Confidence

I’ve not had much time for sewing because I’ve been researching, I’ve done a little bit but in general I think confidence is a good theme for this post. A few good things, a few not so good if you will. But things that can hopefully be overcome with confidence.

I sat down and worked out my income last night- with all of my outgoings and cruicially no savings, this has meant that I only have £100 left over for emergencies (vet bills, car repairs, etc), clothes, fabric, etc each month which is scary and I hadn’t realised how badly I rely on my Etsy shops, etc for that extra little bit of cash. Needless to say my fabric no-spend is going to have to continue for a bit longer but I still have plenty to play with in my stash so it’s not all doom and gloom.

It has however but a bit more pressure on Fabricate to progress beyond an idea so now I just need to feel a bit more confident. If I am confident then it hopefully will rub off on Thursday and then when I go and see a bank manager (AAARGGHHH). I’m just hoping they won’t take my personal debt into account because that could derail the entire project (and is the reason I’m skint in the first place).

A reason I’m not feeling too confident? I’m struggling to justify the size of the market. I know there are tons of UK modern quilters out there but I just don’t know exactly HOW MANY. It could be 100, it could be 10,000! If it’s 100 it’s not a viable project! I have got membership figures for the Quilters Guild, I have got the number of quilters in the UK in general which I can create an estimated percentage from and I have the sales and circulation for a few magazines (but not patchwork ones). So I need to have confidence in these numbers to be enough. It would be great to find out how many UK quilting blogers there are too and how many contemporary fabric shops but it’s not something I’ve found the figures for- yet.

So my print run is also dependent on this number and at the minute I don’t know if I am underestimating or overestimating because the amount of information out there is so poor. I met Ange from Heart of Charnwood for the first time yesterday (lovely by the way!) and she thinks there is room for not one but two modern quilting publications. It’s great hearing that but it’s proving it to other people with evidence that’s not easy.

I need to have an “Excellent” marketing plan with “in store promotions” for a new launch. So far all I can think of to do instore would be to have an unbagged copy to flick through (if indeed I go the bagged route) and maybe some shelf wobblers for Hobbycraft, etc to use. Is this enough? I can’t think of anything else that won’t be massively expensive to do, and I need to keep the bank loan as low as possible for the best chance of it being granted. I am doubting that my grand total of £400 marketing launch budget (with the exception of a trade show I would like to show at) is going to be enough, but it isn’t like you can advertise a magazine in a magazine unless it’s a sister title and of course I don’t have one! I have a couple of free or nearly-free ideas up my sleeve though, like a blog hop and hopefully some sponsorship in exchange for advertising, but if anyone wants to give me any ideas for promotion I won’t stop you!

(Image is not of the magazine, it’s my rate card. Which is not finished and was is being made in Photoshop rather than InDesign but I needed a representative photo to break things up…)

I’m also not getting on very well with InDesign and I’m doubting my ability there. I’ve designed magazines and books before but the layout doesn’t look cool enough at the minute. I would be great at designing a parish newsletter, a knitting pattern or a copy of People’s Friend but I need to think out of the box more to create templates that are vibrant. I’ve actually started working on this today and I am feeling a little more confident, I haven’t totally lost my mojo but time is running out.

So all in all I’m going to have to give my presentation a big overhaul before Thursday morning- it needs to look spectacular! I’m not scared of the work, but I am a bit frightened of failure if I’m totally honest. I think this meeting will be more of an informal chat about possiblities which in turn may call for another revision of the projection sheet, etc. But it could be that it will be more important, the printer will be there too so they’re taking me seriously, which is something I am pleased about.

I’m also a bit nervous about the ad sales which is the only way I am going to get cashflow into the business in the early stages. I’ve not really done direct sales before and I have about 15 pages to fill each month. I’d like to pay someone on commission to do it for me but no one seems very forthcoming.

Also, how much money do you think I can actually bring in through Kickstarter? Another option would be to do the crowd funding first for all of the essentials and then the extra bits which would pack the punch such as digital copies, cover gifts, etc would be from the bank. That way I’d have proof that there was actually a market for it from the number of donors involved. I’d still need around £8000 though to cover 1/4 Smiths shops and printing for the first two issues (as I won’t have funds in quick enough before the printing of issue 2) which would be an average of £170 a day being pledged. Through just my connections, I am struggling to see this happening to be honest with you. What do you think I should do?

In sewing news, I am losing a bit of confidence in EQ7. I’ve had problems with the calculations not being right and producing blocks too small in the past, however I’ve stumbled across another problem. It printed my letter templates (spelling “Home”) for the Free Two Bee the right way round, which for paper piecing means the letters are backwards. I would have thought it would know this. So note to self and others- print templates as mirror image when paper piecing with EQ! This is where I’m up to so far. i’m going to applique the bird on properly and finish the letters shortly. This is Elizabeth’s and needs sending on by the end of the week. I AM confident I will meet the deadline!

I am having no problem with chocolate orders at the minute. They were slow to start with but since adding a bigger box to the range I’ve had enough through so far to pay for my passport, blog redesign and 6 months road tax, so thank you to those who have helped me out with these bits and pieces. I just need a few more to pay for my new front tyres so my car is ready for winter and there’s a BOGOF deal at the nearby National. There’s 9 days left to get your orders in for Christmas at trufflepiglet.com and there’s a free snowman lolly when you add one to your cart with the rest of your order and type “thesnowman” into the discount code box!

Oh and Fletcher is fine for those who were asking about him!

5 Comments

  1. Sandy
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Not to be a downer, but here are some things I’ve found:

    http://www.magazinepublisher.com/startup.html

    Approximately only one out of ten new magazine ventures will ever be successful. If an individual or business entity cannot absorb the loss of investment in starting and growing a magazine venture, then such a venture should never be undertaken. Magazine publishing is both speculative and risky.

    http://www.gaebler.com/Starting-a-Magazine.htm

    So why don’t more people publish magazines? Simply because the failure rate of magazines is astronomical and publishing more than one issue isn’t half as simple as it seems. In fact, among the magazines that fail, 70% never make it to a second issue. But if you have the itch to publish, there are some things you can do to increase your odds of success.

    http://www.psmag.com/media/quality-doesnt-ensure-success-for-best-new-magazines-10568/

    Failure rates for all new magazines are scarce, so as a reference point, the study highlighted a 2002 research article co-authored by Dr. Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni (a Miller-McCune editorial advisory board member), which found a 90 percent overall failure rate of magazines launched between 1985 and 2002, and a 50 percent failure for new launches within the first year.

    I’ve posted these things not to knock your confidence further, but to make sure you’ve thought this through before committing funds or taking on a loan. The risk is high and the odds of success aren’t good. Please make sure you’ve thought this out fully before getting in too deep.

  2. Posted November 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Oh bless you, it is a big thing, and there is lots to deal with, have you considered getting some Flickr support behind you, through maybe the Brit Quilt group, give you some extra confidence? : )

  3. Posted November 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Kickstarters can be really good! They definitely work for the gaming industry and if you spread the word through the blogsphere then that’s advertising for free! I’d promote on my blog (although that probably won’t help that much 🙂 )

  4. Laura
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Can you not get a company to give you cover gifts? In return for advert space?

  5. Posted November 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    My twopenneth worth:
    Don’t go down the bagged route, I think you’ll lose customers as customers like to flick. I’d also say lose the free gift, I hate free gifts in magazines, they’re usually crap and account for the higher price…

    Advertising – on line quilt shops. Talk to them about reciprocal advertising.

    For the funding, I’m clueless – Dragon’s den??

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*