Mar 112014
 
David-Joachim

Author, co-author, ghostwriter, and reference writer Dave Joachim has the drive to do it all.

Dave Joachim has 40 books under his belt, almost all of them cookbooks, including the “A Man, A Can, A Plan” series of five books which has sold more than 1 million copies.

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 Continue reading »

Jul 302013
 

A freelance writer I’m working with is hesitating about starting a food blog. She thinks maybe it’s too late. There are so many food blogs now, she said. Maybe she could never catch up or get noticed.

She compared herself to successful food bloggers who started long ago, and wondered if she should bother.

I told her that it was normal to think that way, but no good can come of comparing. When I start thinking like that, I say a little mantra that helps me:

“Some people are not doing as well as I am. Some people are doing better. I’m somewhere in the middle and I am okay with that.”

I thought it applied in this case, because if you only compare yourself to Continue reading »

Jul 232013
 

Virginia Willis does a lot of jobs simultaneously to pay the bills, and because she prefers it that way. (Photo by Angie Mosier)

A guest post by Virginia Willis

A few years ago there was a great outcry when Food52′s Amanda Hesser wrote that she wouldn’t advise any one to become a food writer. At the time I disagreed, but now I find that she has a point.

To be successful as a food writer, I wear many hats. Sometimes, I do work outside food writing because I enjoy it. Sometimes that work is more lucrative. Regardless, all these hats create massive scheduling and financial challenges, but also diversity and stimulation. My small business can be feast or famine, but the jobs are tightly intertwined and I cannot imagine it any other way.

The deal is, it’s just not enough to be a food writer, even a successful one. We may not be starving artists, but very few writers are financially successful.

Here’s what I do as a food writer. It’s a lot but it’s not enough:

1. Cookbook author. My two cookbooks have received much acclaim and even some awards. Using the language of Publishers Lunch, my advances have been Continue reading »

Jul 092013
 

Melbourne-based Sandra Reynolds spends $120 per week on food for a family of four, and teaches others how to budget and eat well.

Last year at Eat.Drink.Blog, the Australian food blogger conference, I met Melbourne-based Sandra Reynolds of The $120 Dollar Food Challenge, who held the audience spellbound as she recounted how a dire situation led to food blogging and a cookbook deal. Recently, we spoke further about her career and her struggle to support herself:

Q. In February 2010, you left your job as a public servant and had to figure out how to feed yourself and your two teenage children.

A. I went to the Salvation Army and they gave me two $60 food vouchers designed to last two weeks. And it started from there.

I went on Facebook to complain to my friends that I only had $60 to feed my family. My friends started asking what I could cook. I sent them recipes, and then someone said, ’91You could start a blog.’

Q. How did you know what to do?

A. I’d read a couple. A friend of mine had me write a few posts for Continue reading »

Mar 192013
 

Should writers write for free, for exposure, or for fun? Or maybe all three? Everybody has an opinion, sometimes heated.

An argument about getting paid for online work erupted recently, when a respected journalist blogged about an Atlantic Wire editor who asked to repost a long article online for free.

What’s unbelievable is that just a few years ago, the Atlantic magazine offered him $21,000 per article for original reporting, and now they’re offering him nothing in exchange for “exposure.”

Here’s the scoop from Reuters blogger Felix Salmon:

“The exchange has particular added poignancy because it’s not so many years since Continue reading »

Mar 122013
 

Now in his ninth year as a food blogger, Adam Roberts of the Amateur Gourmet shows no sign of slowing. A witty and charming writer, he posts several times a week on restaurant meals, cooking a new dish, hosting dinner parties, and other adventures and experiments. He’s also good at coming up with attention-grabbing posts that go viral.

I met Roberts for the second time at Food Blog South, where he delivered a valuable talk on 10 Food Blog Posts That ‘ll Get You Traffic. He likes to write advice posts to food bloggers, whom he considers a main part of his Amateur Gourmet audience. I’ve listed those posts below. Consider them gold, because they’re like insider information on how to succeed as a Continue reading »