I was on a panel last week (during the Julia Child Food and Wine Festival at Bacara in Santa Barbara, CA) where the moderator showed this slide of the bestselling cookbooks of 2013 in the US, according to Nielsen research. If you haven’t seen it yet, I think you’ll find [Read more…]
If you’re a cookbook author or hoping to become one soon, do you know who would want to buy your cookbook and why?
Adam Solomone, associate publisher of Harvard Common Press, answered this question for attendees at the recent IACP conference, where he gave a slide presentation of data collected by Nielsen, in conjunction with several North American publishers. Answers came from a core group of 2500 cookbook purchasers, a subset of 80,000 book buyers, based on the the last book they bought.
Here are the top findings:
1. Sixty-five percent of all cookbook buyers are women. You’re probably not surprised. Most buyers are college-educated. About [Read more…]
Writing books is both a struggle and a joy. That was David Lebovitz’s experience for his latest cookbook, My Paris Kitchen. It’s full of stories of his life in Paris, with gorgeous photos for classic and modern recipes. I caught up with David on email, to ask about his writing process and philosophy:
Q. Why did you want a book with so many stories? The recipes often have a story in front of the headnote! That’s a lot of work.
A. We all spend so much time online, madly scrolling through things and clicking around, that I’ve realized how much I miss sitting in a chair (or curling up in bed), with a book. The idea of My Paris Kitchen was to present a personalized picture of Paris. I like telling stories and the story of the book is how I [Read more…]
I spoke with Dave about his latest book and his thoughts about cookbook negotiating and writing:
Q. Congrats on your latest book, Global Kitchen. Is it a work-for-hire with royalties, from Cooking Light? That’s an unusual arrangement.
A. Actually, I got an advance for this book. The material I created – apart from my 30 recipes — was a work-for-hire. The publisher, Time Home Entertainment Inc., owns Cooking Light and several other publications and they own the rights to use the material in Global Kitchen elsewhere.
Regarding the 30 recipes, the publication has the right to the material for a certain time, and then the rights revert to me. So if I want to [Read more…]
A guest post by Garrett McCord, co-author of Melt
One of the greatest fears of cookbook writers is that their readers — the people who have dedicated time, money, and ingredients –- will be unable to successfully execute the recipes. When Stephanie Stiavetti and I started working on Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, we resolved that recipes would be properly tested and that every single one would work flawlessly.
So how to go about this? Years ago I tested recipes for Jaden Hair’s first cookbook. Stephanie and I discussed the process and decided that the best way to test the book was with our blog readers. We put out a call on our [Read more…]
After a long day of work, I want to make a quick, easy meal that tastes great. And one that’s light and healthy.
That’s a tall order, isn’t it? Those of us who have written and tested recipes know.
Just three cookbooks I’ve used in the last decade fit the bill. Until recently, I took these books for granted. I didn’t think about the author as a professional in our field. I was too busy cooking, grateful to be a home cook using good recipes that worked.
Earlier this year I went to Canada for a food blogging conference. I decided to find this cookbook author whose no-fail recipes I used for years. Her name is no secret to Canadians: Anne Lindsay. The weathered and stained cookbooks on my kitchen bookshelf — gifts from my sister in Vancouver — are
- Lighthearted Everyday Cooking (1991)
- Anne Lindsay’s Light Kitchen (1994)
- The Lighthearted Cookbook: Recipes for Healthy Heart Cooking (1998)
She wrote these cookbooks with health organization partners: The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, The United Way of Canada, and the Canadian Heart Foundation. (You’ll learn in a minute why this was a brilliant [Read more…]
Ah, the joys of summer. Aside from gorging on peaches and nectarines, you have some beach, lake or cabin time coming up, right? At the very least, there’ll be a plane ride or a few stolen hours in the sun where you can dig into a book.
Yes, you’ll want to take your trashy novel, but how about an anthology ? Anthologies are simply a collection of short stories. There’s no reason to think they’re academic or stuffy.
Plus, you don’t have to read the book from start to finish, because [Read more…]