Writing Book 4 – Part 2: Contract Accepted, Work Begins

If you are new to my blog, I’ve begun documenting my progress as I write a book from start to finish. In my last post, I discussed the book proposal process, so be sure to check that out! I’m currently working on my fourth book, and kinda maybe sorta know more about what I’m doing this time around. Just kidding about the “sorta” part, but it’s always a learning process, for sure!!

Christa Watson Books

I’ve written 3 books on my own and have been featured in numerous collaborations with my publisher Martingale/That Patchwork Place, a few of which are shown here.

So here’s what’s happened so far. After I submitted my proposal back in April of this year, I met with my publisher in person in May at Spring Quilt Market 2018 in Portland, OR. I had an in-depth meeting with the acquisitions editor and content editor to nail down the specifics of what the new book will be about (machine quilting – duh!!)

I had originally wanted to go in one direction with the book, but when they pointed out that some of the content I wanted to include was already covered in my first three books, they helped me narrow down my focus and solidify the overall direction for this new book.

Martingale Collaboration Books

Two new Martingale titles that debuted at Spring Quilt Market include Fat Quarter Favorites, featuring my quilt on the cover, and Lunch Hour Patchwork which includes my modern mini.

A couple of months after our meeting at market, Martingale offered me the formal contract in writing, which of course I accepted, and I made myself a time line/to do list of all the steps I’ll need to finish on time.

The first section of the book isn’t due until the next February and the final manuscript, instructions, and samples are due by the end of summer 2019. I’m thrilled because this will give me plenty of time to create the book along with other new and exciting projects I have in the works.

The most wonderful part about working with a publisher is that although I create all of the content, including “placeholder” photos and illustrations, Martingale has a team of professionals who photograph and illustrate everything based on my images. I love it when they take what I create and make it look even more beautiful!

Publishing Agreement for my Next Book

Happy mail! Getting the contract in the mail is always an exciting day!

Book 4 (as I will be calling it until the cover art is finalized) is slated to be 96 pages which is the same length as my most recent book Piece and Quilt with Precuts. Of course that can change depending on final editing, and it’s due to be published in September of 2020 (also subject to change). I have a working title for the book, but even that can be tweaked.

As an example, for my first three books, the publisher named the first two while I titled the third. I have a feeling that the title for Book 4 is something we both are in agreement on! (Sorry for all the teases, but I’m giving away only as much as I can at this point.)

I can’t say enough about how excited I am to work on this new book. It’s actually something that many of my students have been asking for, so I love being able to meet their needs. And the best thing about machine quilting is that it’s timeless: the ideas I create now will be just as relevant in two years when the book is available for sale. Even though that seems like a long way off right now, I know that time is going to fly!

Christa at Quilt Market 2015

Doing a demo for my first book at quilt market in 2015

While I can’t discuss the specifics of my contract, I can tell you that royalties are based on the wholesale price of the book, and I will also have the opportunity to purchase them wholesale myself. In fact, most authors who sell their own books make more from direct sales of their books than they do in royalties, so it’s something to keep in mind if you are considering writing a book, or purchasing a book directly from the author.

Now the real work begins. The toughest part for me is balancing out my workdays so that I work on my book a little each week, rather than trying to cram in everything right before the deadline. I’m currently planning in detail everything that needs to be done, and my publisher was fabulous to work with on the timing, since I let them know I wouldn’t really be able to start on it in earnest until after Fall Market later this year.

Machine Quilting Demo

Machine quilting demo to promote my latest fabric and book at Spring Quilt Market 2018. I will be doing lots and lots and lots of quilting over the next few months. I can’t wait!

I have to be honest and say it’s been nice to have a two year break from book writing, since work on my previous book was completed in 2016, a full year before the publish date. But now I feel refreshed, re-energized, and excited to dive into the new work! I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress, and will share a few sneak peeks as I can, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you have questions about the book writing process, please ask away in the comments below. If there’s enough interest, I’ll be glad to do a separate blog post devoted to answering your questions about anything I haven’t covered so far. I love sharing what I know and inspiring others to reach their goals, no matter how big or small!

11 thoughts on “Writing Book 4 – Part 2: Contract Accepted, Work Begins

  1. Debi Jimenez says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING! CONGRATULATIONS.

    I HAVE ONE OF THE QUESTION ABOUT THE THE DEMO A AT QUILT MARKET….
    DO YOU BRING YOUR HOME MACHINE OR IS THERE ONE YOU LIKE PROVIDED FOR YOU?
    I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO BUYING AND READING YOUR NEXT BOOK. GET BUSY CAUSE I AM NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER AND I AM SO EXCITED!

    • Christa says:

      Fortunately I’m able to coordinate that with BERNINA ahead of time so they’l provide the machine for me 🙂

      Christa Watson Instagram @christaquilts website/blog: ChristaQuilts.com Click here to join my facebook group: Quilt with Christa

      On Sat, Aug 11, 2018 at 3:30 PM, Christa Quilts wrote:

      >

  2. Caroline Callaway says:

    Congratulations Christa. I love the fact you share with us. 😊I am curious, how do you get your inspiration for each book? Is there a connection between your live and video courses/tutorials and the content in your books? I would think it would make your life a little easier if there was a connection.

  3. DeniseClason says:

    Hi Christa, I’m very happy and excited for your ability to really present your skills and talents, in books, and patterns. You’ll now have the ability to create new patterns and machine quilting for customers. It’s such a great idea, to learn your skills. So nice for you to show us all what you can do, and how we can do them, too. I can’t wait to make your Sparkling Star quilt, can’t wait to show you, how it turns out.

  4. Anne says:

    Congratulations. I am looking forward to following your process and then purchasing the final result. Thanks for including us.

  5. bella911 says:

    I have the greatest respect for all of you that write’s books I’ve never had to get something to a publicist but I’ve seen friends that have and it’s not easy to cram all that work into a short period of time when you have a family and everything else to do! So I bow down to you for getting all of this done and still have a home life.

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