A place to help this dude keep track of his thoughts and ideas on his way down the fiber arts superhighway...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Insert Tongue In Cheek

Lulu.com recently worked with Zogby and created a poll to find out what book would be the LEAST likely to become a bestseller this summer. Guess what author had TWO books (not one, but two) in the top ten? That's right, The Crochet Dude is least likely on two counts to have a bestseller this summer.

This is all in good fun (although I can think of a way for y'all to help me make this UNtrue). Lulu is now going to send out a press release to the media in Houston, and also to national craft media as well as lifestyle media. Here is the first draft:

Houston Author’s Mission To Make Crocheting Hip For Men And Kids Wins Him Unique Literary Honor

The “Crochet Dude” Is Only Author With TWO Books To Make National Top 10 List Of Books With Least Chance Of Becoming #1 Bestseller

A Houston author on a mission to make crocheting hip for men has won a unique literary honor – by becoming the only writer to have two books included in a national top 10 of titles felt to have the LEAST chance of becoming this summer’s #1 bestseller.

Drew Emborsky is better known to his readers as “The Crochet Dude” and the author of books including “Ten Crochet Dude Dischcloths” and “Seven Crochet Dude Afghan Squares”, available either as eBooks or conventional ones, from $6.00 (www.lulu.com/thecrochetdude).

Both books have been selected for inclusion in an unusual national poll – to find the new book with the LEAST chance of outselling the big new Harry Potter novel and becoming this summer’s hot beach read.

The survey of 1,200 Americans has been conducted by Zogby on behalf of Lulu (www.lulu.com), a website that has become the world’s fastest-growing producer of print-on-demand books by enabling anyone to publish their own book at no up-front cost and sell it on the net.

Ten Crochet Dude Dischcloths (featuring ten new dishcloth patterns) finished sixth, with 8% of the votes – double the vote for “Seven Crochet Dude Afghan Squares”, which placed joint last with a book called The Pinbotz Guide To Pinball Machines Of The 70s And 80s.

But how did Emborsky, 37, turn from a mild-mannered fine artist, specializing in pet portraits, into the mighty Crochet Dude?

“I began crocheting when I was five years old”, he replies. “My mom taught me, presumably to keep me out of her hair! I am the youngest of eight, and all five
of my brothers and my two sisters crochet. So did my dad! So I come from a rich legacy of crochetiers.

“It's my passion to continue the tradition of passing along crochet, and I see my role as a mentor to other men and kids.

Emborsky trained in fine arts at Kendall College of Art & Design in Michigan. “Once I started crocheting for charity I saw a desperate need for cool patterns,
and for dudes to be represented. My first designs were donated to my favorite charity, HeartmadeBlessings.org. But as I created more patterns and the interest in them grew, it has turned into a full-time venture.

“It's important to me that people immediately know that these patterns are being created by a dude. I'm hoping that The Crochet Dude will open up fiber-arts to as many dudes as possible.”

Emborsky has built up his own, Not Blockbusters But “Nichebusters”

‘I am honored to be the only author to have two books nominated in the Zogby poll’, says Emborsky.

And so he might be, suggests Bob Young, CEO of Lulu, which commissioned it “Almost 200,000 books are published in America each year. Only a few dozen stand a chance of becoming bestsellers. Books like the Crochet Dude’s represent the other 99.99% of books.

“They are not blockbusters but ‘nichebusters’ – quality books targeting a niche rather than mass audience. They also happen to be the future of publishing.”

The cost savings allowed by print-on-demand publishing, says Young, mean that books can now be published for far narrower markets than traditional publishing
could serve. Books, indeed, such as Drew Emborsky’s. Bob Young of Lulu, meanwhile, is currently writing a book entitled The Electric Golf-Cart Encylopedia, for eventual publication on Lulu. “If I finish it on time”, he says, “I want to nominate it for next year’s poll”.

Emborsky, meanwhile, has built up his own loyal following. Or, as one reader comments on his book of dishcloth patterns, “As always, Drew produces some of the
best patterns around - makes me almost want to do dishes!”


Q. Which of the following recently published books do you think is LEAST likely
to become a #1 bestseller or “hot beach-read” (while still being perfectly
interesting to its own target reader)?
Non-Equilibrium Systems and Irreversible Processes –
Adventures in Applied Topology (Vol. 3) 28
How To Cook A Peacock 23
Creating Pastel Champions – A Step-by-Step Guide to
Painting Model Horses with Pastels 8
Ten Crochet Dude Dishcloths 8
Mastering Law Enforcement Chaplaincy 8
The School of Hard Knocks: The Evolution of
Pension Investing at Eastman Kodak 7
The Gulf-Coast Shipbuilding-Cluster Directory 7
The Replica Watch Report 5
Seven Crochet Dude Afghan Squares 4
The PinBotz Guide to the Greatest Pinball Machines
of the 80s and 90s 4

Note: Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.