Because I’m a RD (registered dietitian) I have the opportunity to network with other RD’s who have written cookbooks. RD’s bring an interesting perspective to food and cooking because we are experts in science-based nutrition therapy. Peggy Korody, RD accepted my offer for an interview about her cookbook “Little Hands in the Kitchen”. Peggy used POD (print on demand) for her book and as far as a publishing choice for her book. This didn’t meet her expectations and she felt the “rules changed along the way”. Read her interview as Peggy offers good advice about POD and her plans for her next 2 cookbooks.
What is the name of your cookbook?
Little Hands in the Kitchen
Is this your first cookbook?
Did you have a food blog prior to writing your cookbook?
I have a website that I post recipes. I also blog and write about nutrition on my website RD4Health.com.
Who is the audience for your book?
It’s a book to get kids in the kitchen early so they don’t have a fear of trying new foods. The first 3 chapters are for the parents to explain nutrition by age, why all the food groups, ideas for field trips, etc. The recipe chapters are set up for the “Little Chefs”, it lists the tools needed, the ingredients, and at the end of each recipe I give ideas of how to make this dish a “MyPlate” dish.
What compelled you to write a cookbook?
I love to cook and this book is “my” story of how I raised my two sons. They both are good cooks and understand what is necessary for a healthful meal. Also, I often created a cookbook just for my family for Christmas presents, and it’s fun to see my sisters using my cookbook when I go back to Michigan to visit. Everyone encouraged me to write a “real” cookbook.
What advice do you have for an aspiring cookbook author who wants to self-publish a cookbook?
Do your research. Unfortunately, I did not do enough. I was persuaded to go POD and in the long run it was very expensive, I had little control, the rules were always changing. All in all a bad experience.
What was your biggest challenge in writing your cookbook?
Time! Cookbooks are time consuming, you have to experiment with dishes (which is the fun part), but then you need to fine tune them, exact measurements, etc. I had my son help me take the photos, just bought him a new camera for my next cookbook!
What was your biggest challenge in self-publishing your cookbook?
Marketing! And as I said before choosing the right company to work with, I will never do a POD book again.
Any thoughts you’d like to share on the marketing and publicity for your cookbook?
This is the tough part of getting your book out there so people know about it. I had several RDs review my cookbook, RD411 printed a review in their newsletter, and I have it advertised on several websites. I teach cooking classes and I did a “book signing/cooking class (recipes from the book)”. I contacted small private book stores and did a special booking signing there also. I even contacted a hospital and they bought some of my books to sell in the gift shop, and I did a book signing there too. You really need to network a lot so people know about your book. I also write a recipe column for a local magazine and I often add a plug about my book, and I write a nutrition column for my local newspaper and I also add a plug at the end of my column. In fact the newspaper did a special article on me and my cookbook. This fall I will be a speaker at several elementary schools to the PTA Moms and I’ll bring my book along.
Do you have any advice that might be helpful to an aspiring author who is considering POD for their cookbook?
I thought POD was a good way to go so I didn’t have to invest too much money up front, but in the long run it was very expensive and I lost control of many aspects of my book. The most important being the selling price of the book. When I signed up with the company I was told I could set the price, as we got close to the completion of my book the rules changed and they decided they were now going to set the price by the amount of pages, which made my “paperback” book too expensive. So I had to squish things and shrink pictures etc. to get my book to be fewer pages. It is still too expensive, so I don’t sell much from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, they give a discount to the author so I have bought books and sell them cheaper (also available on my website cheaper) and make more of a profit. Another thing, you think you are working with a company in the US, but they just do the sales, the people working on my book were in the Philippines, and they do not know English grammar. They weren’t supposed to change my sentences, but they did, so every time they sent me a revision I had to read the entire book, which after time, I even missed a sentence with an error. Because of all of this I missed the “holiday” window for sales. I paid for a quick release, my book would have been available in October, but I didn’t receive my book until December 22nd and that is with a lot of phone calls and suggesting that I needed to get my lawyer involved.
So as you can see, I will never do the POD approach again, but I will self-publish. I have now done more homework, attended a webinar from another RD, bought her book on how to self-publish and I will be taking a completely different approach with my next 2 cookbooks.