Monday, March 11, 2013

Online knitting publisher thought there
had to be a better way

Opening page of Winter 2012 issue
Here's a heartening story, particularly in light of recent unhappiness about draconian contracts being imposed by magazine publishers on freelancers. It comes from a story in the Montreal Gazette, about an online magazine called Twist Collective which was started when Kate Gilbert refused to sign over the copyright for her knitting patterns to her then publisher.
“I thought there’s gotta be a better way,” she said, of the contract presented to her in 2008 that reflected the rapid changes taking place in the publishing industry at the time. Rather than sign, she decided to launch her own knitting magazine and brought on three partners. Called Twist Collective, it would have “the designer’s interest at heart.”
The magazine makes its money selling patterns to readers and advertising to businesses serving knitters. Designers are paid royalties -- the more patterns sold, the more they're paid --  and the magazine earns enough additionally to pay fees to its writers and production people. Each of the three issues a year carries five or six articles and 30 to 35 patterns. 

Gilbert now is the sole owner and runs the business out of her Outremont home. The magazine has about 160,000 unique visitors in the months with a new issue and 70,000 in other months and it has 18,000 subscribers to its e-letter. 



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