Celebrating 31 years
Celebrating 31 years

 

Today the Best Male Cook and I are celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary.

We were married on a hot September Labor Day weekend in Lexington, KY.

Warren is an incredible person and loving father. He owns an old New Braunfels grill of which he is a master (follow my Instagram stories @greenapron to see the holey-grill) and he brews “liquid bread” for all to enjoy.

The fact that we’re celebrating our anniversary doesn’t have a lot to do with cookbooks, specifically, but I do believe there are a few similarities between long-term, committed relationships, and writing and running a business. If you’ll humor me, I’ll expand a little bit.

When I married Warren I made a decision to be married and to stay married to him. I also made a pact with myself: to hold up my end of the bargain to take care of myself and provide for my own happiness. I’ve always known that Warren isn’t here to make me happy. That’s my job and completely within my power. His job is to be here for me to love. And he does that well as a steady, consistent presence in my life.

With my cookbooks, coaching clients, and business I decided to think the same way. I hold up my end of the bargain. In order to cook, be on my feet in a kitchen, write, and manage my business, I take care of myself physically and emotionally. I value health so that I can show up to cook, write, and coach every day. My books and my business aren’t here to make me happy. It’s my job to manage my thoughts and have fun all along the way so that ideas and inspiration and motivation flow and so that I have a happy life, and not wait for the perfect book, clients, or situation to make me happy. Then, the offshoot is that I can write and create and teach from that good-feeling place. In turn, my books help you and you, in turn, can share your value with the world you live in. That’s the awesome, rippling power of making clear decision to do something.

After I decided to be married, I committed to Warren and to the idea of being married. I’m not saying that it was always easy, but it’s certainly been possible. I looked to create the future I wanted. I found friends who are examples of committed relationships. We spent time with them and valued what they did to remain committed. This commitment shut the door on entertaining other options and wow, that freed up so much of my brain power to do other fun things.

In a similar fashion, with my cookbooks, coaching clients, and business, I am committed to them all as well. Once I sign a contract, I finish the book. When a client enrolls in coaching, I show up and stick with them as long as they are gaining benefit from the coaching relationship. I commit to …

Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 16
Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 16

It’s time for my monthly Cookbook and Food Writing Links issue. But first, a message about the app I use to save links to articles I want to share in this newsletter.

How do I keep track of the articles? I use Pocket app, or the Chrome extension also called Pocket. Previously known as Read It Later, Pocket manages my reading list of articles. When I want to save a link, I share to Pocket from my iPhone and/or desktop Chrome extension. I can even tag the article. The article link is synced across all devices for reading anywhere. Ads and other screen clutter are removed from the article. The tagging assists with future sort and search. I highly recommend it.

COOKBOOKS
Cooking and Sci-Fi Are the Hot Print Segments This Year So Far

GOOGLE DOODLE
Back in March, I must have missed this Google doodle where for the first time, a cookbook writer was featured in the daily doodle to celebrate her 310th birthday. Hannah Glasse, born in 1708 and an English cookbook writer wrote The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy in 1747. Her popular book hailed 972 recipes and was written in simple and conversational English.

BUSINESS ADVICE
Kathleen Tale, the owner of Tate’s Bake Shop, offers advice for small business owners, that she learned through the opening and eventually loss of her first venture, Kathleen’s Bake Shop. When it comes to starting a small business, she says, count on it being four times harder than you dreamed — perseverance is key, and so is getting up, moving forward, and not staying attached to mistakes and failures. She said she learned the hard way that you can care, but getting too emotional will crush you.”

KITCHEN ARTS AND LETTERS
Food & Drink Bookseller, Kitchen Arts & Letters in NYC writes a nice newsletter and blog. They recently featured their Fall 2018 Notable Cookbooks article as well as a post on Classic Cookbooks People Won’t Even Look At (because of no photos). KAL also notes that in their observation there is a lack of professional pastry books written by women. Home baking, by the way, is ripe with female authors and professional female chefs who write about both savory topics, and home baking, but not professional baking. An opportunity here maybe?

MOST POPULAR BLOG POSTS ON GREENAPRON.COM
(wait for it)
Steps to Write A Cookbook: Write A Cookbook Proposal
4 Ways to Find a Traditional Cookbook Publisher
5 Tools and Software for Writing a Family or Fundraiser Cookbook 
Oven-Baked Chex Mix (I’m not even kidding! So popular)


Cookbook author, editor, and Culinary Dietitian Maggie Green, RDN, LD coaches first-time cookbook authors during the pre-publication phase of writing a cookbook. 

Would you like to write a cookbook, but feel alone in the pre-publication phase of writing?

Are you stuck thinking about your cookbook idea or has you project fizzled?

Do you feel overwhelmed with publishing options and the recipes, photography, and publishing process?

I’ve been

Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 15
Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 15

Today it’s time for my monthly roundup of links for cookbooks, writing, and productivity.

TRAVEL AND COOKBOOKS
Research about cookbooks and the stores that sell them has been on my mind lately. If you’re traveling this summer, you may enjoy this list of cookbook shops around the world.

BEST COOKBOOKS
Here’s a list of the best baking cookbooks according to pastry chefs and professional bakers.

And a list of the 25 Best-Selling Cookbooks of All Time.

SELF PUBLISHING
Check out Ingram Spark if you want to self-publish a hard-cover, full-color photography cookbook. With the Ingram distribution behind them, your cookbook can be easily be ordered by bookstores for signing and author events. They also have a podcast called Go Publish Yourself, offer a Pocket Guide to Publishing, and courses on the Ingram Spark Academy.

RESTAURANT TRENDS
Exploring the effect of social media on restaurants and hospitality, and the difference between “casual” restaurants, restaurants change and adapt to movements in technology and the needs of their customers.

PRODUCTIVITY
I’ve always loved mornings. And it seems that Mel Robbins does too. Read Mel Robbins’ approach to working on her goals, first thing in the morning.

WRITING
Here’s an interesting blog post on The Write Life featuring 20 Inspiring Pinterest Boards for Writers.


Cookbook author, editor, and Culinary Dietitian Maggie Green, RDN, LD coaches first-time cookbook authors during the pre-publication phase of writing a cookbook. 

Would you like to write a cookbook, but feel alone in the pre-publication phase of writing?

Are you stuck thinking about your cookbook idea or has you project fizzled?

Do you feel overwhelmed with publishing options and the recipes, photography, and publishing process?

I’ve been there. I know first-hand that there’s not a lot of support for first-time cookbook authors who don’t have an agent or a publisher yet.  That’s why I started my work as a cookbook writing coach.

Here are a few resources for you as you venture into the world of cookbook writing: 

Checklist
An 11-point checklist that helps you answer the question, “Am I Ready to Write a Cookbook?”

Cookbook Writing Workbook

What Is A Cookbook Coach? 

10 Reasons to Hire A Cookbook Coach

How To Write A Cookbook Revisited
How To Write A Cookbook Revisited

If you have been following me here on this blog for any time, you may know I can pretty easily rattle off the action steps to write a cookbook.

  • Identify your goals for publication
  • Define your cookbook concept
  • Evaluate routes to publication
  • Build your author platform
  • Check you commitment
  • Study your competition
  • Write a cookbook proposal
  • Shop for an agent or editor
  • Sign a contract OR
  • Decide to self-publish
  • Write your cookbook manuscript
  • Publish your book
  • Market your new book
  • If you want to read all about this action on my blog, click here.

Sounds simple right.

Actually, it is pretty cut and dry.

It’s easy to talk about action. Just do this. Then do that. Follow the steps. Write and publish your cookbook.

Then our brains seize up. Our brain wants to protect us and it sees change as scary.

We feel:

  • Scared of putting ourselves “out there. People won’t like me or my ideas.
  • Uncomfortable when we sit down to work. I don’t like putting my ideas on paper.
  • Uncertain of our ability. I’ve never done this before.
  • Overwhelmed. I have so much to do.
  • Confused. What concept should I write about? I have so many ideas.
  • Self-doubt. I’m not a “real” writer am I?.

Here’s the best news I have for you today: You can’t write a cookbook from there with a brain trying to control the show. If you feel this way, follow my Revised Steps To Write A Cookbook.

Step 1:
Expect to feel scared, uncomfortable, and uncertain.

Yes, you heard me right: expect these negative emotions.

Be aware then when they show up, you have a choice to either curl up in a ball and hit the snooze button, or to get up, get out, and take action on your dreams. These negative emotions I like to call “dream currency” emotions. They are the price we pay to grow and evolve into the person we want to be. Writing a book is new and evolves us as people. We grow into our work as writers and authors action by action.

Every time (and I mean every time) I start a new project my brain does this. It tells me that what I have in mind isn’t a good idea.

The secret is not to let your brain win. Don’t let fear, discomfort, or uncertainty stand between you and what you want to do. Instead, say to your brain, “I’m on to you and you’re not getting in the way of my dreams. Let’s get to work.” Then, as if by magic, the fear, discomfort, and lack of confidence start to lessen just a bit as we take action. We make progress. Then, the negative emotions lessen more and our brains quiet down. The best thing is that we know that we have our own back. We show up for ourselves no matter how scared, uncomfortable, or how uncertain we feel. That’s huge.

Step 2:
Stop thinking (and talking) about the overwhelm, confusion, or

Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 14
Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 14

FAMILY COOKBOOKS
When you embark on a family cookbook, a traditional publisher isn’t your goal. You most likely want to either self-publish a cookbook or you may turn to cookbook and recipe software online. Here’s a review of The Best Cookbook and Recipe Software of 2018.

COOKBOOK WRITING
Many of my cookbook-writing clients ask about the difference between their cookbook introduction and their cookbook concept overview in their cookbook proposal. While they are very similar, the biggest difference is the audience:

Cookbook Introduction audience is the reader. You sell them what the book is about, who you are, and make them buy your book!

Cookbook Concept Overview audience is the agent or editor. You sell them on representing you and publishing your idea.

Here are a few articles on Cookbook Introductions:
Cookbook Introductions: How to Write One and Why You Should Read Them

How to Write a Cookbook Introduction

Here is advice on how to write a cookbook proposal that attracts agents and publishers.

MY ADVICE ABOUT CONTENT IS CONSISTENCY
As a writer and business owner, I talk a lot about creating content as a cornerstone of a successful business.

Content is about offering your audience value and helping them. Give them something they like – a tip, recipe, mindset shift.

Now, here’s the rub: no matter how you deliver this  – via post, podcast, newsletter, print media, YouTube, or other social media platform, the one key to it all is consistency.

Here are my 5 secrets to create consistent content.

COOKBOOK NEWS
Ina Garten’s 11th cookbook is coming out in October. She feels lucky to be writing cookbooks. She keeps notes on what she wants to cooks. She works with flavors and combinations and cooks what she loves. That sounds like a recipe for success to me.

Have you heard about ckbk an online site to search, save, and share from an online database of cookbooks launching in Spring 2018? I have heard it called the Spotify for recipes. Visit ckbk.com to learn more.

And, finally, as if we need to buy more cookbooks, here is a list of 10 Books About Food To Add To Your Home Library, presented by eater.com.


Cookbook author, editor, and Culinary Dietitian Maggie Green, RDN, LD coaches first-time cookbook authors during the pre-publication phase of writing a cookbook. 

Would you like to write a cookbook, but feel alone in the pre-publication phase of writing?

Are you stuck thinking about your cookbook idea or has you project fizzled?

Do you feel overwhelmed with publishing options and the recipes, photography, and publishing process?

I’ve been there. I know first-hand that there’s not a lot of support for first-time cookbook authors who don’t have an agent or a publisher yet.  That’s why I started my work as a cookbook writing coach.

Here are a few resources for you as you venture into the world of cookbook writing: 

Checklist
An 11-point checklist that helps you answer the question, “Am I Ready to Write

How To Love Your Brain
How To Love Your Brain

 

I don’t know about you, but my brain tends to stay on all the time.

It controls what I do and much to my amusement, it tries to control other people! That’s so funny because I don’t always do what my brain wants me to do, yet I spend time actually thinking about what everyone else “should” be doing.

The reality is: Our brains keep our legs moving, hearts beating, and fingers typing.

It secretes hormones, gives off nerve impulses and helps me remember my name, where I live, and what I am going to cook for dinner tonight.

In addition, my brain generates over 60,000 thoughts a day. Maybe you can relate? Thoughts about about injuries while my son plays sports, my kids grades, my son in Austria, shifts in my business, dirt on the kitchen floor, how my dog snores, cookbook sales, weeds in our yard no one was addressing, hair on the bathroom floor, errands I need to run, what someone said to me in that text message, what I thought that text  message meant, and how I need to generate a topic for my next newsletter.

My brain’s higher function can plan parties, make decisions for my business and believe it or not, even talks me out of my dream goals by telling me to stay safe, eat M&M’s, and watch Netflix. (In other words, be comfortable, Maggie. You’ve done enough.)

I really started thinking about this and came to the conclusion that we never really learn how to take care of our brains. We read a lot about how to care for our heart, skin, and lungs. Our legs, abs, and hair.When we do read about our brains, the focus is on staying sharp, preventing aging, and Alzheimer’s disease.

But what about all the other stuff our brain does for us as the amazing living, breathing, thinking machines that we humans are?

Then, I asked my brain this question,”What have I done for you lately?”

Here’s what my brain said: “you sometimes feed me crappy foods, you often think crappy thoughts, we hydrate with crappy drinks, you short-cut sleep, and we start our my day at 90 MPH, as soon as your feet hit the floor.” Wow. Nothing like a bit of brain honesty.

As a result of this conversation with my brain, I decided to experiment with brain love and care. My goal was to see how my brain responded to special loving treatment.  Here’s how the experiment went.

I decided to feed my brain better. This is naturally where dietitians start  – with nourishing food. So, to honor my brain, I fed it less peanut M&M’s and ice cream. (Two of my favorite sweets.) I served it less beer and wine.  (And I love red wine and a good stout beer.) I cooked it more organic vegetables, whole grains, plant-based entrees, and fish. I snacked on tasty nuts (and not Kettle chips), and blended morning smoothies with dark berries and green …

How To Trust Yourself
How To Trust Yourself

 

My daughter moved home from college over the weekend. She lived in her freshman dorm for eight months and had a great first year. I feel excited about our summer together and it’s good to have her home.

Today I’ve been thinking a lot about trust. Maybe as a first-time writer, parent, or business owner, you can relate to this.

Several years ago I really wanted to write a cookbook. I would schedule time on my calendar to write the table of contents for a book proposal,  record a recipe, or even test a recipe. These “scheduled times”  show up on my calendar and my brain would say, “Don’t worry about doing this. It won’t matter anyway. Plus it’s a lot of work, and it’s not going to make any difference if you do it just this once. No one will ever know.”

The sad thing is I listened to my brain.

I didn’t create.

I didn’t write.

I did this over and over. There was a time when the work I needed to do for my first cookbook wouldn’t get done, again.

I felt sluggish. I indulged in self-loathing. I didn’t do what I said I was going to do.

Instead of owning up to the truth of what was going on, I excused myself from myself with you’re really busy, feeling tired, or are confused about what to do.

And the more I told myself that I was busy, tired, or confused, the more my world showed me evidence that I was tired, busy, or confused. They cycle continued. I less I showed up for myself, and the less I showed up the fewer tasks related to dreams were accomplished.

Maybe this sounds familiar?

I’d do anything for my kids, and for my clients. I show up for them, on time. I buy them healthy food, cook for them, feed them. I deliver projects to my clients on time, and when I drove my kids around, I delivered them to their activities on time. I don’t expect my kids or clients to be perfect. I help them with kindness and compassion. I commit to them, and for sure I do what I say I’m going to do. A natural result of this is that my kids and my clients trust me.

How come I couldn’t trust me? Why when I scheduled time for myself, I didn’t show up?

After some introspection, I was onto myself.

I could see the gap between where I was and where I wanted to be.

I was in reality over here: making plans to write and create content, but instead, my brain was over there: telling me to do everything for everyone, and telling me I was too tired, confused, or busy for myself.

In order to make permanent changes, the first thing I had to do was decide to become a person who could trust myself. I knew I had it in me, and my decision to grow started everything.…

Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 13
Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 13

BRAIN TRAINING
When I travel I like to ask my brain how I can offer value in my business for my clients. With the change of scenery it comes up with lots of ideas.

Have you ever tried to ask your brain a specific question? My business coach taught me to direct my brain. She says an undirected brain is like an unsupervised toddler. It can get into trouble.

Brains that are unattended like to worry or ruminate on made up stories about what we think others are thinking.

Direct your brain: How can I best use my time today? What is the one thing I can do to offer more value for my clients? How can I help my audience get results ahead of time? What is a new way to offer information of value to my audience? Try it. Your brain is amazing. Put it to work for you, not against you.

SPRING 2018 COOKBOOKS
Spring is one of the prime seasons for publishing cookbooks!

Here are some links to Spring 2018 Cookbook Reviews:
Spring 2018 Cookbook Preview: The 37 New Cookbooks to Buy This Spring

Every Spring 2018 Cookbook That Matters

The 18 Spring Cookbooks We’re Most Excited About

17 New Spring Cookbooks We Can’t Wait to Stain

 

Cookbook author, editor, and Culinary Dietitian Maggie Green, RDN, LD coaches first-time cookbook authors during the pre-publication phase of writing a cookbook. 

Would you like to write a cookbook, but feel alone in the pre-publication phase of writing?

Are you stuck thinking about your cookbook idea or has you project fizzled?

Do you feel overwhelmed with publishing options and the recipes, photography, and publishing process?

I’ve been there. I know first-hand that there’s not a lot of support for first-time cookbook authors who don’t have an agent or a publisher yet.  That’s why I started my work as a cookbook writing coach.

Here are a few resources for you as you venture into the world of cookbook writing: 

Checklist
An 11-point checklist that helps you answer the question, “Am I Ready to Write a Cookbook?”

Cookbook Writing Workbook

What Is A Cookbook Coach? 

10 Reasons to Hire A Cookbook Coach

5 Secrets to Consistent Content Creation
5 Secrets to Consistent Content Creation

One of my superpowers is creating consistent content for my business.

*Regular blog posts since 2010

*Four cookbooks since 2011

*Weekly newsletters since 2012

Do you struggle with regular content creation? Do you start strong with a good idea for a book, blog, or newsletter, but then fizzle out and lack consistency in the producing of the blog posts, newsletters, or cookbooks?

Consistency is king. Customers like consistency. It’s trustworthy. Publishers like consistency. It’s dependable. Your readers like consistency. They want to hear from you. They like what you write about.

In order to help you move from struggling and overwhelmed, I want to share my five secrets to consistent content creation.

1. Decide if you want to create consistent content. You can do this if you want to. If your answer is yes, then let’s do it! If your answer is no, that’s ok. Quit beating yourself up and move on to another way to spend your time.

2. Pick one day and a specific time: I write newsletter and blog post content once a week on Mondays. I spend no more than two hours to do this. I get it done and don’t have to worry about the newsletter or blog post until the next Monday. On Mondays, my sweet spot is between the hours of  8 – 10 am. I set myself up for success. I don’t schedule phone calls during this time. I don’t run errands during this time. I don’t go get coffee with a friend during this time. This time is for my content. Each and every Monday morning. For you, it might be midnight – 2 am. The time doesn’t matter. Just pick a time where you are awake, alert, focused. And I hear what you’re thinking: but I’ve got little kids, I have a job, I have so much to do, I’m so busy. If that’s the case, go back to #1 and decide.

3. Get yourself in a good feeling place before you write. I like to show up on Mondays (and every day, quite frankly) refreshed and ready. For me, this means I have completed my morning routine and I’m cleaned up for the day. I can’t produce when I’m sitting around feeling and smelling like I just crawled out of bed. I work better when I’m clean, dressed, smell good, and my household tasks that I do on Monday mornings are underway.

4. Show up at your computer or laptop. Sit down (or stand up if you want to), and write (or create). By the time I actually sit down, I have a topic in mind to write about. These topics pop into my head in a variety of ways, but most often they occur to me during my morning routine. (This routine is a no-brainer and consists of some quiet coffee time, breakfast with my son, clean up the kitchen, shower, and morning notebook time.) You’d be amazed how many ideas pop into my head when I’m focused …

If you want to write a cookbook: You have to write
If you want to write a cookbook: You have to write

This may be a rant of sorts, but I have something on my mind.

We all have dreams.

Dreams to own our own home. Raise a family. Live a life of travel and excitement.  Some dreams may be more specific such as open a restaurant, buy season tickets to the New Orleans Pelicans, or live on a wooden houseboat in Sausalito, CA. You get the picture. Your dreams are your dreams. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

But, if you have a dream of writing a cookbook, or a blog, or a newsletter for your audience, you have to get practical at some point.

Practical, not in the sense, that “you-can’t-write-a-cookbook-because-you’re-not-a-celebrity” practical (I don’t buy into that one. You’re looking at a four-time cookbook author who is not a TV star), or, “no-one-is-reading-your-blog-anyway” practical,  but practical in the sense that “you-have-to-write” practical.  “The-words-have-to-get-on-the-page” practical.  or “Talk-your-book-and-have-it-transcribed” practical.

Here’s what I mean.

This blog post didn’t write itself. My cookbooks didn’t write themselves. And, my weekly newsletter isn’t produced by a content creator other than me.

I’m sitting here at my computer, in my office, writing these words.

My fingers are typing on a black keyboard. There’s a load of laundry in the dryer, the dog is barking at people lined up at my neighbor’s house for an estate sale, and my college-aged daughter just texted me about moving out of her dorm. This is called LIFE – all the things and people and stuff we do in between the time when we write our cookbooks and our blog posts and newsletters.

Truth be told, I created the space and energy to be sitting here. I’m not too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed, or too exhausted, to sit here with my fingers on my keyboard and write. For this is what writers do. We write whether we “feel” like it or not. We show up for ourselves. We create content. We write books. We get them published. We send newsletters. And, deep down we know that if we don’t write, none of the books, blogs, or newsletters happen.

Here’s the upshot: dream all you want. I love dreams. I love living dreams. I adore watching my clients speak their dreams and make them come true. But, like I tell them: if you dream of a cookbook, or a regularly updated blog, or a newsletter for your audience –  you have to sit down and write.

No matter how busy you think you are, no matter how much time you don’t think you have, no matter how overwhelmed you feel, no matter the design of your blog, or your logo, or your Instagram feed. If you want to produce a piece written content, you have to put your fingers on your proverbial black keyboard, or your pen to the notebook, and WRITE.

Writing takes time.

Writing takes up space in your day, or your evening, or your morning, or your night.

Writing means we’re not doing other …

11 Tips From Q1
11 Tips From Q1

It’s the end of the 1st quarter of the year, and I’m fired up about my first 12 weeks of the year. In early January, I set intentions about my coaching programs and moved forward with positive action. Here’s what has happened in my first quarter along with some advice and tips for you and your business:

1. TRIM YOUR EMAIL LIST
I have an active and engaged email list. And we’re trimming the fat. If subscribers aren’t opening the emails, they will be deleted. (Don’t worry, if you’re reading this you’re good to go!) Don’t be afraid to trim down your list to those who want to hear from you. It helps engagement with your regular, consistent emails.

2. CREATE REGULAR, CONSISTENT CONTENT
I continue weekly blog posts on cookbook writing, mindset, and productivity. When a new client finds me, it’s often because of a Google search. They join my list. We get in touch. They buy a program. For sure, I will keep up my regular consistent blog posts. If you’re not creating regular content in your business (blog posts, live streams, videos, something, anything) it’s time to start. Be sure to read my latest blog post with Clotilde Dusoulier, author of Tasting Paris, noted as one of the 37 new cookbooks for Spring 2018 by Epicurious.

3. GO LIVE
I presented two webinars on cookbook writing and it was fun and a great way to give results ahead of time to my audience. I plan to provide more online LIVE events in Q2. Going live and sharing your expertise is the wave of the future.

4. OFFER VIP PROGRAMS
I created a VIP level offer for my mastermind group. This is a way to stay connected to those who want to keep working with me and offer them more value, more opportunities to connect, all at the same price. Consider a VIP level if you don’t have one in your program. One benefit for my VIPs is the opportunity to promote their work in the Tasty Client News section at the end of my newsletter. I hope you love my VIPs as much as I do.

5. CREATE LIVE WORKSHOPS
I created a 6-Week LIVE Cookbook Publishing Workshop. Each week, for 6 weeks,  I showed up live to present the class and answer Q & A. It was well-received and now I have the videos to use for other purposes. More content creation – yay! I’m thinking now of my 6-WEEK LIVE course for Q2. Keep your eyes peeled.

6. TRY SOMETHING NEW
My Cookbook Publishing Blueprint phone calls were a new idea. Through this phone call and simple set of questions, I worked 1:1 with several clients and set them on their path to cookbook publication. Through LIVE Zoom calls, we discussed their projects and set up a timeline for their work. These new, one-time calls are fun and a great way to connect with first-time cookbook authors who just need a little nudge in the …

Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 12
Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 12

$200 Cookbook

This is older news, but did you ever hear about Tom Brady’s $200 Cookbook?

He created a system and wrote a book about it. It sold out at $200. What’s stopping you from creating your system and a book for your audience?

Recipe Copyright Projection:

As a member of IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), I have the opportunity to attend their webinars.

Last month IACP hosted an excellent webinar presented by attorney Joy Butler.

In her webinar, Joy talked about protecting, sharing, and adapting recipes.

I thought you might enjoy her blog post that summarizes her answers to a series of questions asked on this webinar about copyright protecting for recipes.

Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

Consuming VS Creating
Consuming VS Creating

One of my favorite things to do is consume. I love to read. Eat. Drink red wine. Watch reruns of Downton Abbey and The Great British Baking Show. Listen to podcasts. Look at Instagram. Read the Wall Street Journal. And the obituaries in our local paper. I mean who doesn’t?

  • Some consuming is educational. We learn.
  • Some consuming is relaxing. We take care of ourselves.
  • Some consuming is essential to life. We have to eat.
  • Some consuming has a net negative effect. Like drinking too much wine. It’s called a hangover.
  • Some consuming is at the expense of the work we need to be doing. My coach calls that buffering. Others call it procrastination.
    Consuming rarely offers value to others.

Creating is where our power lies.

  • Creating content, programs, and connections.
  • Creating meals and a picked-up home.
  • Creating recipes or book manuscripts.
  • Creating value and making an offer of a sale.

It’s important to balance consuming with creating.

Your clients, customers, audience, and family may thank you.

But, they may not.

Even if your creation goes unnoticed or not appreciated,  you’ll know that you’re doing the work.  And that’s what it’s all about.

Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 11
Cookbook and Food Writing Links Vol. 11

In our businesses and personal lives, we are either creating or consuming. I love to consume as much as the next person: social media, articles, webinars, seminars, books, cookbooks. All consuming. Taking in information.

Creating, on the other hand, produces a result. In my business, the results that I consistently produce include classes, cookbooks, webinars, mastermind groups, email marketing materials, blog posts, and recipe content.

I try to pay close attention to my consuming time VS creating time. It’s fun to consume. It’s easy to consume. I learn when I consume. But, it’s in the creating that the real work gets done, my friends.

I get really excited when I read print news about cookbooks and cookbook writing. They are fun to read and give me eternal hope for the role of the print cookbook in our kitchens.

Today I want to share a few links to cookbook news I’ve consumed recently. I hope you enjoy them, and that they ultimately lead you to create something of value for your clients and customers.

COOKBOOK CONCEPTS
Have you heard the buzz about The Immigrant Cookbook? Read this LA Time pick for Cookbook of the Week?  Also, check out the publisher of The Immigrant Cookbook: Interlink Books. They have an impressive list of International Cookery books.

COOKBOOK DEALS
Develop a concept, set yourself apart from others, find an agent, sign a book deal, and other suggestions in How to Land a Publishing For Your Cookbook by Marisa Churchill, chef and cookbook author.

I love to read the obituaries in my local paper. A little fact about me that maybe you don’t know. Cookbooks about funeral food won’t die, and in this article, you read the story about a publisher reaching out to an author to write about a trending topic.

Appliances drive topics for sales of cookbooks. Case in point: Urvashi Pitre. Butter chicken in an Instant Pot. Bingo. Cookbook deal.

COOKBOOK AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Healthyish. A cookbook that returns cooks from extremes and is written by an author with a very popular Instagram photo of a cookie. See the interview with author Lindsay Maitland Hunt by Bon Appetite Magazine. 

Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

First Snow Day of 2018!
First Snow Day of 2018!

Welcome to 2018 and my first blog post of the new year. And guess what, today we have a Snow Day!

I’ve always loved snow days. And, I love them for the same reason I love being a mom who runs her business from home. Snow Days are fun. Snow Days are different. And, when they’re unexpected they’re even better. Who doesn’t love a little bit of unexpected fun now and then?

You see, I thought my Monday would be different. I thought it would be my first full Monday after Christmas break that I’d have available to “work.” I was planning to get “so much done.” Today was going to be “all about me and my to-do list.” Because, on Mondays, I focus on Marketing. I was going to write my weekly emails, write a blog post, meet virtually with my VA, and set up email sequences for my upcoming webinar. This was going to be my day.

Then, Wham-O. An ice storm, followed by snow. School was first delayed 90 minutes, then they canceled. So, I did what every mom of school-aged kids does when there’s a snow day, and everyone is still asleep. I made another cup of coffee, watched Oprah’s video from the Golden Globes, listened to a podcast, put a load of laundry in the dryer, washed my face, put on my favorite jeans, cozy sweater and boots, lit a candle in my office, and basked in not having to leave the house just yet. I am also secretly hoping that when my son wakes up, we can make chocolate-chip pancakes and enjoy some breakfast together.

Yes, we have a snow day on our hands, and yes, my idea of how my day was planned suddenly changed. But you know what? My thoughts about the circumstance that I couldn’t change changed too. As you see, changing my thoughts in response to a circumstance I can’t change is my secret to a life as a mom who runs her business, and writes her cookbooks, from home. A life filled with snow days, sick kids, day-care closed, and anything else life throws at a mom who runs her business from home. In short, it’s called “going with the flow”.

Rather than resisting and raising my blood pressure, raging on social media, or texting my sister or friend to complain, I did one simple thing. I changed my thoughts. Rather than think thoughts that my list of to-dos wouldn’t get done in the way I envisioned, I shifted to, well if we’re all at home I might as well make the best of it. Suddenly I felt cozy, appreciative and ready for some fun with a boy who could eat three-times as many pancakes as I could.

My change in thought and my feelings then changed my actions. And as a result, my day is already going great. And this will spill over to my son because whether you want to believe this or not, a mom set …

Steps to Write a Cookbook Part 8: Find An Agent or Publisher
Steps to Write a Cookbook Part 8: Find An Agent or Publisher

If you have decided not to self-publish your cookbook, the route from your cookbook proposal to a finished book will either move through an agent or a publisher.

If you’re writing your cookbook for family and friends, or if you want to pay a vanity or subsidy publisher to publisher your book, you won’t need to find an agent. For this reason, take time now to evaluate how you want to get your cookbook publisher so you can follow the correct steps. Read this blog post Routes to Publication for tips and discussion on various ways to get a cookbook published.

After writing a cookbook proposal, which we discussed here, your next step is to query agents or publishers. Query means a question, but in the publishing world, it actually has more than one meaning. In this case, it means to ask someone or to inquire about the acceptability of a cookbook concept or other book idea. The purpose of a query is to determine if an agent wants to represent you and/or if a publisher wants to publish your cookbook. (The other type of query refers to a term used when editing a book manuscript.)

In this blog post, we will discuss querying agents and publishers, as well as other methods to attract attention from an agent or publisher.

FIND AN AGENT
The purpose of finding an agent is so that they can be your ally in the publishing world.  If you feel uncomfortable navigating a book contract alone, or if you want to go after a larger publisher and get the best deal possible, you may want to use an agent.

If you want to find an agent, you need to research cookbook agents and then to retain an agent you need to send them your cookbook proposal or concept summarized in query letter according to their submission guidelines. These can be found on their website and submissions are done either via email, snail mail, or an online form on their website. Some cookbook agents also publish an outline of a cookbook proposal on their website. If they expect you to follow their outline, organize your proposal according to their guidelines as well.

Once you find an agent and sign a contract they will make sure your proposal is in top notch shape to submit to publishers. Agents often know what different editors are looking for, so they can help submit to the best publisher for your concept.

Agents are paid a percentage of your advance and royalties so they are motivated to find the most lucrative deal for your cookbook. The standard rate for agents if 15%.

Here are some suggested ways to find a cookbook agents:

1. Refer to print or online edition of A Guide To Literary Agents. They even maintain a list of cookbook literary agents.

2. Use Query Tracker to find literary agents. With this site you can also organize and track your queries. You do have to create an account, …

Steps To Write A Cookbook Part 7: Write a Cookbook Proposal
Steps To Write A Cookbook Part 7: Write a Cookbook Proposal

Welcome to Part 7 of my blog series Steps to Write a Cookbook. If this is the first blog post you’ve read in this series, I encourage you to go back and review the previous blog posts in the series:

Identify your goals for publication

Define your cookbook concept

Evaluate routes to publication

Build your author platform

Check your commitment

Research the competition

This is the place where aspiring authors get antsy to write their cookbook manuscript. The good news is that the entire book manuscript isn’t necessary at this point. What you need to focus on next is writing a cookbook proposal.

What is a cookbook proposal?
A cookbook proposal is a business plan for your cookbook. In a proposal, you summarize your cookbook concept and sell yourself as the author of the cookbook. You may be lucky enough to have a publisher approach you about writing your cookbook, you may choose to self-publish your cookbook, or you may send your proposal to agents and/or a publishing house, but in any case, it’s recommended to focus now on writing a proposal. How long it takes to write a proposal depends on your motivation, your platform development, and how many recipes you have ready to include. I’ve seen aspiring author focus and write a proposal in 90 days, but a lot will depend on your ability to concentrate and prioritize the work to write the proposal.

Why write a proposal?
It’s worth the time and effort to write a cookbook proposal. A cookbook proposal provides you with:

1. A plan that organizes your concept, competition, content, audience, and marketing/promotion ideas. A proposal communicates in detail your vision for your cookbook. When shared with agents and editors you can find out if they are willing to invest time and money on the publication of your idea. It is possible to query an agent, and some editors, by only sharing your cookbook concept, but be prepared for them to request a proposal if they want to see more. In some cases, agents like to only see a  cookbook summary submitted and then they help shape the proposal before submission to a publisher.

2. A snapshot of your writing style and voice, as well as a taste of your cookbook through a sample of your best recipes. Well written text and delicious recipes make a strong case for you as the author of this book. If you can write a proposal, chances are you can write a cookbook.

3. A litmus test for your commitment to writing a cookbook. Any aspiring author who can follow-through on writing a proposal shows commitment to their cookbook project.

4. A tool that forces you to think not only about your book but what you bring to the table for marketing and sales of the book. Here you define your platform and how it can help sell the book. idea.

What to include in a proposal
Agents and publishers devour well-written cookbook proposals. They want to read …

You can write a cookbook and get it published
You can write a cookbook and get it published

 

One thing you will never hear me say is that you can’t write a cookbook and get it published.

I don’t believe that’s true.

Some writing coaches talk about hard and impossible. They act like publishing is an exclusive special club that you can’t belong to.

“It’s hard to get a traditional publisher interested in you and your idea”, they say.

“It’s hard to get a publishing contract”, they’ll tell you.

They say publishing is so hard in fact that, “we’re going to do you a favor and not even work with you.”

Some book coaches, agents, and editors talk a lot about having a certain number of followers on social media.

What if I told you that I have 900 followers on Instagram, 300 followers on Pinterest, 3000 on Twitter, a mailing list of 1500, and I don’t have a food blog?

What if I told you that this number of followers is considered laughable to many coaches, agents, and publishers?

I’ve written 2 cookbooks (both still in print) and have 2 more in production for publication in 2018. And, I’m fairly confident that as a result of a 5th idea (and maybe even a 6th) I pitched to a publisher, I could be extended another contract or two if I said I wanted to write those books.

I know it’s possible. I’m proof it’s possible.

I’m proud of my books, proud of my work, and feel excited every time I get to connect with the people who buy my books.

In fact, just yesterday, I presented at a local gathering. We had such a nice day and I sold cookbooks to some of my raving fans. I came home feeling pleased and satisfied. To me, that’s what writing a cookbook, and connecting with your audience, is all about. We all get to define our own meaning of success.

So many aspiring authors I know won’t try to write a cookbook because they believe the BS that coaches, agents, and editors tell them. They think they won’t succeed at writing or gaining a publishing contract, so they don’t even try.

What if I told you that believing naysaying coaches, agents, and editors, and not believing in yourself is failing ahead of time?

What if I told you it’s time to start to tell a new story of possibility?

What if I told you that you will never hear me say “you can’t” or that “I won’t help you”?

I truly believe that if you really want to write a cookbook, and get it published, you can – in your own way, with your own audience, and no matter what the heck anyone else says.

2018 is going to be an amazing year.

If you want to learn and work with someone who believes in you (and who has done the work of writing traditionally published cookbooks), you’re in the right place.

We’re going to learn about how to write cookbooks, how to get them published, how to promote …

Steps To Write A Cookbook Part 6: Research the Competition
Steps To Write A Cookbook Part 6: Research the Competition

Welcome to Part 6 of my ongoing series Steps to Write a Cookbook. If this is your first visit to this series, I encourage you to go back and review the previous blog posts in the series:

Identify your goals for publication

Define your cookbook concept

Evaluate routes to publication

Build your author platform

Check your commitment

Now it’s time to study other cookbooks. If you plan to write a family cookbook this step isn’t required. Otherwise, if you plan to publish your book via either the traditional- or self-publishing route, there are two reasons to study other cookbooks:

1. Competitive title research
You need to research competing cookbooks to show how your book will fit into the current publishing landscape. The purpose of studying competitive books is to generate list of cookbooks that are similar in their audience, concept, and category to the book you want to write. This list is then shared with potential agents and editors so they can visualize where your book fits in the context of other published cookbooks. It’s important to realize that the goal of the research isn’t to prove that your concept is unique and that you don’t have any competition. In fact, the opposite is true. You want to point out your competition to validate your idea and then add why it’s time for you to write a similar book for this audience and what you plan to add to the conversation regarding your perceived cookbook concept.

2. Inspiration and design research
The study of published cookbooks can be a source of inspiration as well. While looking at other cookbooks pay attention to what delights you – cover design, paper, fonts, interior colors, photography, recipe or text layout, trim size, or other features. Parts of other books that attract (or repel) you are clues about the type of book you may want to write.

A word of caution
Don’t let the study of other cookbooks deter you from writing your cookbook. Sometimes it feels overwhelming to see so many cookbooks already published. When we see these books we may feel doubt that we can see a cookbook project through to publication. The best remedy for this feeling is to acknowledge that there are hundreds of cookbooks published each year, but the exact book you want to write hasn’t been written yet because you haven’t written it. Your message can only be communicated in a way that you can write it. Use the study of published cookbooks to motivate you and not deter you. Work hard and commit to move forward with your project.

Advice about finding sales figures
I emailed four acquisitions editors to ask about obtaining sales figures for published cookbooks. They all acknowledged that sales data is hard to obtain outside of Nielsen BookScan. As a result, they don’t expect to see exact sales figures, but Amazon and other research can give clues about the popularity of a cookbook.

How much time to spend on research
A common …

Steps To Write A Cookbook Part 5: Check Your Commitment
Steps To Write A Cookbook Part 5: Check Your Commitment

“Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. [S]He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if [s]he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.”
—Lawrence Clark Powell, author.

Cookbook projects are multi-step processes. Each project has a unique set of nuances and challenges. My goal for this blog post is to acknowledge the challenges and help you evaluate your commitment to seeing the project through to completion.

Commitment to your cookbook project is an essential ingredient for successful completion of  all phases of the book – your book proposal, manuscript, and ultimate publication and book promotion.  In the end, your willingness to commit to these all phases defines the success of your book.  Below are several steps that can help you to commit and take action on your cookbook project.

Determine your path in the publishing landscape. As I discussed in a recent blog post on routes to publication, there are various options for publishing your cookbook. If you are not clear on your route to publication I encourage you to stop and take time to make this decision. Once you decide on your path, take time to learn and follow that path. Commitment to your options on the path will help you ignore the shiny parts of other choices.

Dream big, but work small with patience. It’s ok to keep your end goal in mind and imagine how it will feel to share a copy of your book with your audience, family, or friends. But, once you imagine the excitement, thrill, or exhilaration, you have to be patient with the process. This is when it’s important to return to your next step in the process and do the work of the next stage well. With patience and deliberate actions, your cookbook will get written and published as you desire.

Enhance focus and concentration. Focus and concentration are harder than ever in our virtual- and social-media driven lives. I receive numerous texts, phone calls, emails, Twitter notifications, and package deliveries in the course of my typical work day. The outside world wants in even when I have the need to focus or concentrate. It’s up to me to commit to creating time and a place where I can focus and concentrate. 

Create a space and place to write. Everyone has a different place where they like to write. What’s most important is to commit to a physical space and place to write where you are the most focused and productive. In that place, keep supplies handy and work diligently. My writing space is a clutter-free desk. At my side, I keep my iPhone (for the timer), my computer, a notebook, a pen, a candle, and reference books. The reference books are important to me so that I’m not tempted to go online to “research”. For me, “research” equals a rabbit hole and I get distracted with online research and am definitely not writing. Also during my writing time, I prefer …