Dear Publisher…

I’m writing this letter to you after much hesitation. I thought “let me leave it behind me and move on”. I thought “nah, what good does it do anyone to read this?”. Well. I reconsidered.

Because you’re still putting out calls for designers to submit to you. If they don’t yet know what they’re about to get into, I will be the one to tell them – unfortunately, I wasn’t told, and I got caught in this mess. So please, dear publisher…

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When I publish with serious, professional, down-to-earth, proper-prompt response companies, I get my cheque on time. Interweave pays when the issue is due to hit the newsstands. Vogue Knitting pays within receipt of the garment and pattern.

You pay when you feel like it, IF you feel like it.

Or when it’s so obvious that hundreds of people are spreading your names on twitter as a source of no-payment. I got paid. I know of several people who haven’t, yet.

Please pay your designers – on time.

When my contract says they’re keeping the sample and it’s with a hefty payment, I don’t mind. When I have to source my yarn, make my sample, and my contract says the sample is to be returned to me, I expect you to do so.

Please return their samples when estipulated on their contract – like mine. I’m still waiting for your response.

When we sign a contract that mentions there may be re-use of the patterns and you will get a percentage of the profits that your publishing company receives, we expect to get that percentage in the mail, pronto.

Do you believe we don’t know what you’re doing? (link)

Reselling your crochet patterns that designers worked hard and got paid (if they got paid) a pittance for, failing to notify the designers that this situation is about to happen and failing to reply to them, is wrong.

Please stop trying to make money on the side with our hard work.

This is sad. It’s sad and pathetic. You meant good, opening up a new set of magazines originating from Britain without the stairlift ads. You did. But you got lost. You changed Technical Editors like tissues, and failed to compensate them on time, or appropriately. You paid a pittance for designs – which some of us put up with when we were starting out.

Like me,when I first started out I was grateful to have a non-dowdy UK publication to submit to, get my first foothold into the industry that could lead me to the bigger publications. I wanted to support a local business. I trusted a good British business to not make a mockery of good business practices, especially if they planned on being an international name.

If you can’t afford to compensate accordingly, maybe it’s time to reconsider. You already had a failed business behind your back, take the blindfold off.

I expect my sample back soon. Please.

If you are a new designer, I would highly recommend you don’t submit your ideas. While I don’t wish misery or bankruptcy upon anyone, I believe this publishing house needs to accept their shortcomings and acknowledge publicly that they have failed to pay people. That cheques are late. That they withhold samples. That they are re-selling our work without our permission or appropriate payment. That they refuse to answer emails, regardless of how polite they are. In short – they cannot manage their business according to good legal practice.

Designers, tech-eds and knitters need to stand together for a reason – to preserve the quality of our work.

 

You, knitter, want quality patterns, edited by quality technical editors.

 

We, designers can’t produce quality patterns without appropriate timely compensation.

 

This publisher needs quality patterns to keep up their production.

 

Don’t give them what they want until we get what’s due.