I "slept on" the idea of writing this post, lol! I hesitated to say anything since I recently began selling tutorials
, but I think there are some general statements to be made about buying the "right" tutorial for you.
I too started by buying a couple of sets of tutorials, some on the above list. Many of the ones mentioned above ARE very good, but even they had "missing pieces" that I found in yet other tutorials. One of them, for instance, left out how to do "loopies" around the topper bows of stacked bows, and another one showed how to do them, but the technique was very difficult. So I think sometimes it is necessary to buy more than one, to see different writers' points of view.
Because the writer of the original post probably hasn't read ALL tutorials, I wanted to add a few more suggestions when looking for a good tutorial in general:
1. Read the listing carefully so you know what you're getting. Some are very specific for the type and style of bow the author is writing about. What's included? Do you also get value-added items (chat rooms, blogs, videos)? Do some comparison shopping and find out what you're getting for your money.
2. If the listing seems carefully crafted, odds are that the tutorial is well-done, too. Someone who writes a listing in ALL CAPS or with tons of errors might be someone to avoid. Attention to detail is pretty important when writing instructions!
3. Check out the photos. Are the bows something you would like to make? Are the photos bright and in focus? Does the author give any sneak peeks to what's inside the manual? Once I bought a non-bowmaking tutorial, and it was written in HUGE type and created in Power Point...it was very difficult to read and use.
4. The number of photos and the list of "what's included" is probably more important than the number of pages. Although something that has 70 pages might sound impressive, if there's only one photograph and one step per page, that's a lot to print out! The tut might still be useful, but it's not necessarily well-designed.
5. What's the person's feedback like? On Etsy, you're lucky to get 30-50 percent of people to respond by feedback; more than that is great, and while less doesn't mean the tutorial is bad, you have to wonder about a person who has 100 sales but only 4 feedbacks (I don't know anyone in this situation, but am using that as an example). See if any feedback is specific, or just says "OK," but keep in mind that sometimes people are pretty harsh and leave tough feedback because they "can." On one site I noticed that someone left neutral feedback for a competitor and complained that the tutorial would have been better if she had a color printer. Well, the same could be said of any tutorial, including mine .... I did take the photos in color, since this is 2010, lol! Sometimes comments cause me to scratch my head.
6. Sites like www.youcanmakethis.com
have good tutorials that were read by editors and approved for sale. You pretty much know that you're getting a decent tutorial when you shop there, despite their lack of a feedback system.
7. Ask any questions of the tutorial writer in advance! If she's nice and responsive (the good ones are), then you know you'll get help after the sale if needed.
Hope that helps! Yep, I know I sell them, but this guide will support all tutorial writers who create good products.
I'd much rather someone comparison shop and buy exactly what she wants -- even if it's not mine -- than purchase the first things she sees and then regret the purchase later.