Wendy Bernard Book Signing
Last night (10/11/08) was the Wendy Bernard book signing at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington.
It was a smaller and cozier group of people, and was essentially a Q&A then signing. Wendy is a very down to earth, kind of funky personality, who is outgoing, despite admitting she was nervous at this being the first book signing she had done. She simply answered questions and gave us a little peek into what it's like to be an author, and also a knitwear designer.
She said, that while the book, Custom Knits, was fun to write, she wasn't making a ton money off of it, and was able to afford her daughter's tuition only through the pattern sales on her website. I, for one, figured that the royalties from a book weren't substantial, but I thought there would at least be some profit. As it turns out, the publisher gives you a payment of royalties, and most of that money before the book is published, was put towards supplies for making the book (yarn, etc) Hopefully, once the book sells enough copies to offset the original cost of the book, Wendy will see a profit. Also, she had hired NO test knitters for the book's designs. Yep. Wendy knit them all, in the span of about five months, and ended up with a hip injury to boot. Talk about doing something for the joy of it and love of the craft, huh?
Wendy Bernard explained that she tried to make this, her first book, more of a formula, versus a pattern, book. She wanted to empower the knitter to make her/his own choices as to how to make a sweater or a top, and to figure out on their own how to get the desired result. This is powerful, and most books, while they give a little leeway as to changes that can be made, do not approach the knitter and knitwear in that way.
This is a wonderful book, and is made all the more special, after meeting Wendy (and letting her borrow a sharpie) because it truly is her voice that shines through in the book, despite the editing and processing that goes into publishing a book. It was quite a refreshing treat to meet someone who went from zero to sixty as far as knitwear design goes. She started knitting 5 years ago, and also started designing at the same time. Who else of us can say that?
All in all, it was a great time, and was made even more special by the personalized notes she put in all the books. Thanks for coming to Seattle, Wendy!