don’t skip the tech editing . . .

What is the purpose of technical editing, on the face of it? - To produce an error-free pattern that is easy to follow and enjoyable to work from. If you are planning to make money selling patterns, that is the pattern you want in front of your customers.

Any questions?

I’ve been asked so many times, ‘I have a free pattern for new subscribers/on my website; do I need to have it tech edited?’

This is an instance where the value to the designer of the ‘free pattern’ is being completely mistaken. When you choose not to invest in a free pattern because it has no cost value - therefore it itself is not bringing in the cash - you are implying that the free pattern is not important. Not important or good enough to spend time and money on in having it tech edited. It’s a throwaway pattern, a gimme, usually something that wasn’t particularly difficult to design, something you did fairly easily. So you have assigned it no value by making it free of cost.

But is it really?

Why are you offering a free pattern - what is its real purpose? Most often, it is offered to entice new knitters, to attract more subscribers, to get more customers. Whether that is your intent or not, that is what free patterns do, they entice potential customers. They are a big eager hand waving, ‘Pick me! Pick me!’ And knitters will pick them! They will be seen by more knitters than any other pattern you ever create. Possibly knit more than any other pattern you ever create.

The free pattern is not valueless. It is not remotely unimportant. It is your most important pattern to get right, and it has the potential to be the most valuable, or the most damaging thing in your pattern business. It is most often a knitter’s first introduction to your work, the basis on which they will judge your skill as a designer and your worthiness (or not) of their support and loyalty.

Potential good, or bad.

So while you may have deemed it free of cost, it is in fact very valuable. It is the most demanding of your time and dollars to get right, not the least. If you do not invest in it, make it the best damn pattern you ever put out, no one will buy your other patterns - the ones with all the invested value. You’ll have saved money on a tech edit, but it won’t have saved you anything at all. It will have cost you dearly.

We often confuse money and cost, money and value, money and investment, matching them up all wrong. You give a free pattern to get more customers, but you lose them all by not investing in the free pattern. Tech editing does cost money, but so does a free pattern that isn’t tech edited.

An answer.

So, do you need to have your free pattern tech edited? If you want to sell any of your other patterns, you do.