Apr 152014
 
chocolates

Champagne chocolates on display at Dean & DeLuca.

It’s time again for my list of useful links, which I have culled from dozens more to find the most valuable ones for you. As always, they are excerpted from my recent quarterly newsletter. If you’d like to receive the entire list of links next time, sign up to receive my four newsletters per year. Now, on to the goods:

1. How Much Should I Charge? Part 1 and Part 2, from the Food Bloggers of Canada website, details all the issues to consider, particularly in Part 2.

2. Publishers Weekly did a good webcast recently about selling single subject cookbooks in unusual places.

3. What does a successful food stylist do? Check out  Continue reading »

Apr 012014
 
Food blogger and cookbook author David Lebovitz. (All photos by Ed Anderson.)

Food blogger and cookbook author David Lebovitz. (All photos by Ed Anderson.)

Writing books is both a struggle and a joy. That was David Lebovitz’s experience for his latest cookbook, My Paris Kitchen. It’s full of stories of his life in Paris, with gorgeous photos for classic and modern recipes. I caught up with David on email, to ask about his writing process and philosophy:

Q. Why did you want a book with so many stories? The recipes often have a story in front of the headnote! That’s a lot of work.

A. We all spend so much time online, madly scrolling through things and clicking around, that I’ve realized how much I miss sitting in a chair (or curling up in bed), with a book. The idea of My Paris Kitchen was to present a personalized picture of Paris. I like telling stories and the story of the book is how I Continue reading »

Mar 182014
 

Recipe-RobberI’ve written many times about how individual  recipes can’t be copyrighted here in the US. But did you realize that you can defend a copyright if parts of your recipe contain “substantial literary expression?”

What exactly is that, and why should you bother?

“Substantial literary expression” establishes the information in a recipe as yours. That could be just as important as copyright, when it comes to theft.

Let me explain. US copyright law defines substantial literary expression as: Continue reading »

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 »

Feb 252014
 

A guest post by Nancy Baggett

2DayaWeekDietCookbookREDOFINAL-72-small

Something new for these two authors: a Kindle book for $3.99 that must be promoted online for best results.

After writing 16 cookbooks for mainstream American cookbook publishers over nearly three decades, I just co-published my first Kindle book. It’s a 250-page co-authored work called The 2 Day a Week Diet Cookbook, with 75 recipes and 50 color photographs for $3.99.

What made this project different was that, from the beginning, my co-author Ruth Glick and I planned to create a Kindle book. We never considered pitching it to publishers. Ruth had already written a number of Kindle books (mostly novels), and when she proposed that we collaborate, I promptly agreed.

In retrospect, I can see how this self-publishing process would be daunting for inexperienced authors. Going the indie Kindle route meant foregoing a publisher’s hand-holding and the usual editorial, production, and marketing assistance. Having written numerous cookbooks, we felt confident doing the recipe development, editing and proofreading, and even writing blurbs. The jobs that were less familiar, particularly Continue reading »

Feb 112014
 
It's-Complicated

Think editing is complicated? It doesn’t have to be. But it’s critical to becoming a better writer.

Writing is rewriting, as the saying goes. And while it’s true, do you know what to look for when you read your first draft, or how to improve it?

Here’s what I look for when I edit both my own posts and the work of others:

1. Keep your focus. Do you start by moaning about a cold, move to the merits of a new smoothie you made for breakfast, and end with a recipe for chocolate cake? Stick to a Continue reading »

Jan 212014
 

Kicking-In-the-Wall“When you hit a wall, kick it in.”

That’s the advice playwright Sam Shepard gave to musician Patti Smith early in her career. She had said to him, “I would go as far as I could and hit a wall, my own imagined limitations” and that was his response.

Sound familiar? This line from Smith’s memoir, Just Kids, inspired author Barbara Abercrombie to write Kicking in the Wall: A Year of Writing Exercises, Prompts and Quotes to Help You Break Through Your Blocks and Reach Your Writing Goals.

Inside are 365 five-minute writing exercises, a great way to jumpstart your writing for the new year. Dip in and pick Continue reading »