – publish your work in a variety of places.
  • Be aware: If you send your designs out to different magazines, you can’t send the same design to more than one place!
  • Never send a previously published design as a proposal to a magazine. All designs must be original.
  • Bonus tip: don’t knit your own samples! Hire sample knitters – it will save you a ton of time.


Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Trisha Malcolm’s episodes – Episode 1 and Episode 72

If you need help with planning out your path to magazine publication, or you’d like someone to review your design proposals, book a FREE consulting session with me and we’ll go over it together! Click here for all the details.

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Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links in this episode are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase and there is no additional cost for you to do so.  When I make a recommendation, it is because I have personal experience with these products and have used them myself. I only recommend products I believe in and suggest them because I know they will be helpful, not because of the small commission I make if you decide to make a purchase. The commission I earn helps offset the production expenses that I incur to produce Power Purls, and by purchasing products through these links, also helps you to become a supporter of this podcast and for that, I am truly grateful.