Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Building A Better Book

A quick survey for you on the this fine January morning!

I was talking with my editor last week about some design and layout things for the book. One of the things she asked is if I had a strong feeling either way about whether the "Basic Techniques" section should be in the front or that back of the book? Hmmm... I hadn't thought about it. I assumed it would be in the front, right?

I thought it would be fun to pose the question to you that will be reading it...

Do you like "Basic Techniques" in the front of books or in the back of books?

And hey, ya know what, we haven't had a giveaway around here in ages!! So leave a comment with your opinion of basics in the beginning or end and you'll be entered to win one of my toggle beads. If you leave comments as "anonymous" please remember to put for first name, last initial and city,state (or foreign country, yes you over seas peps are welcome to enter) so I keep y'all straight. I will take comment entries until Friday at noon.

54 comments:

MsBaubles (AliBaubles) said...

I personally prefer the back, because I want to look at all the gorgeous eye candy first, and then learn how to put the gorgeous piece together :)

Lorelei said...

Well I normally see the Basic Techniques at the front of bead books. In this case, just to be different, I think you should totally put them in the back!

Holly said...

I think the techniques are better in the front. It's nice to start a book at the beginning, then read the techniques you'll need, then get started on the projects. Makes sense to me.

Jo said...

You know, until you asked I would have said techniques at the front, but thinking about it one of my favourite books is one of Tim McCreight's and that has the techniques at the back, the eye cany at the front, and that's one of the reason I love it! So my vote is for the front - stand out, be different!

SueBeads said...

I like the back too. I like to get right to the fun stuff!

Cindy said...

I like the basics in the front. When I was a beginner and purchased books, that would preclude the other information, giving me a point of reference.

Becky said...

I like to see basic techniques at the back, on the basis that if they are basic most of them I will know (and if i dont know I know where to find them) and that way I get straight into the projects and the eye candy

Carmen said...

I prefer the back of the book.

Meredith said...

With your work I think I'd like to see all the wonderful designs first and whet my appetite for making something cool. Then have the basic techniques at the back as a "reference". Plus its just fun to be different.

To be honest, when I want to do a project I usually pick the project and then go learn how to do it. I am not patient enough to learn or practice skills before doing a project LOL!!

Kristen said...

I have to agree about the back of the book. I think it's nice to look at all the beautiful designs first and then to be able to flip to the back for a reference guide is helpful. I think I would personally like to jump right into the book and see the beautiful finished projects first rather than quickly having to breeze through a few pages of techniques to "Get to the Good Stuff!". :)

Jenn said...

While it makes to me to put techniques in the front, I think you should put them in the back because:

1) because it makes to much sense to put it in the front...just like Lorelei said.
2) and like AliBaubles said, I like the eye-candy first. I will just skip to the eye-candy if you put it in the back.

In reality - it probably doesn't make a huge difference. I skip around all of my craft books. I don't ever read them front to back.

Or, you could do something that totally mixes techniques and projects. For example, teach a basic technique and then have a project that incorporates the technique?

Okay. Too many choices. And I really didn't give you an answer. I'm just looking forward to the book and will be happy with whatever you decide!

Anonymous said...

I would prefer instructions in the beginning. Though all magazines put in back. If basic instructions are in the front they are easy to locate than somewhere in the back. So there you have my opinion.
Beverly N. in MD

pam ferrari said...

I would like to see basic techniques in the back of the book. If its a new bend or idea I would like to see it with the instructions of the item your making.

k said...

I like it in the front--it helps you appreciate all of the beautiful work that follows.

Lori said...

I really think it depends on how your book is layed out. If you have a section on tools, than the techniques should be right behind it in the front. If it project based, than the technique used should be with the project and a review of all the techniques in the back for review
Lori O in so cal

Anonymous said...

I think it's less confusing if the basics are at the beginning

Kellie Cales, Munster, IN

Anonymous said...

I would like to see them in the back so I can look thru the creative designs first! If you want to go to the extreme, put them in the middle! LOL

Marcia B.

Jennifer said...

I like books with the help/basics section in the back, when I open a book I want to flip through all of the projects and drool over the pictures ;) It would be nice to have a list for sourcing supplies too...
Jenn

Debbie said...

Kerry, I like to look at all the projects first then I look at the how to part. So, I'm saying it should go in the back of the book. Get your eye candy out there. People usually look through the beginning of the book when deciding if to putchase it.

Anonymous said...

I think the basics should be in the front so that it flows into the techniques and the projects.
However, I have been known to skip straight to the back of the book to read the end.

Tammy M TX

Yvette said...

I like them in the back to refer to if needed. That way they don't get in the way of the good stuff.

Shannon M., Glenview, IL said...

Back of the book! I want to look at all the cool bead projects first.

CreekHiker said...

I'm a front of the book kinda gal...

Lynda said...

I vote for in the back. I agree with Ali, I want to look at all the beautiful things first.

2ifbysea said...

I like the "basics" in the back of a book. I agree with MsBaubles, let's see all the eye candy first!

Melissa said...

I'm going to have to go with the back of the book, as I want to see the designs and projects first...then if there is a technique that I don't know how to do, I can look it up! :)

Melissa M.

Jennifer said...

I think they should be at the back...that way everyone can see all the fabulous stuff they can make and THEN learn how to do it! :)

Betsy said...

I like the techniques to be in the back. I want to see what the projects are as fast as I can!!!

Becky F said...

I like the techiques at the back of the book.

Lynn P of MN said...

I like the techniques in the back. Projects first!

Laura Blanck said...

I prefer the pictures first, then the techniques at the back. Why? Because visually it's better!
Have fun with your book, Laura from Openstudio.

Tanya H in Texas~! said...

I think it would work well either way but really like them in the back to use as a reference. Thanks for asking!

Lisa said...

I'd like to see all your beautiful creations and then learn to put the piece together. I vote for the back!!

Anonymous said...

I prefer the basics section at the back for the same reason others listed...eye candy 1st. :)
Jessica C., TX

Avril said...

My preference is for the back, thanks for asking. I have the basic techniques down pat already, so I don't need to see that stuff in the first few pages of a book - kinda boring. I wanna be kapow-d with colour and candy when I open a book.

:)

Yee said...

I say the back as well. I think of techniques as reference points and tend to think of those as back of the book type things :)

-Yee

Kathy said...

I think you should put hte techniques in the back of the book. I for seeing all the eye candy and then learning the techniques in the end.
Kathy

Anonymous said...

ok - To be different, I vote for them to be in the middle! Why have them like an appendage just in the front or in the back of the book? Make them an intregal part.

Beginning: projects
Middle: learn/refresh yourself on the basics used in the front designs
Back: more projects with the basics now fresh in mind

sandi m. - chicago

belvedere beads said...

how about you scatter the basic techiniques all through the book? placing them where ever they appropriately relate to your projects. things always make more sense to me when they are in context.

www.sweetbeadstudio.com/blog said...

Hi Kerry
If it's something very new to me, I like to see the techniques up front...to help me with the frame of mind and what I'm getting in to...But if it's something I'm very familiar with like wirework, I skip right over it and want to see the beautiful projects!!!

BTW, I hope your leaking problem has been taken care of as best you can. Sorry to see your paint sagging down after all your hard work!

Anonymous said...

I think it depends on the target audience for the book... if it is a basic book that is geared towards new lampwokers, then basics are important and need to go in first. However, my guess is that is not a book for rookies; so I would vote for techniques in the back as a reference. Good luck! Ann in Ohio

Anonymous said...

I prefer the basic techniques info to be at the back of the book since it is reference material. Then I can refer back to it if I need to but I don't have to wade through all those pages to get to the fabulous projects.

Pam M., WI

Deb said...

I'm with the others who said "at the back". Pretty much for all the reasons they said too - how original is that?

I agree with Pam - where she said that if it is a totally new bend or idea, put it with the instructions for the item :o)

deehebard said...

Kerry....
I think it depends what kind of book it will be.

If the book is aimed at the novice, then the front is best. It seems less overwhelming. Just like the Sound of Music..."...let's start at the very beginning...a very good place to start...when you read you begin with A B C...when you sing you begin with do-re-me!" They can follow the steps, like a class would be taught, from A-Z. If you think the book would be more intermediate and beyond then it could be at the back.

I have found that each artist has "tips" that may be new for even the experienced person and enjoy reading through the basics. (I must admit...I do go to the good stuff first just to get inspired and then go back and do my reading.)

Ok...now with that out of the way...tell me what I really want to know...DID I WIN THE DRAWING?
Can't wait to see the book! Good luck...Deedee

Anonymous said...

Normally I would think it should be in the beginning of the book, but I would actually prefer that it were in the back. I want to be able to read about all of the cool stuff that I can do first, and then get into how I can do it.

~Audrey H in Albany NY

crymson said...

I'd go front of the book. I like to get right to the good stuff too, but I typically flip right to the back of the book. I guess I've just gotten used to the good stuff being toward the end. =)

Leslie said...

I have to agree with Lorelei! I always see them in the front, so be different and put them in the back, so the good stuff is up front! As long as they are IN the book, we will find them!

Warmly,
Leslie

Eileen said...

Wow...so many opinions...well, here's my 2 cents...I also like to see all the gorgeous eye candy in the beginning of a book with instruction in the back...however, i agree with Lori O that if the book is project oriented, instructions with the project is important...then having summary reference in the back of the book is also helpful...sort of like a glossary or reference...

good luck with the book and i can't wait to get my copy...

Anonymous said...

Show the piece and then give the basics for that piece. Then if I see something I want to try it's all in one spot.

Vikki Q
Utah

Bitsy said...

My vote is to have the instructions, projects & finished work interspersed throughout the book as others have suggested. I own tons of books but my favorite is Making Metals Beads simply because the book is designed as "skill-building" which works perfectly for my grey matter. LOL! You could demo a certain technique & then display beads from each artist that you plan to include in the book that also use that technique. Thanks, this was fun!

LANA/LORRLBEADS said...

I say the techniques should be in the front of the book because then you can look forward to all the goodies in the back. Also, when you are finished enjoying the book and want to try a technique they will be easy to access in the front of the book.

I can't wait to get the book

Anonymous said...

hi kerry, i like the techniques in the back; love opening a book and going right into pictures and projects. i think it makes the publication look more professional,like an art book...i really don't know what the heck i'm talking about but,....just MHO. good luck, and either way, i'm sure it will be a wonderful book. lisa d., portland, oregon.

vonna said...

I would like to see a quick basic snippet throughout the book with each design.

Steve said...

As someone who knows absolutely nothing about beadwork, I would appreciate a book that had the "Basic Techniques" in the front. That way, when I was looking at all rest of the book's content, I could appreciate just how difficult some of the designs are.