In this episode, I’m going to talk about something that we don’t often discuss too much when we think about writing a cookbook. We have recipes and stories to share in a way that others will love and benefit from. We decide to package the recipes and stories together and sell them. We have choices to make – we can start a food blog, create a membership, write a monthly print food magazine, write a monthly email newsletter, but as you know from the podcast title we are here because of cookbooks – a curated set of recipes and stories written from a person’s point of view.
But when we think about the book – a writer’s mind often turns to the tangibles of the cookbook such as the photos, the design, the paper, glue, binding, book casing, book dust jacket in essence – what the book will look like.
The reality is, that as the book writer, we need to focus more on what the buyers can’t see first before we can focus on what they can see. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today, the invisible pillars of traditional cookbook publishing:
- Commitment to the book publishing process
- Being sold on as the writer of the book. We have to be the biggest believer in ourselves! How can we expect to get a publisher excited about ourselves and our book idea if we’re feeling like Charlie Brown’s teacher about it? We have to believe we have the capacity to do this. We have time to do this. We have to know that a publisher is out there who will pay for this work. We have to love our lives as cooks and bakers and writers. I mean have we won the lottery or what?
- Being sold on traditional publishers who create books (and if we decide to self-publish we have to be sold on ourselves as the publisher). For my cookbook writing, I’m sold on working with a traditional publisher to create the book. This is a big leap for a lot of people for a few reasons. They see themselves as the creator of the book tangibles – photos, design, fonts, etc., and not just the creator of the words. But that’s the work publishers do. They not only create the book, but they pay me an advance of royalties and they pay me royalties for sales of the book. This is where people ask if it’s worth it? My answer is the “pay” I’ve received as a result of my work as a cookbook writer. Tangible benefits and intangible benefits, including word of mouth, let’s call Maggie and see if she wants to write another book.
- Being sold on our readers and cookbook buyers who come out of the woodwork to support our books. They are the real reason that cookbooks exist. They value cookbooks enough to buy them, read them, share them, check them out from the library, and create cookbook clubs around them.
Listen to Episode 181 below:
Things We Mention In This Episode:
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