Hi, gang. A lot going on for me right now so I’m spending some time catching up on stuff. The biggest news is this: My cookbook has been been picked up by a traditional publisher!! For those of you who don’t know the back story, I self-published my cookbook early last year because every agent and publisher I hit up told me the same thing, which is that they really liked the book, I’m a good writer, the recipes sound delicious, yadda, yadda, yadda, BUT…I didn’t have a “platform.” So, everyone passed on it.
What that means in the publishing world is that I didn’t have a built-in fan base. How does one get a built-in fan base? Well, in the case of food writing, it could mean owning a restaurant or other food-related business, being a celebrity chef, having a regular food column in a widely read newspaper or magazine, or being famous for some other reason. The last reason is a pet peeve of mine. It seems that every celebrity who gets a bug up their butt about it puts out a cookbook. I’d venture to guess that half the celebrity cookbooks on the market are “written” by people who probably don’t even know how to boil water. Or, even if they do, what are the chances that they wrote the book themselves? Don’t get me started on this!
Anyway, having a personal chef business simply wasn’t enough and getting an article published here and there wasn’t doing it either. But I had put years of work into this book. Years of researching, writing, revising, studying the market, putting together proposals, and bad experiences with unscrupulous publishers and agents. I couldn’t give up. I couldn’t just let it die. So, what’s a frustrated girl with a good, well-written cookbook to do? Self-publish. I chose Booklocker as my publisher and embarked on the journey.
Since then, I’ve been networking and trying to market my book in every way I can, but when you self-publish, it’s very difficult to to make the industry connections that a publisher can. It can also get expensive. Furthermore, in querying agents for my cookbook-in-progress, I haven’t been able to mention that I already have a published cookbook because there’s a stigma attached to self-publishing. Mentioning something like that can actually work against you (although the perception is changing).
The press that has picked me up is Rogue Books, an imprint of Bedazzled Ink. They’re an eclectic bunch and they have a great reputation for treating their authors with respect and for actually putting in marketing efforts, something that the average author doesn’t get much of.
I was approached by them with the offer of being picked up. The head editor there said that she (a vegetarian) and another editor (a vegan) had been wanting to publish a vegetarian cookbook and that mine looked promising. I didn’t take long to make my decision. Having a traditional publisher behind me is going to be a very good thing.
So my book is going to be temporarily unavailable, as Booklocker has already deactivated my book page. The nice thing is that the owner of Booklocker (and the writer’s ezine WritersWeekly), to her credit, is actually happy when one of her authors gets a traditional publishing contract. I’ve had a good experience with Booklocker and I’m glad I went with them. But this is the next step for me. (If anyone wants a copy of the book in its current incarnation—for lower than the retail cost)—leave me a comment and I’ll contact you.)
I’ve got numerous projects bubbling on the stove, which is keeping me busy during this period of unemployment. Now, if only I could figure out a way to make some money. Frankly, I don’t think the mortgage company is going to be impressed with my publishing achievements. I’ve posted another recipe from my book on the recipe page. If anyone makes anything out of my book, I’d love to hear how it turned out, so leave a comment!
Have a great week, everyone.