“Blogger Blackmail” Surfaces as a Trend

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What is “blogger blackmail?” One blogger demanded about $150 worth of macarons, marshmallows, and other goodies in exchange for a blog post.

How ironic. Last week I wrote a post defending hobby bloggers. This week the subject is “blogger blackmail!”

By now you may have heard about the Twitter thread called #bloggerblackmail. It chronicles, among other things, when food bloggers demand payment in kind for blog posts, including free meals at nice restaurants.

One story that came to a head began when a hobby blogger who writes London restaurant write-ups emailed a bakery and suggested she be “invited to review” their products in exchange for a blog post.

Here’s how things went downhill for the food blogger:

When she got to the bakery, workers offered her tea and [Read more…]

Of Dresses and Events Coming Up

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The 2010 signing of Will Write for Food, 2nd edition, at Omnivore Books in San Francisco. I still have that dress! Now I have to remember not to wear it. (Photo by Heather Luhan)

The third edition of Will Write for Food came out last week, and I’ve been busy with promotion. I love in-person events best because I get to see people in real life versus virtual, and wear dresses. Sometimes friends show up for support, which makes these events even more fun, kind of like parties.

So far my summer book promotion — that all-important six-week window — is going [Read more…]

How a Weekly Get-Together Grew Into a Powerful Support Group

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The Kitchn’s Emma Christensen finds it worthwhile to get out of her house for this group. (Photo by Danielle Tsi)

A guest post by Emma Christensen

I love working from home. My own schedule. My own space. Peace. Quiet. No one randomly stopping by my cubicle and interrupting my flow.

But even for a consummate introvert, the work-from-home gig can get lonely. This is why, shortly after moving to Northern California in 2011 and taking the plunge into full-time food writing, I found a few like-minded work-from-homers and forced myself to leave the house once a week.

How It Happened

It was like this: I met Cheryl Sternman Rule of 5 Second Rule in 2011, who introduced me to another South Bay-er, Danielle Tsi of Beyond The Plate. Then I met Sheri Codiana of Pork Cracklings at a press event and it turned out she lived a few blocks away. This felt like a [Read more…]

Blogger Finds Famous Cookbook Recipe Doesn’t Work, but He’s Happy

When a high-end cookbook recipe doesn’t work, how can this story have a happy ending? Somehow, it does.

First, a little backstory. Remember when Julie Powell started her career-changing food blog, The Julie/Julia Project, in 2002? It was about a government drone who makes every recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking over a one-year period. Her blog led to the first blog-to-book deal and a subsequent movie.

After that, a whole bunch of people started blogs about [Read more…]

A New, Updated Edition of Will Write for Food

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At last! I started working on this edition last year and I couldn’t tell you about it until now. The third edition of Will Write for Food, completely updated and with a new chapter on making money, goes on sale July 14, 2015.

Much has changed since my second edition came out in 2010, most notably the rise of food blogging as a career. The biggest star is Ree Drummond, who got a cooking show on the Food Network, and sold almost as many books as Ina Garten in  2014.

(Ree wrote about my book: “I wish I’d read Dianne’s book before I started a tiny little food blog on a whim years ago. For current and aspiring food writers, it’s positively dripping with helpful advice and information!”)

Since my last edition, many food bloggers have made the top ten cookbook lists in sales, and more than a hundred U.S. food bloggers have book deals. A few food writers make a six-figure income from their businesses, and I describe how in this new edition.

While most food writers write as a hobby, a growing number would like to make an income and even a career from it. The new chapter in Will Write for Food addresses myriad ways to make money, including

  • Work that comes from a blog
  • How to negotiate pay
  • How to work with brands
  • How to create a media kit and rate sheet
  • Branding yourself and your blog
  • How some food writers earn a six-figure income (hint: online businesses).

I’ve also updated every chapter with new information and new voices, whether they’re covering cookbook writing, getting published, blogging, or making money. For the first time, I’ve invited a few respected authors and bloggers to contribute their stories of success. Some wrote insider how-to pieces on such subjects as negotiating pay and how to work with companies.

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So long, Will Write for Food, second edition, 2010.

And don’t you love my new cover? It’s fun to look at how the covers of my prior books have evolved.

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The first edition from 2005. I do feel kind of sentimental about it.

If you bought a previous edition, thank you. This new edition will refresh your skills and knowledge, and inspire you to up your game. My goal is to empower and inspire you.

If you are a new reader, welcome. You’ll find a smorgasbord of info about writing a blog, upping your social media and photography skills, writing a cookbook, or getting published in print or online. Get your markers and underliners ready!

Finally, take a look at this sneak peek introduction for Will Write for Food, prepared for you by my publisher. And please pre-order Will Write for Food at your favorite independent bookstore, or on Amazon or another online retailer.

 

Woo Hoo! I’m Teaching in Dubai

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The recently-opened Dubai International Writers’ Center, which hosts talks, coaching and workshops.

I’m thrilled to return to Dubai, that hot, impossibly complicated and dizzying place of high rises, including the world’s tallest building. It was more than 100 degrees on my first trip in September 2013, and it will be about 100 degrees later this month. Sense a pattern? I’m packing light.

Last time I was a guest instructor for Bethany Kehdy, who runs [Read more…]

How Denise Vivaldo Uses Optimism to Develop a Thick Skin

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Denise Vivaldo doesn’t let other people define her.

You’re doing fine until someone makes a snide remark on social media. Then a literary agent says your book idea won’t sell, and two editors haven’t responded to your story pitches.

Soon you’re having trouble getting through the day.

What you need is a mini Denise Vivaldo on your shoulder. This successful food stylist and food writer is one of the most optimistic people I know. She seems to let slights, criticisms and rejection slide right off.  I thought I should interview her to find out how she does it:

Q. You say you have thick skin. How do you define that?

A. I got a thick skin early in life and it has worked for me. As a child I danced and by the time I was eight or nine years old, I was already [Read more…]