The digital revolution has made it easier than ever for knitter designers to sell their own patterns online.
Gone are the days of having to find publishers or big yarn houses to enable you to make a living from your pattern designs. All you need to do is write them out and choose one or more platform on which to sell them.
Keep reading to discover some of the best and easiest ways to sell your own knitting patterns online.
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Write Your Pattern
The first thing you need to do is write out your knitting pattern. Your pattern can be as simple or complicated as you wish. There is a market for every sort of knitting design, from easy beginner headbands to enormous, intricate afghans.
As long as the design is your own and not copied from someone else, you can sell any sort of knitting pattern that you wish.
It is best to type up your pattern as a word document, add any supporting photos and convert it into a PDF file. Converting to PDF is a simple process and can be done either via your computer or by using an online website such as here at Adobe Acrobat.
It is important that you take an awesome photo of the finished design, as this is what people will see when deciding whether or not to purchase your pattern.
Our best advise regarding taking great photos of your knitting designs is to look on Instagram and emulate the look of knitting companies that catch your eye.
You can check out our article for inspiration around where to find awesome knitting related Instagram accounts if you need some help.
Once you are ready with your pattern, and have preferably had it tested by some knitting friends so that you know the pattern is understandable and works out correctly, you can start to sell it.
Read on to find out what we think are the best places to sell your independent designer knitting patterns.
Etsy is a brilliant place to sell your own knitting patterns. Some designers have made an absolute massive success doing this. Check out The Velvet Acorn and Shifio Patterns, for example. Two very different designers, both with huge amounts of sales from selling their own patterns for their knitting designs.
All you need is an Etsy account and the website will guide you through setting up a ship quickly and easily. You need bank details for the proceeds of your sales, and not much else really paperwork wise.
As you list items you will click to say that your item is digital and you then upload the PDF that you made of your pattern.
When customers buy knitting patterns from Etsy, they receive an email directly from Etsy with a link directly to the download page. They then simply click to download the design, with no further work required from you.
The only downside with selling on Etsy is that you have to pay a listing fee before you make any sales. This is a bit of a gamble as you may not of course sell anything straight away.
If however you open a shop using this link you will get 40 free listings! This is great as you can start to sell with no financial risk whatsoever.
Our next suggestions for selling your own knitting patterns online are all complete free to list on.
Ravelry is an enormous database of knitting patterns and yarn and you can sell your own patterns there completely free of charge.
You need to open an account and to sell a pattern you need to click on ‘my contributions’ to add your own design. At the end of the process you be asked to create a store. You only need to do that once, once the store is set up the listing process is much faster.
Once again, you will need to upload a PDF containing your knitting pattern and you will need attractive photos to encourage sales.
Ravelry pays via Paypal so you do not need to add bank details.
If you list on Ravelry, you will be given the option to copy your designs over to Lovecrafts. To sell your knitting patterns on Lovecrafts you need an account there, and having an account will give you access to their designer area.
You then simply need to import your design from Ravelry and a few extra details. Lovecrafts also pays out via Paypal and once you are set up there it is fairly easy to upload patterns and start earning. You don’t have to import from Ravelry, you can simply directly onto Lovecrafts if you prefer.
Lovecrafts works best for pattern selling when your designs are made from yarn that they sell on their website. When someone buys a certain yarn they will asked whether or not they wish to view knitting patterns using that yarn. If your design is appealing, you could well sell numerous copies.
You can sell your own knitting patterns at no cost to yourself on Amazon. You can sell individual patterns on Kindle format and collections of patterns as paperback books. Paperbacks are printed off on demand by Amazon and you receive whatever profit is left after the printing costs are subtracted.
All you need to do to sell on Amazon is set up the correct KDP account and submit a file which is accepted by Amazon. There is plenty of information out there about how to do this. You can find free information by using a search engine or you may choose to purchase a book such as this one to help you through the process.
Your Own Website
Setting up your own website to sell your knitting patterns is another option.
For example, this website uses WordPress.com, and a paid for e-commerce site is available where you can set up a shop. You would be able to integrate software that enables you to sell PDF digital files.
If have a little more technical knowledge, then setting up a self hosted website such as via Bluehost is a cheaper and more flexible option for selling your knitting patterns.
Bluehost leads you through setting up a WordPress website that you fully own and control, and can develop as time progresses.
However you choose to sell your knitting patterns, we think that using the medium of online digital patterns is definitely easier and more in demand than printing out paper copies and taking them to the post office.
Customers love to receive their patterns immediately so they can impulsively start working on it.
It is also a brilliant way for you to make a ‘passive’ income. Not really passive, as you will need to design the pattern and then keep going – the more you design, the better your chances of being discovered. However, there is no sending required as you set all that up at the start of the process.
We hope you found this article helpful. Questions and comments always welcome!