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.
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.
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!