See you in September? (Or October?)

Like the song from my teenage years says, “See you in September,” woo woo woo, when the summer’s through

And why are those guys singing in suits on the beach? 

Now, where was I? Oh yes. I’ll be traveling next month to two conferences, and then a third in October, talking about book proposals, career reinvention, and making your food writing sharper. Here’s what’s coming up:

Association-of-Food-JournalistsSeptember 8-11, 2014
Panelist and Workshop Leader
Association of Food Journalists Annual Conference
The Peabody Hotel
Memphis, TN

For the first time, I’m attending the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) annual conference, where I will appear on a panel September 11 called [Read more…]

Blogging Just For Love? No Way

James Oseland, Editor-in-Chief of Saveur magazine

Something James Oseland, editor of Saveur, said when he delivered the keynote at the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) struck me as strange. He said, “A food blog should not be a popularity contest. Blog because you love it, because you have to.” Then everyone applauded.

I bet food bloggers applauded because they are so sick of feeling like they’re in high school again: checking their Google rankings, embedding SEO links, worrying that no one will comment on a post, wondering when they’ll be popular enough to be invited on a press tour or get a book deal. Wouldn’t it be a relief if food blogging was not a popularity contest?

But of course it is. The bloggers who draw the most readers get the biggest book deals and the most opportunities and the most money from ads on their sites. That’s how it works. We need to get over it.

And I don’t see that these things are mutually exclusive anyway:  I blog because I love doing so, and I blog because I must. I love having a forum to get my ideas and opinions out. I love hearing from all of you and having [Read more…]

Giving Recipes Away a Big Subject at IFBC

The interior of Theo Chocolates, decked out for 250 attendees of the International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle this past weekend..

On the first panel at the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) last weekend, Amy Sherman raised the issue of pay for recipes. She suggested if bloggers want to go pro, they start charging when companies ask to use their recipes.

It’s not a new idea for food writers like Amy and me, who have been charging for our work for years. But for food bloggers and the people who publish their work, it’s touchy.

Let’s start with the publishers. Foodista and IFBC founders Barnaby Dorfman and Sheri Wetherell have authored a forthcoming Foodista cookbook from Andrews-McMeel where 100 recipes appear as the result of a judged contest. (Disclosure: Andrews-McMeel paid me to edit the recipes in that cookbook.) No bloggers were paid for their recipes.

Was this a problem? I don’t think so. Many food bloggers are honored to be asked for a recipe, and see their [Read more…]