Lauren sent me an email to ask to participate in this cookbook author series. Through our email exchange I discovered that her father was born in my hometown of Lexington, KY. I also learned that Lauren is one of those cookbook authors who took a situation she faced in her own life and wrote a cookbook about it. Her need to eat food that was wheat- and dairy-free drove her desire to write and self-publish her own cookbook. Lauren knows her books makes a difference in the lives of others and is happy to offer good advice to any aspiring cookbook author: That with passion, motivation, and perseverance they too can write their own cookbook.
What is the name of your cookbook?
No Wheat No Dairy No Problem
Is this your first cookbook?
How was your book published?
It was self-published.
What POD company did you use and why?
iUniverse because they were affordable and offered POD. In total I spent $10,000.
Did you have a food blog prior to writing your cookbook?
Yes, I built and launched the blog, www.NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com, 3 months prior to the release of my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem.
What compelled you to write a cookbook?
I was a Chef that was diagnosed with Wheat and Dairy allergies, and wanted to enjoy cooking and eating all the things I had previously enjoyed. I could not find good alternatives that tasted good, had good texture and were healthy. So, I took
8 years to test recipes on my time off while getting a bachelors degree and working in the food business.
What advice do you have for an aspiring cookbook author who wants to self-publish a cookbook?
Follow your passion and intuition. Consider an Ebook. Do your homework and compare self publishers. Traditional publishers
are not what they use to be and probably not worth your time and effort. If you can start part time then do it. If you have the luxury of writing a cookbook full time then, go for it. Most importantly, you need to test your recipes. It is really important to have something that is unique.
What was your biggest challenge in writing your cookbook?
Not having enough time, as it took me 8 years. Working with the publisher could be challenging at times. The only thing I would change is that my cookbook would include color photos on the inside of the book. I had to go back and hand convert all my recipes into ONE WORD DOCUMENT! This took hours, days, and was so grueling. Be sure to choose a publisher first, then write your
book in the format according to their specifications.
What was your biggest challenge in using POD to publish your cookbook?
The Index is the only thing that I did not do, and I would advise that you find a person that is an expert indexer or get a computer program that will automatically index for you as you write the cookbook. My index is horrible.
Any thoughts you’d like to share on the marketing and sales of your cookbook?
It helps to have a bubbly, outgoing personality or at least passion. You will need to do all the promotion yourself and if you can get a publicist, I know a very good one, in the beginning before you launch your book that is key. If you want media attention(radio, TV) they will only consider covering your book in the first year of launching! After one year, the media considers you book old news! I don’t care how good it is, it is “old”. If I had it to do all over again, I would have hired my publicist before my launch and would have probably made it to national TV in New York, but I only made it to ABC Live TV in Sacramento & Chicago! I spent $2,000 to travel, cooked for 3 days in the hotel kitchen for a 5 minute live spot on the morning news and got about 10 book orders! It is hard work and doesn’t always pay off the way you expect. Getting into book stores is really difficult, I gave up on that. I did get most of my business from small independent stores where I agreed to do a book signing. I have had to find and book all my events myself.
This takes a lot of passion and motivation and perseverance. That said, it is fun and all worth it to me to know that I
am able to make a positive difference in peoples diet and lives so they can follow their passion. I wish you all much success. If you would like to contact me for a publicist my contact info is on my blog, www.NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com