CookbookWriting2web

 

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 hereplus 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?

 

 

 

CookbookWritingweb

Posted by:Ashley

13 replies on “So you want to write a cookbook? : Plans for the Future.

  1. I got excited just reading this post! It will be fun to watch your progress and try out the recipes! When picking a cookbook, I always flip through the pictures first… I love a good eye candy! I also like cookbooks with tips and tricks in the margins, and ones that also have some running dialogue from the author… I like to fall in love with the chef too… Good luck to you! I’ll be watching!

    1. Thank you Sandy!

      I agree with you – tips in the margins is a must (and I have many!) as well as a way to connect to the person sharing the recipes.

      Thank you for commenting, hope you have a great afternoon!

  2. A great idea, a lot of work but I know you can do it! My favourite cookbooks don’t have many pictures and are getting old but I like the simplicity of the recipes and most of the ingredients are already on hand. Keep up the good work! Love Grandma

    1. Hi Grandma! 🙂

      I agree, recipes need to be simple and straightforward, and using up ingredients that are readily available and sometimes even to help you clean out the back of the fridge. You know, the lingering bits!

      Love you!

  3. Well, let’s keep it all in the family . . . I have been waiting for this (or your own restaurant! lol!) & I can hardly wait to have it in my hands! So, not just an e-book ’cause I really love the hard-core hardcopy in front of me. I want to see lots of your food pics to show us what it’s suppose to look like & I like the casual jargon, tips, tricks & that odd “don’t worry if . . .” that you use occasionally to put my aging mind at ease – it’s like you know I just said “S–t!” as I measured over the bowl ! ha ha ha
    Love U – Get’er done!
    Mom

    1. Mum!!

      You made me laugh out loud reading this! Lol- Casual jargon is my bit, it’s the only way! It’s those tips and tricks, and “don’t worry if’s” that make it approachable to the everyday cook or baker. Those are definitely the key points there. People are so intimidated by baking, but it’s often simple enough for any amateur, so long as you can learn to follow instructions and trust yourself a bit.

      Love you too, and thank you for the support!

      X.

  4. Ashley, I wish you so much success with this!!!!!! Several months ago I had read an article by David Lebovitz about his most recent cookbook. In the article he mentioned that nowadays people are not only interested in the recipes and photographs in cookbooks, they also want stories. I think now that blogging is so common, people expect to somehow feel emotionally connected with cookbooks, that are an extension of the food blogger. So I suppose personal and memorable stories that can help connect your readers to you, your food, and the ways you choose your ingredients and techniques might be helpful to include.

    Again, I wish you success, joy, satisfaction (and lots of sales!) with this exciting project!

    1. Thank you Martine!

      I think I read that same article this week as well, it sounds familiar! He’s very correct.

      I didn’t think previously to include the ways (and reasons) you choose your ingredients and preparation methods. Excellent view! Thank you 🙂 It’s not easy to be creative and think outside the box, while still being true to yourself and trying to appeal to everyone!

      Thanks very much for the words of encouragement, I appreciate it a ton!

      1. Hi Ashley, one more suggestion. To make your book useful to a wide range of readers, include metric weights in recipes. Also, useful conversions might be helpful. I’ve been planning to add that on my site. Again, good luck!

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