More online publishing

I’m sure that soon, the number of online knitting-spinning-crocheting-textile arts magazines will outnumber the print mags.

Here’s another one: Spindlicity, a mag for hand spinners, by Laidybug.

Ignoring for the moment the “At this time, Spindlicity cannot pay for submissions” (since you know I would suggest that the correct wording is “doesn’t want to pay for submissions”) and the tongue-twisting name (I had to type it twice to get it right — how about Spinnidipity or Spintessence? Or how about Z-twist? Clockwise? I prefer names that only suggest the subject matter over names that take the most commonly used word and hammer it into your head, but that’s just me), I’ve got a little presentation advice.

That graphic of the spindles in the basket in the upper left-hand corner? Too untidy. The background — the framed picture, the other stuff on the table — really should be cropped out or erased so that all you can see is the vertical arrangement of colourful tools that form the principle focus of the magazine. Let me see if I can find an example, like — uh, yeah, this one. See how there’s no background clutter detracting from the vertical arrangement of colourful tools?

And lest you think nothing good comes out of my keyboard: read this announcement from Fyberspates, and then this one. Thank you, Jo. (And have I ever mentioned that I like Wales? Some of my favourite in-laws are Welsh, or work in Newport.)

Seeing the Spindlicity and Fyberspates sites reminded me of another online magazine I saw once about fiber arts, but I can’t remember what it was. I think they had published their first issue sometime in 2004 or 2005. Googling isn’t much help. Does anyone know what I’m talking about?

Edit: I may not be entirely crazy, but it’s not exactly what I think I recall (see the comments). Eve also suggested ICanSpin.com, which has tons of videos of spinning-related techniques, and The Joy of Handspinning, which is a retail site with videos, too, but neither of those were what I thought I remembered — I was imagining something with a Knitty-like layout and bright colours. Janice suggested Handspinners, which published four issues from 2004-2005. I think that might have been it.

This entry was posted in bitch. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to More online publishing

  1. j. says:

    I closed comments on this post because of excessive spam. But if you’d like to comment, find another post in this category and comment there, or e-mail me directly.

  2. Roberta says:

    I’m a little late commenting on this thread, but what the heck! Handspinners was my baby. It died (dyed?!) a quick and painless death exactly because of the money issue you discuss here. I was paying contributors. I’m an advocate against the ‘cheaping’ of the fibre arts (not putting any value into the art and craft of our textiles and the artists who produce them). My plan was the same as Janel’s. To get funding from advertisers to pay the writers. But the advertisers weren’t interested. They failed to see the value of online advertising and how it could benefit their business.

    I invested a couple thousand (yes THOUSAND) dollars out of my own pocket trying to make it work by producing a high quality online magazine. When it became clear advertisers wouldn’t support the venture, I had 2 choices. Not pay writers or end publication. I chose to end the publication because not paying the writers would only be contributing to the undervaluing of our art.

    However, I think Janel and Spindlicity deserves our support. She is trying to do the same thing I did, and I hope she succeeds. She may not be able to pay writers now, but if the advertisers give her their support, she could. At least I hope she would.

  3. janel says:

    all ads were free in the first issue. There was no revenue.

    – Janel
    editor, Spindlicity

  4. j. says:

    “Money-grubbing neophyte”: your words, not mine. In reality, it takes time to write articles and shoot good quality photographs, too. And if you would have contributed for free, then you clearly saw some non-pecuniary value in the publication, which I did allow for in my first post on the subject. If you read it. I’m guessing you didn’t.

    Based on current advertising rates, Spindlicity had revenue of over $3000 for the inaugural issue. Or did those advertisers get their space for free in this issue?

  5. Mindi says:

    I am a contributer at Spindlicity. You neglected to mention that Janel would give roving and fiber if she could. Didn’t you see it? It was that sentance right below the one you quoted out of context. Janel’s magazine is not a business. It’s a hobby. I was very excited to contribute, and even more excited when she gave me a wonderful bunch of hand dyed rovings in my favorite colorways and fibers. I prefer that to money, actually. Perhaps you also neglected to notice that this is a spinning magazine. A small spinning magazine started as a hobby. While knitting is included (what to do with all that yarn?), it is not the main subject of this magazine. If a knitting designer wishes to contribute, great, they can have some fiber if Janel has some to give them. No one is making a living on this magazine, it’s an outlet for her creative ideas. I, for one, think it’s fantastic. She’s put a great deal of effort into something that has very little chance of benifitting her finacially, and most people love it. I might agree with you that it’s unfair to make a great deal of money and not share it with your contributers, but Janel doesn’t do that. I would have done it for free, the roving was just gravy. Next time you accuse someone of being a money-grubbing neophyte you might consider reality, instead of the insulting Bizarro-world you relay on your blog.

  6. Amy says:

    THANK YOU for bringing this subject up and continuing it! I do hope that not only new designers but knitters as well read some of this and take it to heart. It is such an expense in so many ways to design knitwear, and it often seems that the many online mags as well as yarn companies intend to belittle the vast amoount of effort it takes to design good things by underpayment. Combine that with the numbers of knitters who steadfastly refuse to shell out five bucks for a good pattern and you have a continual lack of anything original coming out. Oh, and someopne mentioned a Knit designers Union? Oh COUNT ME IN! Finally, complaints from the other side of the argument.

  7. JoVE says:

    Thanks for that linke Janice and Jenna. there is indeed some interesting stuff in Handspinners.

  8. Janice in Ga says:

    Is it handspinners.com? It appears to be defunct, but the archives show a pretty good variety of patterns and stuff.

  9. Janice in Ga says:

    There was a handspinning online magazine a while back that had some other info in it, but I can’t remember the url now and I can’t find it.
    Getting older sucks big eggs sometimes.

  10. j. says:

    Nope, that’s not it. I know about Spun. What I’m imagining was something that wasn’t focused on the knitting reader, but rather the fiber arts reader.

  11. eve says:

    You’re thinking of Spun Magazine. here’s the url: http://www.spunmag.com/

  12. JoVE says:

    Thanks for the link but did YOU send her a message about why she should pay contributors or is it better if someone else sends her to your blog entry :-)