Following on from an excellent blog post about Pattern Pricing by my friend Ruth Brasch, it got me thinking about pattern pricing and the way the industry is moving. I’ll add links for Ruth’s post and also a post she references which goes through survey results of how long it takes to carry out each part of the pattern development and it’s a scary number. (links to all sources below on this page).
Like Ruth, I’m against the pay what you can model. Why? Because it appears in many cases to be a stealth method to up the lowest price (which is higher than the norm) and then add more expensive options. I like that it gives people choice, but 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝘂𝘁 𝘂𝗽 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀, 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝗶𝘁. I’ve put my prices up and I’m happy to have made that choice. My work has value, I have value and if you want the pattern, then buy it. If you don’t, that’s cool too. I’m not out to please everyone, it’s not possible.
I’m all for being flexible, but I did have someone give me a sob story about not being able to afford the pattern, gifted it to them and saw photos of them knitting it while on holiday in Barbados. I sat at home in Cumbria with no holiday. Did I get some exposure? I suppose I did, but not from anyone who buys patterns.
Looking at the figures in the article by Thread and Ladle, the minimum number of hours involved in creating a good quality knitting pattern for a sweater is 53.1 hrs, the maximum in her survey being 113.65 hrs. That’s NOT including yarn, the cost of Tech Editing, needles, notions, tools, website, email service, marketing the pattern, graphics, Ravelry fees, Paypal fees, models, schematics, time spent testing and answering testers questions.
To cover all that, and have some actual income for me, that means a minimum number of pattern sales of 350 to 760 per sweater pattern.
Sari Nordlund has an interesting chat about pattern pricing on her YouTube channel, what income she makes and what patterns are worth designing for her.
She’s very open and honest about it, so give it a look. Link below.
I appreciate money is tight for many people, but designers also need to make a living and cover their actual costs. There are lots of free patterns, sales and other promotions and we always discount a pattern on it’s launch with a bigger discount for email subscribers.
The amount of work is considerably more than most people think and to market your pattern effectively, you should spend double the time it took to create it. Adding more time to the calculations.
As someone who loves to knit garments, to wear and for pattern designing, it’s a sobering thought.
It’s not like I take the easy route out, I always go up to the larger plus sizes and add tips on how to upsize even more. It doubles the Tech Editing costs because there are more numbers, measurements and stitch counts to be checked. As a curvy woman, it’s important to me that I produce patterns that a woman of any size can wear, but it comes at a price.
Do I stick to accessories for a quicker win, or plod on with garments and hope that at some point, more of them will reach that magic number of sales?
What do you think?
Thread and Ladle article http://www.threadandladle.com/blog/2018/4/23/the-true-cost-of-a-knitting-pattern
Ruth’s pattern portfolio on Ravelry https://www.ravelry.com/designers/ruth-brasch
Sari Nordlund’s YouTube on pattern income https://youtu.be/s5q-djBq0bM
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