Want to Write a Cookbook? Top Editors Reveal Best Subjects and Formats

This past weekend two cookbook editors from Chronicle and Ten Speed told an audience at Book Passage bookstore in Corte Madera, CA what they’re looking for in a cookbook. I thought you might like to know.

One of Chronicle Book's biggest sellers.

Let’s start with Amy Treadwell, an editor at Chronicle Books. She’d love to find another book that will do as well as Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans, which has sold more than 100,000 copies. That book led to more cupcake-based products: the Cupcake Kit and Cupcakes Deluxe Notecards.

Treadwell said she’s looking for three things:

  1. Cookbooks that tell a story, versus just a collection of recipes. She gave the upcoming The Commonsense Kitchen: 500 Recipes Plus Lessons for a Hand-Crafted Life as an example. It’s based on a college that teaches men to cook.
  2. Targeted single subject books, such as the one on Whoopie Pies she co-wrote in six months to capitalize on a trend.
  3. Blog-to-books such as the upcoming [Read more…]

Chronicle Books To Roll Out Cookbook-based Apps

Lorena Jones became publishing director of Chronicle Books last fall, and she’s focusing on the newest part of her  job: developing dynamic digital content for mobile applications, enhanced e-boooks, and iPads.

The former publisher of Ten Speed, Jones worked at Ten Speed for 15 years. Now she’s going digital and embracing the learning curve.

“Five of us here are trying to learn all this stuff at warp speed,” she said. “We work super collaboratively.” Jones has done about a dozen deals since January, including six iPhone apps and 3 iPad apps. She calls the products “suites.”

She’s developing her talent pool, working with both established Chronicle authors and new writers excited about digital media. “I think of it like the Matrix. I think about what authors know in a [Read more…]