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It seems like each time I visit my bookstore the cookbook section is growing like a souffle. Once, a shelf with three books, it expanded into five shelves, then a section. Now the store has a folding table stacked with books on food. How hard is it to publish a cookbook? Any inroads you may have? My recipes are not only mouth watering, but they are very publishable. Help me please. I need to see my chicken cacciatore in print. It would make my Uncle Guido proud. And, you need not upset my uncle.
Printable in New Jersey.
The cookbook world knows no horizons. Unlike Columbus, who knew the world was round, the world of cookbooks is flat, goes on forever and there appears to be no end in sight. It isn´t an easy game. There are bumps in the road and lumps in the gravy. Cookbook authoring is tedious, time consuming and can take its toll on authors who think recipe writing is as easy as preparing one. They´re wrong. And frankly, many chefs just don´t possess the talent or the recipe knowledge to create a series of recipes that can be compiled into a cookbook.
A published recipe is strategically different that a commercial kitchen recipe. It´s more than a little of this, a dollop of that and a splash of whatever. In most cases it´s less glamorous than it appears when one sees a page open to a vibrant picture of an artichoke field in the middle of the Salinas Valley picturing the author strolling through rows inspecting the massive globes.
Plus, getting published by a cookbook house may be more difficult than sailing on the Santa Maria. That´s the bitter truth to the story.
The sweet stuff- cookbook self publishing is very doable. However, it is time consuming and the rewards may be little more than a smile on the customer or relatives face that reads the tome of recipes And, with a solid marketing plan, strong, focused promotion, and the talent to target a specific audience, the success of a self published cookbook frequently surpasses the results major publishing houses score with some of their flash in the pan titles.
Catherine Bergen, the renowned Napa Valley, California, culinarian, founder, and force behind Made in Napa Valley, a gourmet product development and manufacturing company recently launched her first cookbook, Gourmet Every Day. Bergen´s book features recipes that she has developed over the years using Made in Napa Valley products. The graphics, design and flavor abundant recipes within the pages of the book are sure to capture the hearts of kitchenistas and foodies across the country while garnering kudos from cookbook connoisseurs who adventure for palatably pleasing pages of palettes. Bergen is an exception to all the rules. Her company´s successes are paramount and as her culinary star continues its rise over the Mayacamas Gourmet Every Day will find its way to recipe book shelves in consumers´ kitchens across the country.
Bergen´s project was a massive creative undertaking that only came to fruition because of her vision, drive and culinary design team that diligently worked on the project. Her story is unique and not recommended for the single unit operator who wants to please a few aunts, a mom, an uncle and test the waters with local customers.
But for the busy restaurant owner, publishing on a smaller scale may be the answer to fill the hunger for a cookbook and please Uncle Guido.
The brainchild of Kate Walling, Secret Ingredients is a cookbook publishing company for families, social groups and restaurant owners who want to imprint their culinary skills on pages bound with creativity. Walling who began making cookbooks in her home for families and friends decide to turn her craft into a company. Today, she publishing cookbooks for numerous culinary enthusiasts who want to archive their heirloom recipes and pass them on to others.
The beauty of Walling’s company is the small restaurant owner can create and print in small, affordable numbers to test the waters after testing the recipes.
Before publishing make sure you ask yourself these questions:
1) Can I afford the time if the only return is a stack of cookbooks on the corner of the bar?
2) Can I afford the cost of at least a few cartons of books to make a culinary statement?
3) Will the book give my restaurant added credibility?
4) Will the finished book become a major, personal accomplishment??
If you answered yes to any one of these questions, you should possibly pursue your dream. Will you get reach overnight? Probably not. Will you make a good living off of the book? No. Will you get a book deal from a major publisher, hit the book signing circuit and sell your restaurant to your sous chef? Don´t think so.
The project will most likely be fun and it will help you market your business. And, once the few cases sell, or you use them for Christmas gifts for your best customers and catering clients you can print a couple of cases more. Then who knows, a second edition may be in the works.
And, if it makes Uncle Guido happy that´s really all that matters.