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Mar 032015
 
Bryant-Terry-photo

Cookbook author Bryant Terry’s book promotion plan includes singing, rapping, and tying into social activism.

(Photo by Paige Green)

Four-time cookbook author and food activist Bryant Terry loves to perform, whether addressing a conference crowd, singing, or demonstrating how to cook a dish. It’s all part of getting his message across that good food should be a right, not a privilege. At all of these events, he’s also selling cookbooks.

I’ve attended a few of my fellow Oaklander’s events and enjoyed the innovative ways he gets his message across while selling books:

Q. You seem to have more creative ways to sell books than the average cookbook author. You read from your book during a pop-up dinner by another chef, for example. 

A. Philip has been a supporter of my work for a couple of years. We came up with the idea and co-planned the menu together. I did some speaking between courses, some rapping and some entertaining.

I have done events with chefs before. On a book tour, a restaurant hosted me for a book event. The kitchen made recipes from Afro Vegan and they did a Continue reading »

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Feb 242015
 
Eggs-OxbowMarket.Napa

Steak tartare, fried eggs and Vietnamese herb salad, an unusual combo but it worked beautifully for brunch.

I adore links that teach me how to be better at what I do. Sometimes people send them to me, and sometimes I discover them online. I cull through dozens to find the best information for food writers. As a result, these kinds of lists are some of my most popular posts.

This particular list came from my last quarterly newsletter. I’m collecting links now for my next newsletter on March 30. It’s free and won’t clog up your inbox because it only shows up 4 times per year. So please consider signing up.

Now, on to what’s new in our world:

  1. How to use the DMCA to prevent people from stealing your online content.
  2. To see what’s trending online in recipe searches, here are sites to visit.
  3. Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks writes about maintaining a long-term blog.
  4. How Ten Speed Press became a cookbook powerhouse.
  5. Here’s what happens on a cookbook shoot.
  6. If you write about special diets, here’s an excellent exploration into the gluten-free craze.
  7. Why is it so hard to catch your own typos?
  8. Need a media kit for your blog? Here’s a free template.
  9. If you want to become a star, start your own YouTube cooking channel.
  10. Mark Bittman changed the way he writes recipes for his newest cookbook, and says we’ve all been doing it wrong.
  11. To pitch newspaper food sections on your latest book or a story, here’s a helpful chart.
  12. The New York Times held a Food for Tomorrow conference and you can watch all the videos for free.
  13. Food magazine editors moved around a lot last year. Eater has a chart.
  14. If you want to write long-form journalism, Eater is interested.
  15. If you take ads on your blog, you might want to know which ad network has the biggest market share.

Just for Fun

  1. Here are classic New Yorker stories about chefs, free to read.
  2. Like Food Memoir? Here’s a long list of the best ones, according to a reviewer at Abe Books.

Continue reading »

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Feb 182015
 
"The author compromises her impartiality in Bordeaux, France."

“The author compromises her impartiality in Bordeaux, France.”

A guest post by Pam Mandel

“Oh, I want to go on press trips!”

I hear this frequently from newer bloggers. I get it. It’s so appealing to have someone else pick up the tab for your hotel, your meals, entrances fees, all the stuff of travel. When you’re writing for your own blog, there’s the added benefit of working without an editor who has veto power. You go on an all expenses paid trip, you write what you want, everyone’s happy. Right? Not always.

1. What’s a press trip anyway?

Let’s define “press trip” — sometimes called a junket or a FAM, short for familiarization — first. For this discussion, I mean a trip where media travels under the guidance of a public relations wrangler. Everything is arranged in advance. It’s usually a group tour at an Continue reading »

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Feb 102015
 
Thriving

I feel grateful to be alive when I imagine myself here. Wouldn’t it be nice to have this sensation more often?

Don’t you love the word “thrive?” It’s not about just getting through the day, making lists, or driving yourself to do more more more. It’s about a healthy, beaming, happy you, satisfied with your life and filled with gratitude.

Doesn’t that sound incredible? Who doesn’t want to be that kind of person?

As writers, we need constant reminders to stay positive. Otherwise we get distracted by what we’re not doing (not enough pitching, social media, awards, contracts, published work, classes, blog readers), versus what we thrive on (writing!).

Here are five ways to keep writing and moving forward:

1. Believe that you have something to say and people want to read it. Otherwise, when you doubt yourself, you create roadblocks that crush productivity. Manage your internal critic. Learn to recognize Continue reading »

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Feb 032015
 
david-hagerman_alacati

Want to take photos this good? Dave will show you how. (Photo by David Hagerman.)

They popped the question over lunch, about a year ago. Freelance food writer Robyn Eckhardt of the blog Eating Asia, and professional food photographer David Hagerman brought up this event at Cafe Rouge in Berkeley, CA. We had met to celebrate their book deal for a Turkish cookbook (I coached Robyn on the book proposal), which sold to Rux Martin. What did I think, they ventured, about a Turkish workshop on food writing and food photography in 2015?

I had to think about it for, maybe 10 seconds. Let’s see:

  • Picturesque village of Alcati, on the Aegean and famous for its stone houses and narrow streets. Check.
  • Lots of Turkish food, which fuses Central Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines. Check.
  • Near the beach and Ephesus. Check.
  • Gorgeous accommodations, covered in Conde Nast Traveller and Travel & Leisure. Check.
  • A chance to hang out with two professionals I enjoy and learn from them. Check.

Continue reading »

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Jan 272015
 
Award-winning critic Leslie Brenner of the Dallas Morning News has taken a lot of flack, but she’s still smiling.

Award-winning writer Leslie Brenner of the Dallas Morning News has taken a lot of flack for her reviews, but she’s still smiling.

Have you heard about the hard time restaurant critic Leslie Brenner has been getting in Dallas?

I didn’t know about it until I read this article in the Washington Post, which said at least 10 Dallas restaurants planned to ban the Dallas Morning News critic, refusing to take her money. They also planned to refuse interviews, stop allowing Continue reading »

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Jan 202015
 
Mochi-Ice-Cream

Mochi ice cream at San Francisco’s Fancy Food Show, a good place for food trends.

Sometimes there’s so much change it can be hard to find the relevant bits of information that concern you as a food writer. That’s where I Continue reading »

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