Oct 292013
 
Style: "Neutral"

Cookbook Author Anne LIndsay, now retired and my hero.

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 Continue reading »

Aug 132013
 

Author and and television personality Joanne Weir tells you how she works the audience into buying her latest cookbook.

A guest post by Joanne Weir

I’ve been really lucky with book sales and people often say “Oh, I forgot that you always sell a lot of books.” I want you to know that it took me a while to get the hang of selling books, but I do have a few pointers that work for me:

1. I hold the book in my arms the whole time, with the title facing out, and I Continue reading »

May 072013
 

Food writer and cookbook author Jody Eddy, before her talk at Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

It’s not every day that a new cookbook author joins the ranks of dignitaries such as Al Gore and Tina Fey. But Jody Eddy did, by speaking at Google headquarters.

The co-author of Come In, We’re Closed: An Invitation to Staff Meals at the World’s Best Restaurants, Jody’s oddessey to the Googleplex began when publicist friend Carrie Bachman made a request.

Cliff Redeker, who books speakers for the Google talks, wanted travel information about Iceland for a future trip. Eddy is working on a cookbook with an Icelandic chef, Gunnar Karl Gislason, so she and Redecker began a conversation. Eventually, he invited Jody to speak about her new cookbook.

The Google speaker series began in 2005 and features hundreds of authors, musicians, chefs, economists and politicians. Redeker now arranges Continue reading »

Mar 052013
 

(Disclosure: After working on this post, I bought this cookbook. I love foraging and viewing beautiful images of plants, and these two women impressed me. If you wish to do the same, act now, as time is running out.)

Herbalist Dina Falconi teaches people about plants, herbs and foraging in the wild, and has done so for about 30 years. Now that foraging for edible plants is trendy, she decided the time is right for a cookbook. As the writer of Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair, a recipe book for body care products published in 1998 from a small press, Falconi knew about the process.

Her book idea took shape about three years ago, when Wendy Hollender, a professional illustrator, moved to Falconi’s New York neighborhood. Falconi asked Hollender if she wanted to ilustrate a cookbook on foraging and feasting. “With her skills, I could direct her art to be Continue reading »

Feb 052013
 

Your book just came out, and it needs reviews on Amazon. Not just any kind of review, but positive ones.

Do you rally your supporters on social media? Ask friends and family to post (implied glowing) reviews? Email anyone who’s ever complimented you and ask them to post?

According to Amazon, all of the above methods lead to “manipulated reviews.” The company is deleting thousands of them, says this story in The New York Times.

If you’ve already employed these strategies, don’t worry about it too much. Most of the time, Amazon is not looking for small fry like us, but for authors with huge followings who can incite people to write reviews on the first day of publication, sometimes without reading the book. But even so, we smaller authors are not immune. The article includes Continue reading »

Dec 262012
 

Nancy Hachisu makes rice bran pickles in her Japanese farmhouse. Photo by Kenji Miura. (Courtesy of Nancy Hachisu)

When I met Nancy Singleton Hachisu in Mexico in 2010, I was taken aback by the sight of another woman in her 50s at a food blogger camp.

Over our week together, more surprises came. Nancy had moved to Japan to teach English 22 years earlier, married her English conversation student —- an organic farmer, and raised their three boys in the Japanese countryside, living and working on their farm.

My head was spinning. How did a blond white woman from an upscale California neighborhood live in rural Japan with her family and mother-in-law, where there were no others like her? Plus, she spoke Japanese with ease, established an English immersion preschool near her home, and cooked traditional Japanese meals with her husband. How did she do all this with such gusto?

Fortunately, now there’s a 400-page cookbook to explain, called Japanese Farm Food. (Disclosure: I helped Nancy with the book proposal.) A hefty hardcover with a spine wrapped in indigo cloth, the cookbook features stunning photographs of Nancy’s food, family, and life on the farm and off. Personal essays make the book almost memoir-ish, but in a no-nonsense, affectionate way, not confessional or nostalgic. Simple vegetable-forward recipes are based on seasonal fresh produce from the family farm, flavored with classic ingredients such as miso, sake and soy.

Nancy began her writing career in 2008, with two magazine articles published in Japanese about Slow Food and Alice Waters. A year later, she took Stanford Continuing Studies writing classes and started a blog called Indigo Days at the encouragement of fellow writers, about Continue reading »

Sep 172012
 

Here’s what Facebook would charge Stephanie Manley to post to fans and friends.

Do you use a Facebook fan page to promote your blog and books? How about Google? Do you depend on Feedburner for free blog feeds?

Free was great, but now it’s over.*

Stephanie Manley of CopyKat Recipes alerted me that Facebook now wants us to pay to promote our posts to viewers. In her case, the cost is $30 per post and $75 per post for fans and their friends. That comes to…let’s see, almost $11,000 annually to send a daily post to her fans! Without payment, only 11.1 percent of her 18,400+ Facebook fans see her Fan page.

That’s not effective at all. But it’s still free.

Facebook says an average of 84 percent of your fans are no longer seeing your posts. They justify it this way. To find out what Facebook is charging you per fan page post, click on the promote button, on the bottom right of your posting window. Surprise!

I emailed another food writer with a huge fan base, David Lebovitz, to get his reaction to this Facebook news. “It leaves a Continue reading »