5 Questions Every Cookbook Author Must Answer

5 Questions Every Cookbook Author Must Answer

Imagine if you knew five questions that every editor, publisher, marketer, reviewer, and reader of your book would love to know your answers to. Imagine that if you took the time to answer these questions before you write your book, how much more on target the finished proposal and book would be. Imagine answers to such questions that could direct and inform the book entire project.

What are the questions?
Answer the questions below and you’ll have a crystal-clear focus. In addition, you will be able to supply essential information for your publisher, marketing team, book reviewers, and most importantly the buyer of your book.

1. Am I willing to control my thoughts, manage my time, and commit to activities to imagine, write, publish, and sell this book?
Answer this question first for yourself in an honest and real way. Can you commit to the work and dedication to propose, write, publish, and market your cookbook? Is your mindset a growth mindset (I can do this) or a fixed mindset (It’s too hard and I’m confused)? If the answer is a yes, move onto the following questions. If you’re wavering, get your thoughts and commitment in order before you proceed.

2. What is the book about?
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to be able to succinctly describe your book’s topic as well as how you identified the topic to write about or how you became interested in the topic. Include the book’s argument or problem that you are solving. If there is a payoff to this book, meaning if you read this, or cook this, you’ll get that, then describe the payoff. Describe what is new about this problem or argument in your book. Include what stopped you “cold” and made you want to write a book about this topic. If this topic is popular or written about in previous books include what you are adding to the idea or topic through the book.

3. Why are you the person to write this book on this topic?
Sell yourself as the author. Describe your expertise, social proof, and/or proven messages you have in writing, speaking, or teaching about this topic. Brag about the overwhelmingly positive responses you received to the message. Describe what you bring to the topic. Everyone from editor or marketer wants and needs to know why you are the perfect author for this book.

4. Why is now the time to publish the book?
Everyone is writing books. Publishers need books to publish. Describe why this is the perfect time for this book. Even with existing books (which you will describe in the competition section of a proposal) why there room for another book on the topic in the market.

5. Who makes up the core audience for the proposed book?
Describe your ideal buyer in detail. Include a discussion on why they will find your book appealing. Describe the problem they have and the payoff or solution you are offering this specific group of people. Describe where they hang out in the real world and online. Discuss how you can reach them to market and sell the book.

Take time to answer all the questions. Direct the project in a focused fashion with your answers, and help all those who will help you get your book published and sold do the same.

Cookbook author, editor, and Culinary Dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors during the pre-publication phase of writing a cookbook. If you want to write a cookbook, and wonder if you’re ready, download her 11-point checklist Am I Ready to Write a Cookbook? 

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