I’ve officially spent just over two years living in Toronto. Time is flying. I love this city. Over the past year and a half I’ve logged more hours than I can count in my home kitchen, cooking and baking. I work in kitchens for a living, and before moving to Toronto the last thing I wanted to do after a long day of work was get back in the kitchen. Just the thought of it pissed me off. Not because I didn’t enjoy food, not because I didn’t want to cook and bake, but simply because the frustration and workload in my professional life was slowly snuffing me out. Snuffing out the flame.
Though frustrations and stress in the workplace never really go away, not matter where you work or what you do – if you find yourself spending the majority of your spare time doing what you already do for a living… you’re probably in a good place. You’re probably onto something! It took me a long while to get to a place in my life where I don’t dread going to work. Where I don’t get that sinking feeling in my stomach at the thought of walking into what I already know will be a serious ass whooping. When I first started up this blog I didn’t really have any direction for it other than to try to create something that didn’t completely suck (for lack of a better term). But this week an idea’s been bouncing around in my head, and it seems to be sticking. The idea of working on self-publishing a cookbook.
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking: “oh, shut up Ash!”, or for those of you who’ve more experience: “oh, you have no idea what you’re getting into, and how much work that actually is!”. But that’s ok! I’m actually feeling motivation for the hard work and huge learning curve that’s to come when I actually go forward with it. I’ve got several thousand recipes in a massive coil binder that need tweaking and revisiting, and a few hundred more in my head that need jotting down on paper, and the idea of turning all of these years of hard work, ideas, and imagery into a tangible thing is an exciting one. A very exciting one.
With the unlimited access the internet gives us these days it’s plain to see that you can pretty much accomplish anything, if you put your mind to it. And I plan to put my mind to it. There are a ton of resources for self publishing, but the cheapest, most accessible one is to go the eBook route. ‘Learning curve’ is probably an epic understatement, but learning is part of the reward. Working on a cookbook/bakebook means leaving some exciting recipes out of the blog, to save them for the book. It means planning specific items rather than just making whatever I feel like that day, and then posting it here for fun. It means conceptualizing. It means research. It means many months of hard work that won’t be shared regularly with everyone else until it’s finished. It means twice the amount of time (or more) that I spend on this blog, since I’ll still be posting recipes and images here, plus working on others for the book that I won’t get the instant gratification of sharing with you all. At least not until it’s finished.
There’s the legal side of things, the technical production side of things, the recipe side of things, the imagery side of things, and even the conceptualizing of the project itself! A pretty massive undertaking, and quite frankly: intimidating. For now – I conceptualize, brainstorm, and read up. The market for cookbooks is mindblowingly oversaturated, yet somehow still expanding. Anything from the basics, the classics, and the simple, to the uber-fab, limited-diet, over the top super-niche, it’s all out there. The coined phrase “there’s an app for that” is easily translated here, “there’s a cookbook for that”. Seriously.
Think outside the box.
I won’t share too many details yet on my current planned concept, as I’m prone to changing my mind a million times over. My posts for the next few months will become increasingly geared towards this new concept and book, to get my ideas out there and see how people react to them. Items will be better planned, less spur of the moment, and recipe methods will be more detailed and specific for the reader. Possibly even double-posts where I try out recipes and retry them again the next week with some tweaks. With all that being said – please feel free to share your thoughts with me on cookbooks in general. I’d love to have a discussion on the matter!
What makes you pick up a cookbook at the store?
What makes you continue to flip through it after the initial impression?
What are you tired of seeing in the cookbook section?
What do you want to see more of?
What’s your favourite thing about your most used cookbook?
What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to recipes?
What are some current trends in food and cookbooks that you think are here to stay, and why?