It's well and truly spring now for many of us (I have to keep reminding myself of that - this rotten Italian sunshine has my bodyclock thinking it's late July!) which means that for me, at least, business is slowing down a little. Admittedly not everyone lives in the same hemisphere but the bulk of my customers are coming into the warmer weather and so pattern sales are slowing down and less projects are being added to Ravelry.
I've been reassuring the worry gene that this is all normal, and it is - it happens every year. Come September things will start gearing up again for the next season and meantime knitters from the other side of the world help keep things ticking over. What this gives me though is some time over the summer to get things into action ready for the next woolly Hat season.
I've a few ideas... one thing that has been in the back of my mind for the last year or so is pattern bundles - I'd put together 5 or 6 related patterns and sell them collectively at a discount compared to the price of them separately. They could be related by style or by gauge, or both - and then be made available as little E-books for download. Obviously I'd make sure that this is noted on all the single pattern pages so that customers know what options there are.
I'm also thinking of another mystery KAL for around October/November time - I haven't decided whether it should be free or not, or whether to offer the KAL at a discounted price and then sell it at normal pattern price once the KAL is over... more thought needed on that, really. The Mystery Beret was a huge hit which amazed me, but I know that was very much down to it being free. I'm not out to make a fortune but I need to balance things up between providing things for free and contributing to the knitting community with keeping food on the table and making sure the bills are paid (although our bills are small :)
Another possibility is wholesale of my single patterns - it's difficult for me to print up my patterns myself and distribute them to yarn stores and such, so I'd need to look at other options. I've been working with someone about having a new layout done for the patterns, and it would be great to see them go to print and available in shops. Think I'll ask some of the design groups I'm a member of about this... it would be really cool to get my patterns into bricks and mortar stores!
Anyhow's, these are all ideas at the moment and if you've any thoughts about any of them please leave a comment - you should by now that I value your feedback ;)
Getting back on track with the Kitchener book, this is what's been keeping me busy these last few days:-
This book will be in black and white from the offset, so it made sense to do all of the swatches in white with the grafting in dark grey to get good contrast in the shots. This also means that I'm redoing all of the basic kitchener tutorials, even though they've been done before (make more work for myself? me?)
ETA - no, I can't promise that I'll stop editing this post! Blogging about business stuff is weird and doesn't sit well on these shoulders...not to mention that my blogging voice is missing somewhere ;)