Step by Step Projects - Opportunity or Opportunity Cost

If you work with digital photos, here is an opportunity.  A new book, "Things to Make and Do with Your Digital Photos' is looking for submissions. Quarto does a nice job publishing their books and they say, "If we select your work for inclusion we will ask you to send the actual piece to us for photography." That means that the photos will be of good quality and consistency throughout the book. All that is great.  ASK Harriete has the application form.

 


Reservation
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On the other hand, I have serious reservations about all step by step projects.

 

 If you decide to participate in a step by step book or web site there is a huge opportunity cost.


You will be giving away your ideas and the process involved in making your work.


I have a professional concern about the current mania for step-by-step projects.  If you participate, you are giving away your ideas and fabrication methods, literally showing other people how to duplicate your work.  
I don't care if it is for 30-minute earrings, a master goldsmith project, or developing a technique for using digital photos.   


When someone starts selling work that looks like yours, you can not complain, nor send a Cease and Desist letter nor file a law suit.  Protecting your copyright and ideas would be impossible if you agree to publish a step by step project of your design or process. 

You decide.  Is the visibility worth it?

Or can you design a project that doesn't give away your signature idea or methods?

Is this an opportunity?  What is the real cost of this opportunity?


SewingPATTERN To be perfectly clear, my reservation about "how to project" books is not directed to any specific publisher. Step by step instructions have a role for children's art projects and sewing patterns as two great examples.


But when a book publisher asks artists to make their work into a step by step project for other people to copy, this  is crossing a line.


This deserves careful consideration before action.  What do you think? 

 Crafthaus as a community of makers is the perfect forum to discuss this issue.
Harriete



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