Beaded Shawls: On Rewriting a Book from Scratch

Sometimes books need a new edition. Updates are necessary when you realize the topic you have written about years ago evolved, new facts are available, or new techniques appeared.

Beaded Shawls is one of these books. Recently, I browsed through and realized it was published five years ago. Not that beaded knitting itself has changed so dramatically, but honestly, my writing has – and my design abilities have, too.

It’s like looking at a standard textbook on algebra used in university education. Sometimes there are new concepts, but the big picture is there to stay. No major improvements happen in a few years only, but the layout of these kind of books change.

Talking to my friend Andi about using an old (2002!) edition of our standard textbook on quantum physics he replied “the topic hasn’t changed, but the book layout has. It’s much easier to read now.”

It’s all about transporting the message. The clearer and more well-written a book is, the easier it is to use – and the more frequently I am going to pick it up!

So I decided it’s time for a major makeover of the Beaded Shawls book. But how does one rewrite a book? Let’s have a closer look.

I started by checking each pattern this book contains. Has the single pattern PDF been updated recently, or not? Every one of these gets a complete makeover first.

The next step is to rewrite the introduction and the tutorial on beaded knitting included in the book.

After checking and rewriting is complete, it’s time to open Adobe InDesign and actually creating the book PDF. I have templates fitting my standard 8.5 by 11 inches page size, speeding up the process a bit.

Finally, it’s time to hit publish!

And here comes the result: The Beaded Shawls Book.

Beaded Shawls Cover

One hundred and two pages packed with beaded shawls and knitting with beads. Nine example patterns, including my latest shawl knitting pattern, True North.

Which one will you make? 

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