Cookbook Author Interview: Dana White: Make Sure You Are Truly Passionate About Your Topic

Cookbook Author Interview: Dana White: Make Sure You Are Truly Passionate About Your Topic

First Bites Cookbook

I’ve interviewed several dietitians who are also cookbook authors on my site. I believe that dietitians are well-suited to write nutrition-related cookbooks because of their knowledge of food, nutrition, and cooking. Dana and I are both members of a specialty practice group for dietitians who own their own businesses. Dana’s first cookbook was published in 2015 after she was approached by an agent to write about a cookbook about an area of her expertise.  After successfully writing a proposal, her agent helped her find a publisher for her work. This is yet another way that cookbooks come to life for aspiring authors who are passionate about a topic related to nutrition and cooking. 

What is the name of your cookbook?

First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers 

When was it published?

February 3, 2015

Is this your first cookbook?

YES – I have contributed to other projects and created some sports nutrition e-cookbooks, but this is my first published cookbook.

What compelled you to want to write a cookbook?

I am a culinary dietitian and a mom of 2 so a cookbook for families was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I was lucky enough to be approached by a literary agency so I could make this book a reality. I put the proposal together and they helped shop it around to publishers.

Do you have a food blog? Was your blog a driving force in obtaining a contract?

I have two. A personal blog at DanaWhiteNutrition.com that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves in terms of frequently posting content – but even before that I helped to create the Healthy Eats Blog for FoodNetwork.com. I have been with them for 8 years and that has been a wonderful opportunity.

Can you tell us how you were offered a contract for your cookbook?

First Bites was under consideration by a few publishers. I actually did turn down a few of the initial offers because they wanted to change the concept in ways I didn’t believe in. Looking back, I am so glad I stuck to my guns and held out for an opportunity I was truly excited about.

Do you find the publishing industry daunting in any way?

Sure, especially for a first time author. I heard stories about how brutal the first round of edits could be – this actually helped! It was better to expect the worst going in. There was a lot to process, but overall it wasn’t that bad at all!

What is your advice for an aspiring cookbook author who is reading this interview?

Make sure you are truly passionate about your topic – you have to put in way too much work not to be!

What was the biggest challenge in completing your manuscript?

It’s a lot of work and projects like this are almost always on a tight timeline – time management is soooo important!

What was your biggest fear about writing a cookbook?

Maybe that it won’t be well received? I’m actually not quite sure yet since it’s just coming out!

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?”. 

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