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It’s been a while since I’ve written about my upcoming cookbook so I thought it’d be fun to share an update, as well as a little behind-the-scenes look at what creating a cookbook entails. The last time I wrote about the book back in October, I had just submitted my manuscript. Since then, I’ve been going back and forth with my editor to get the book in tip-top shape. And just recently, I received the preliminary designs for the book. We’re going to tweak the design a bit, but I’m thrilled with how pretty and well-organized it looks so far. Here are a few sample pages:
One thing I’ve learned about the cookbook process – other than the fact that it involves A LOT of dishwashing – is that it is sloooow. I’ve been working on this book since the summer of 2015 and it’s due to be released next spring. If you think that seems like a long time, believe me, I’m right there with you!
Writing a cookbook is much different than publishing recipes online. For my website, I develop, test, and photograph a new recipe every week. Once it’s finished, I share it with you immediately. If I post a recipe in the morning, you can prepare it in your kitchen that very same evening.
For my cookbook, I spent four months developing a book proposal before creating a single recipe. A book proposal is basically a business plan — with sample recipes, photos, and a marketing plan — that outlines the vision for the book and persuades a publisher that the project is a worthwhile investment.
Once my book proposal was finished, my literary agent sent it to a targeted list of editors she thought would be a good fit for the project. I spent the next few weeks in a nerve-wracked state, waiting and hoping that one of them would be interested. To my enormous relief, three editors showed interest in the proposal.
Then things got interesting…When multiple editors are interested in a proposal, the book goes to auction. That means that each publisher puts an offer on the table – the offer includes the advance, as well as the overall vision for the book in terms of publication date, number of pages, number of photos, etc.
In the end, I chose Chronicle Books to publish my cookbook. I hit it off with their cookbook editor and she shared my vision for a book with lots of photos – that was really important to me. So with an official book deal in hand, I could finally hit the kitchen and start creating. More on that process next time…