Cookbook Author Interview: Sue Messick: Set Your Cookbook Goals and Keep Working!

Cookbook Author Interview: Sue Messick: Set Your Cookbook Goals and Keep Working!

I was intrigued with Sue Messick’s story about her cookbook because she wrote it with her mother. It took them almost 14 years to complete the book. Her mother was 80 when we started the project and she is 94 now.  She was 94 when the picture (above) was taken.  They chose a simple platform for self-publication proving that no matter what your goals are for your own cookbook, you can do it!

What is the name of your cookbook?

Everything Easy and Especially Delicious

Is this your first cookbook?


Did you have a food blog prior to writing your cookbook?


What compelled you to write a cookbook?

My Mother has rewritten her recipes in her own format since she began to cook.  She has always said she wanted to write her recipes into a cookbook.  She had been an excellent secretary and typist in her time but never used a computer.  I knew that if her cookbook were to ever to be written she would need some help, so I volunteered to help her.  At first it was only going to be for family and friends, but as we worked on it we realized that the format was so special and easy to follow, we should share it with the world and decided to have it published.

You self-published your cookbook. How did you get your book printed?

I used Word Association. I found them on line. They are book publishers for self-published book authors. You might understand more from their website, but I will tell you why we picked them. My mother and I wrote our cookbook together, and we were very specific about the way we wanted it to look. We wanted our book spiral bound on the top, we wanted certain recipes in certain places, and we wanted our cover to look the way we wanted it to.

Why did you choose Word Association?

We considered just having it printed and doing the rest ourselves, but Word Association offered things we knew nothing about such as obtaining an ISBN number, listing it with Amazon and Barnes and Noble, listing it with the Library of Congress and the list of books published that year. They had a list of things we could choose from as far as editing, proofreading, binding, design, marketing, etc. with charges for each. We chose what we wanted and they worked very well with us and gave us exactly what we wanted. They also provide advice which has proven to be invaluable.

What advice do you have for an aspiring cookbook author who wants to self-publish a cookbook?

Proofread at least 10 times more than you think it needs.  Have other people proofread and then proofread 3 more times.  Since you know what it is supposed to say, it is very easy to miss type-o’s.

What was your biggest challenge in writing your cookbook?

Marketing our book.

What was your biggest challenge in publishing your cookbook?

Choosing the publisher that worked the best with our goals for the book.

Any thoughts you’d like to share on the marketing and sales of your cookbook?

Don’t give up, and don’t be afraid to think big.  This is advice I have to remind myself of often.


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