This Book Is For Knitters…

I’ve been stuck for several months on a specific section of my Book Proposal. I was humming along quite nicely until I got to the section where I needed to define my market.

My book combines two topics that have never been combined before. I still get an entertaining response from people when I tell them the name of my book. “Knitting and beer?” they’ll say, repeating the words carefully to confirm that they understood me correctly. “I don’t get it.”

In order to complete the About The Market section of my proposal I had to answer several questions. Who am I writing this book for? Who will want to buy this book? Is it for knitters who want to know more about beer, beer lovers who want to know more about knitting, couples who enjoy both crafts, the general public who has a casual interest in knitting and/or beer? I also needed to determine where my book would be sold. Would my potential customer be interested in my book at a knitting shop, a homebrew shop, a brewpub, a bookstore? Who should publish my book? A beer publisher, a knitting publisher, a general interest publisher? I was baffled and didn’t know where to turn for an answer.

And so I’ve been allowing myself to get distracted from working on my book proposal. Kind of like a sweater project where you run into a glitch in the pattern and need a couple of hours and solid brain function in order to figure out how to resolve the problem. The project gets put on a shelf and you tell yourself you’ll get to it when you have a couple of free hours of peace and quiet. Years later, it still sits there waiting for some love and attention from you. Some day, you keep saying, some day.

Fortunately my shelving of this project only lasted a few months. With our local Writer’s Conference approaching, I’ve been feeling more motivated to get serious about my writing… again. I got up early this morning, got my various distractions out of the way and opened up the About The Market section of my proposal. With a bit more research, I finally found the answers to all of my market questions. A big thank you to knitting humorist Stephanie Pearl-McPhee for helping me to see the light.

My book is for knitters. For knitters who like beer and want a greater understanding of the craft of brewing, for knitting homebrewers, for knitters who think they don’t like beer, for knitters who still don’t understand what knitting has to do with beer, for knitters who appreciate all crafts, for knitters who want to understand the process of brewing, for knitters who don’t really want to know more about beer but think the book would be a great conversation starter if they put it on their coffee table, for knitters who want to help dispel the “sweet little old lady drinking tea” stereotype, for knitters who need reassurance that it’s okay to have a knitting group meet at a bar and drink beer while they knit. If non-knitters want to buy and read my book, they will be warmly welcomed, but this book about beer and homebrewing will be written by a knitter for knitters.

My book will inspire knitters to look at the craft of brewing in a new light. Knitters will be able to go to the liquor store (the one with a good beer selection, of course) and know the difference between a black lager and a porter. They will know which beers are more hop oriented and which ones have a stronger malt presence. They will understand the importance of drinking a beer out of a glass and the benefits of using the appropriate glass for each beer. They will learn what’s involved in homebrewing and possibly be inspired make their own beer or mead, as had been a female tradition for thousands of years.

This book will be for knitters. Thanks, Stephanie, for helping me overcome my glitch and get my project going again!

-Jenne Hiigel