Author Topic: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings  (Read 4073 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Arila

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 759
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2014, 12:16:28 PM »
My first thought was to let all the friends knit the projects, but pay the ones that you hired. But then I realized what a calamity that could/would turn out to be.  I agree with pp's and also that  the less this is discussed the better.  If they want to congratulate you great, but after that their offers to help can be side stepped.  Congratulations by the way!!

See, I had the same first thought: "why not let everyone knit samples?" What is the calamity that might ensue? What if a volunteer gets theirs done on time, and it looks nicer than the paid one?  Not arguing, just a question.

Onyx_TKD

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1340
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2014, 02:09:07 PM »
Part of the problem is that two "volunteers" belong to the same knit group at the two volunteers that I actually asked to knit, and these two people offered whereas the other two did not - I asked them.  The two volunteers have volunteered in the past.  The two who are actually doing the work have been two I've worked with in the past.

I think the bolded is a very important point, and one you should use if they ask why you're using the paid knitters. This is an important project with a tight deadline, so using an existing, proven arrangement is a huge help.

Volunteers: "Why did you have [paid knitters] knit the samples instead of me? I would have done it for free!"
You: "Yes, that was so nice of you to offer--I'm so lucky to have so many friends willing to help! But I really needed to keep this project strictly business, because of the tight deadlines and how much is riding on it. [Paid knitters] and I have worked together before on similar projects, so we already had all the arrangements ironed out. But thank you so much for offering--you guys have been so supportive!"

Jloreli

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 348
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2014, 02:33:40 PM »
When in doubt blame the magazine! They want access to the patterns limited until publication or why would people buy the issue? And darn those super tight etched in stone deadlines.....you had to have sample knitters waiting in the wings before you even submitted the patterns! (The knitters you already worked with) But you are so excited for everyone to see the issue when it comes out and so very overwhelmed by their support! Isn't the knitting community just the best?? *tearintheeyeoptional*

Anyone who presses you about sample knitting after that should be met with a puzzled head tilt.....did they not understand that it is all taken care of? Beandip? Did you see that new line of superfuzzy yarn from XYZ co? The self knitting needles in finest reclaimed winecork???


BTW we will need to know the name of the magazine!  Congrats!!  ;D

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5573
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2014, 02:49:55 PM »
Is this something that could happen again? Do you have other patterns that you might put forward? If you do, could offer up those projects to your willing volunteers? Then they could ready when you submit them?

Is that any option?

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2014, 03:26:24 PM »
Okay, this is just brainstorming and I only have a basic grasp of pattern marketing/publication -but what about a project gallery? Like on Ravelry? Could your volunteer knitters get an advance review copy - or could you gift them a copy of the pattern- and knit their samples for an online photo gallery and post reviews that would help drive people to the publication? That way they are in the "inner circle" and they are helping, but there is no deadline and any quality problems do not reflect on you.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13763
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2014, 03:30:21 PM »
I like Onyx_TKD's wording.

But I do have a suggestion for you for all these other volunteers, just not for this set of patterns.  Could you get them involved earlier in your process?  So you've created a pattern that you are planning on submitting to a magazine.  Get the volunteers to knit it at that point so you can correct any pattern errors before submitting it.  Then, when it is accepted, stick to your 'professional' knitters to knit it up in the yarn the magazine wants, in the specified time frame.

That way, you could use their help without having to depend on them nearly so much.  And if some of them are really good, you can move them into your 'professional' pool.

ETA:  And I like EllenS's idea, too.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

LA lady

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 78
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2014, 03:52:27 PM »
Get the volunteers to knit it at that point so you can correct any pattern errors before submitting it.  Then, when it is accepted, stick to your 'professional' knitters to knit it up in the yarn the magazine wants, in the specified time frame.

I really like this idea, along with "I could not possibly impose on you to take on the stress of a deadline job."

Or could you provide one of your volunteers with the specified yarn and the pattern, to be your backup for the deadline, in case your pro steps in front of a bus?  This would also give you an idea how reliable your volunteer is under a deadline.  Just one volunteer per pattern, of course, since you have to maintain the "scoop" for the magazine.

Knitterly

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1562
    • That other knitting blog
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2014, 04:17:07 PM »
Is this something that could happen again? Do you have other patterns that you might put forward? If you do, could offer up those projects to your willing volunteers? Then they could ready when you submit them?

Is that any option?

I submit patterns on a very regular basis to a wide variety of magazines.  Honestly, most of them get rejected.  ;)

I think what I will do is try out a new vounteer on a pattern that hasn't been submitted yet to see what her speed and skill is like in identifying and correcting mistakes, how she works on a deadline, and if the pattern is acceptable for photography.

This is the first second time I've ever hired out *sample* knitting.  I've never had more than one pattern accepted before, so I always prefer to knit the photography samples myself to make sure the pattern is absolutely correct. 

My first thought was to let all the friends knit the projects, but pay the ones that you hired. But then I realized what a calamity that could/would turn out to be.  I agree with pp's and also that  the less this is discussed the better.  If they want to congratulate you great, but after that their offers to help can be side stepped.  Congratulations by the way!!

See, I had the same first thought: "why not let everyone knit samples?" What is the calamity that might ensue? What if a volunteer gets theirs done on time, and it looks nicer than the paid one?  Not arguing, just a question.
There is a difference between photography samples and test knitting samples.  First, I do need to keep the patterns under wraps as much as possible until the magazine comes out, as per my contract.  This means no posting of the project or pictures on facebook or Ravelry.  I can talk about it in general terms, but no specifics.
Second, the yarn is provided by the publishing company and the size in multisized garments is chosen by them to fit their model.  So I can't have lots of people trying to knit the same sample. 

CONGRATULATIONS! That's a real achievement- well done.

I agree with PPs that the less said the better. I'd stick to "It's so kind of you to offer, but I'm all set, thank you"

If they do push, then perhaps something like "I'm lucky to have so many knitting friends ready to help out"

This is a good phrase.  It underscores that they are my friend, too, but I only needed one person to do it.

Zizi-K

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 703
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2014, 05:02:25 PM »
I wonder if this could be a useful strategy. It sounds like you have good friends/supporters who offered to do something nice for you, but it's something that would take a lot of time, effort and attention, and is actually something that one would normally pay someone to do. It's kind of like if someone offered in all earnestness and enthusiasm to edit my book. (My future book that my dissertation in progress will eventually become.) That is a task beyond a favor of one friend no matter how supportive to do. It is actually a job that one gets paid to do, and if I actually took up someone on an offer like that, they would realize how much of an imposition it was real fast.

If this is the case, you can say "Thanks for such a generous offer, but given the time constraints and the pressure put on the project by the publisher, it's really more of a job, so I've decided to hire it out. For most of us, the deadlines and the pressure to make it perfect makes the project not fun anymore, and I don't want to make knitting not fun for you. But it's really touching for you to offer!"

Peregrine

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 457
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2014, 05:51:39 PM »
To ease the sting a bit, perhaps you could arrange a bit of a "launch party" that you could talk up when your designs are published?  Bring some treats to knit night, raffle off a couple copies of the magazine with your patterns.....maybe run a little Ravelry contest to get some additional people knitting your design once it comes out, so you don't run afoul of your publisher obligations?

I think, maybe, if you can get away with glossing over the fact that you are already paying test knitters if you give your other knitting friends the idea of a little treat to look forward to that coordinates with your publication launch.  I don't think it would be out of line to ask your test knitters to not mention that they are being paid. 

Another inquiring knitter wants to know who you are publishing with, if you are allowed to say ;)

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30554
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2014, 06:03:24 PM »
what her speed and skill is like in identifying and correcting mistakes, how she works on a deadline, and if the pattern is acceptable for photography.

Of course you don't want to bring that up, but that's the truth behind why you don't want their help.

If someone seemed reasonable, you could say, "It's not as simple as it might seem, so I've relying people who have experience. Time is too tight for me to do anything else."

But in general, I think a lot of people who volunteer are actually risky in your situation. They think they're doing you a favor--and they don't think you have the right to be picky, or to demand they work at a certain speed.
  The more enthusiastic someone was to volunteer, the more skeptical I'd be, personally.

So I'd just wriggle out as much as I could.

CrazyDaffodilLady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1251
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2014, 07:24:51 PM »
Just because someone offers to do a "favor" doesn't mean they'll be offended if the offer is refused.  (I put "favor" in quotes here because in this case, doing the favor carries a big reward: having their work published.) If people are volunteering to help out of friendship, it shouldn't be any different than if they offered to drive you to a doctor's appointment and you told them you already had a ride. No big deal.

I don't think you need to downplay your success, but I suggest that you not defend or try to justify your choice of testers.  It's a done deal, and justification may inadvertently lead to offense.  Do express appreciation for the offer.

It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10801
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Business, Friendship, and hurt feelings
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2014, 08:12:32 PM »
Other folks have already offered better phrasing that I could so I just wanted to say: Huge congrats!!  This is very, very cool news.   :)