I recently learned, via Annie Modesitt’s blog, Modekint / Knitting Heretic, that VougeKnitting isn’t exactly treating designers fairly (see her post dated Friday, February 06, 2009, “Valuing Our Work”). This distressed me.
It distressed me because I am a graphic designer / freelance writer and I live by the wits of my brain just like a knitting designer does. Well, perhaps not quite “just like” because there is something truly magical about envisioning a 3-D wearable item — or not-wearable item as the case may be — making it, and then describing it in a 2-D format in sufficient detail for someone else to make it too. But, I digress.
A few months ago I received a great offer from VougeKnitting, or so it seemed. Four issues for $15. Wow. That’s good. So I subscribed. The first issue of the subscription came and even though I was somewhat bored with the vast majority of designs in that issue (it’s OK Jared, I liked the gloves) I figured every magazine has a dud now and then. No big deal. Then, I learned of Annie M’s post.
What to do? Well, this is what I did. I didn’t tear off the “letter” from the invoice. This gave me a whole bunch of room to write on the back. Then, I made a note on the invoice saying “Please see reverse side.” And this is what I wrote:
Dear Soho Publishing,
I recently learned that you are only offering designers 10 percent of online pattern sales. I understand that your original contract with these designers did not include any discussion of online sales; although, it did give you rights to resell patterns. In light of the changes the internet has made in the knitting world, your refusal to renegotiate fair terms (I do not see 10 percent as fair) has caused me to reconsider my subscription to your publication. I am a graphic designer / freelance writer and I understand the situation far better than these hastily jotted words may convey. Please cancel my subscription!
In this case, feel free to use any part of my message to VougeKnitting without any compensation.