Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Peacocks on Parade available now! (with giveaway)

Peacocks on Parade version A

If you’ve popped over to my website recently, you may have noticed that Peacocks on Parade is now available as an e-pattern. (The printed version is also available to stores.) Since this is the first pattern I’ve released since the Other so kindly gifted me with an Android tablet, it’s got me thinking about downloadable PDF patterns a bit differently than before.

Peacocks on Parade as an e-pattern

In some ways, quilt patterns were made for e-reading. I mean, the standard pattern format—5½×8½" sheets from folded letter paper—is a pretty good size for viewing on a 7–10" tablet or e-ink screen. It can be a pain to scroll around full 8½×11" pages on a display that size, but the half page can fit fully on screen and still be legible (depending on the setup of the file and the device configuration, of course). Then you can bring your e-reader to the sewing room to follow the instructions, zoom in on illustrations, etc., and all you have to print are the templates or pattern sheets. Any links in the PDF (I link to tutorials for basic things like binding) are instantly accessible.

But not everybody has an e-reader or tablet (and I’d be the last snake to lead Eve to an Apple). Those half-letter pages are easy enough to print 2 to a page in most PDF software, which gives you essentially the same format you’d get from one of my printed patterns.

Peacocks on Parade version B

There’s been a discussion recently on the Quilt Pattern Designers e-mail list regarding the pricing of PDF patterns—should they be the same as printed versions because you’re paying for the design, or should the lessened manufacturing and inventory costs lead to a lower price? I’ve always thought it’s only fair for digital products to cost less than their physical counterparts (think MP3s vs. CDs), but there were strong feelings the other way too. Inspired by Sister Diane’s candid discussion of pricing and financial viability in the online crafting world (like in this post, including the comments), I’d like to get your thoughts…

To enter the giveaway for a free copy of the Peacocks on Parade e-pattern, just leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts on downloadable patterns for quilting or sewing. Do you buy them? What do you like about them? What don’t you like? How do you feel on the pricing question? You don’t have to go into elaborate detail or answer all these questions, just give me a quick thought or two. Make sure your Blogger profile has an e-mail address or that there’s some way I can contact you if you win. Comments will be open through midnight Pacific Time on Thursday, January 19, and I’ll announce the winner of the free pattern on Friday.

Good luck, and thanks for sharing your opinions!

UPDATE: Just to clarify, the winner will be chosen randomly from the comments. Thanks!


BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I do buy downloadable patterns. I still prefer the printed ones; but if I can save shipping plus a little, they become more attractive.

Kim West said...

I like them, but if I could get a ap to be able to annotate them, I would probably like them better. I like to write notes on my patterns to let me know where I left off, clarify directions, etc.

Kucki68 said...

I have not yet bought a quilt pattern PDF, but have done so for knitting patterns, so would not be adverse to purchasing one.

As I am in Europe printed patterns are sometimes hard to come by or expensive, so I would be happy to pay the pattern price and save the shipping.

Esch House Quilts said...

You know my thoughts on PDFs from the quilt designers's list (so you don't have to include me in the giveaway :)), but I just wanted to pop in here and say I'm a big fan of Sister Diane too. In particular, her thoughtfulness on the subject of free in the online community has been very helpful in clarifying my own thoughts.

Terrie Sandelin said...

I've published a quilt book with C&T and I am also selling epatterns. I think some quilt consumers who haven't bought epatterns yet aren't aware of what a deal they are. For a hard copy pattern I buy in the store, I typically find a few pages of content with a smattering of illustrations. When I'm writing an epattern, I can create a photo illustration of each and every step. My epatterns, as most of the ones I have bought, include much more detail in the instructions (mine range from 9 to 15 pages). I couldn't provide that level of detailed instruction even in the quilt book -- good as I hope it is, paper publishing still rarely allows that level of detail. So, I think one of the challenges may be getting consumers to recognize what a good deal epatterns are and how easy they are to buy. Perhaps once the buying of epatterns becomes more widespread, attitudes will change?