Dear readers, I have a book deal. In about two years I will release my very own book, Listen to the wool: A why-to guide for mindful spinning. It has been a long ride so far, a road that has been especially eventful these past nine months.
While there are lots of how-to spinning books on the market, Listen to the wool is more of a why-to book where I talk about why we take certain steps from fleece to yarn and what we can learn in each step from a unique fleece. I will encourage the reader to do the don’ts, challenge their preconceptions and embrace their mistakes, all the while I hold their hand. The book also has a wider perspective in why we spin (or craft) at all in a world where we don’t need to to feed and clothe our families. If you have read my blog I think you will recognize my relationship to the wool and my writing style.
Way back when
For many years I have had a book in my heart. It has been humming in the background since then, but lately it has moved on to buzzing. In 2019 I started to loosely plan it, mapping out topics to write about.
I remember creating a mind map of topics I wanted to cover and asking a few trusted friends to read a chapter or two when the time came. I have come back to the mindmap every now and then, changed a few things and then procrastinated some more. Writing a book has been a theoretical priority, but has never made it into a practical one – there have always been other things like blog posts, online courses, articles with deadlines. All things that I love and thrive doing, but still shadowing my quite book dream.
Writing an email
During the pandemic I incorporated writing in my daily morning ritual. Just a couple of hand written pages in a journal, letting the words flow and settle down onto the page.
In the 2022 December solstice email I sent to my readers I wrote a couple of lines about writing and how it can help me understand the development of a thought process, dive deeper into the wool and share my reflections with you. I got a reply from Jane who recommended me to look up Beth Kempton, an author, course creator and Japanologist. I did, and found some lovely stuff.
I bought Beth Kempton’s book about writing, The Way of the Fearless Writer, and loved every page of it. I also joined her ten day winter writing sanctuary and thrived in daily writing into the new year.
I kept writing and loved the notion of writing what wants to be written, to allow the writing to write me. In March I enrolled in Beth Kempton’s four week online course, the Book Proposal Masterclass. There was lots of challenging assignments in the course and it took a lot of time and energy. But it also gave me so much more than I had ever imagined. A lesson in mapping out all my ideas on a wall (or underneath a staircase) gave me endless aha moments. It also made me realize that this could all be real one day.
One month after the month long course had ended I had a finished 40 page book proposal. What’s more, I had a structure and a shape for a book that until then had only been a blob. Through poking the blob from different angles throughout the course I managed to shape it into something real, something that could actually become a book.
I went back to my trusted friends a couple of new ones. I asked them to read my 40 page book proposal and give me feedback from different angles. Their thoughts about the proposal helped me enormously and I sharpened the proposal according to their observations.
At first I thought I could just send my book proposal to a publisher, but during the book proposal masterclass I realized that I would need an agent. I am writing this book in English, since no Swedish publisher would ever publish a book for an audience as small as the Swedish spinning community. So my aim was the English speaking world, which of course widens the audience enormously, and especially the U.S. market where more than half my readers come from. I know absolutely nothing about the book publishing industry, and even less about U.S. and worldwide publishing, so I realized an agent could guide me through this vast jungle.
In July I found my agent, Isabel Atherton of Creative Authors. She is English but lives in Manhattan. When I looked her up she specified craft books as a particular interest. I sent her my book proposal and she happily agreed to take me on. She is my champion and explains everything to me about the business and contracts with great patience.
Isabel will do what she can to help me find a publisher that will provide my Swedish readers with a Swedish translation.
A book deal
Quick as an eagle, Isabel sent my proposal to various publishers, and just this week I signed with the U.S. publisher Stackpole, an imprint under Rowman and Littlefield. Stackpole has published craft books for many years, mainly in textile crafts and a couple of those about spinning. Their crafts editor (swoon!) Candi Derr was very excited about my book proposal just as it was, including having my husband Dan take all the pictures for the book.
To celebrate my book deal I bought a whole stack of books about writing and I am eagerly waiting for them to arrive. Tomorrow Dan and I will go to a friend’s pastures for our first photo shoot for the book.
This is huge for me. I am over the moon and terrified. There will be a lot of writing on my book now. The buzz from the book now has a wide spectrum between whale song and nails against the blackboard. One year from today my editor will have my manuscript. The book will be published around a year after that. Watch this space.
Thank you all for cheering me on, for asking questions and for making me a better spinner and writer. This book is for you.
You can find me in several social media:
- This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
- My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to miss anything!
- I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
- I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden or to book me for a lecture.
- On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
- Follow me on Instagram. I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
- Read the book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.
- In all the social media I offer, you are more than welcome to contact me. Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
- I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.