I just signed the contract with the printer for my first cookbook. That means that as I write this, a printer is inputting the content I have worked on for the last 6 years and printing it into a tangible object. A book. With my name on it. With the photos I took. With my recipes & food. With the stories that I have told for the last 6 years. Stories that are dear to my heart. Stories about the people in my life that have shaped me. Stories of the places that have influenced me.
But wait a minute, how could this happen? I would never be mistaken for an academic…by myself or anyone else. I hated school. I was a college drop out. I only went because I liked the social aspect and maybe art class. I love to create things. Cooking for me is creating. Writing and publishing this book was just creating something….
So my point is, that anyone can write a book nowadays and publish it themselves! I have had 2 people, in 2 days, ask me just how I did it. Hence this Blog post…
First of all, I approached it like I did my small business. I had a plan. I researched and I researched… but it seems, that in hind sight, that more was required. I had a loose budget based on my research, but I didn’t know how many I would sell and would anyone want to buy it? There was some risk involved, just like opening a business. As this book is an extension of my business and I believe I know my clients well, I often put myself in their shoes and wondered what they would buy. I spoke to clients, family, and friends…. I looked at cookbooks…loads, and loads of cookbooks.
Next, I took my recipes, the core recipes that launched my business…. and I rewrote them in a cookbook format as opposed to a classroom format. I took those recipes and corresponding photos (both professional and my own) and sent them to a graphic designer to lay out the book. I added content such as relevant information and stories that would bring more substance to the book. This was the guts of the book. The content. There is no skimping here. If you don’t have good content, backed by solid experience, you may need to rethink the timing of your book.
Now, we needed some style. I hired a Creative Director. The talented Heather Watterworth, of Creative Worth Communications & Design, was worth her weight in gold! (ha ha, no pun intended!) She added the flavor of my personal brand and business. Heather is very familiar with my brand as she designed my logo, website and executes my monthly newsletter as well. You can contact Heather here for your projects!
Okay, we now had recipes and a creative design, but how were we going to sell it? Another very talented women came on board…One I never thought in a million years I would work with! My sister, Anna Wells, with 25+ years of Sales & Marketing experience, was the final missing piece of the puzzle! Anna developed a Marketing Strategy for both retail & wholesale markets and a pre-sales strategy to fund the initial upfront costs.(Anna is the oldest and I am #4 of 6 children…..I had a rather carefree childhood whereas, she was usually in charge of her younger siblings and sometimes BOSSY, ha ha!)
Now, it’s off to the races! In a few short weeks, this baby that has been gestating for the last 9 months, will be in my hands……or will it? Stay tuned for part II, in next week’s blog post!
Ciao for now, Natalina xo