Jul 152014
 
Pies

Summer pies from my local farmer’s market in Oakland, CA.

Want to keep up with best practices for writing a food blog or cookbook,  freelancing, or working with companies? Need a link to something fun once in a while? Of course you do.

That’s why you need these links, taken from my quarterly newsletter filled with resources for food writers and bloggers. If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Here’s what you missed in my last one, sent at the end of June:

  1. Do you have a media kit so companies can contact you? If not, you might consider making one. Big companies expect it.
  2. I’m working with a cookbook editor right now, and these tips are good reminders. Top 10 Ways to Make Your Editor Love You.
  3. Do you aspire to give a TED talk? Even if you 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 »

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 »

Jul 022012
 

Debbie Koenig hosted a potluck for her book, selling out on Amazon in a day. (Photo by Bennington Photographers)

Your cookbook’s coming out and you’d like lots of bloggers to cover it. How about an event where all their posts appear on the same day and drive sales?

Debbie Koenig coordinated a potluck party for her first book, Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents (Morrow, 2012). A book marketing executive turned food, diet, and parenting writer, Koenig sold out Amazon in one day, when bloggers reviewed her book and posted recipes.

In this guest post (the first on my three-year-old blog), Koenig explains how a virtual potluck for bloggers works, and why hers succeeded.

By Debbie Koenig

I first heard the term “virtual potluck” three years ago, when Monica Bhide was preparing for the publication of her cookbook Modern Spice. Monica hosted the potluck as a one-night-only, online gathering of food bloggers, all cooking from her book and

Continue reading »

Jul 052011
 

Signing copies of the revised edition of Will Write for Food, at Omnivore Books in San Francisco, last July. (Photo by Heather Lunan)

Your food-based book’s coming out, and it’s time to line up all the events that lead to good sales. What are the most important events to plan for a book launch?

Australian Blogger Katrina Meynink emailed me with this question. Her book, Kitchen Coquette, is coming out later this year. Here’s my list:

1. Target bloggers who are likely to review your book. Your publisher has put aside copies to be sent to media, which includes bloggers. So target the authors of food-focused blogs in your home town, bloggers who like to review cookbooks like yours, and others who might qualify. Come up with a long list to Continue reading »